About Ben Zientara

Ben Zientara - Author of Solar Reviews

Ben Zientara

Solar Policy Analyst and Researcher

Ben is a writer, researcher, and data analysis expert who has worked for clients in the sustainability, public administration, and clean energy sectors.

He entered the solar industry in 2014, joining Solar Power Rocks to lead the team that put together its annual State Solar Power Rankings Report, which has been cited by a diverse mix of advocacy groups and media like PolitiFact, The Guardian, The Center for American Progress, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and the Solar Institute at George Washington University. He’s now joined SolarReviews to add his expertise to the content development team and expand the site’s coverage of state solar policy and incentives.

Ben holds a B.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota, with special coursework in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability Studies. He spends his time away from the solar power world cooking and eating delicious food or spending quality time with his family in the mountains, woods, parks, and playgrounds of the Portland, Oregon area.

Recent articles by Ben Zientara

Overview of Connecticut net metering (Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program)

Ben Zientara

March 29, 2022

Overview of Connecticut net metering (Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program)

The state of Connecticut changed its net metering program for solar homeowners in January 2022. It now comes in two options and provides even more savings than its predecessor.

What happens if you have solar and the power goes out?

Ben Zientara

July 25, 2017

What happens if you have solar and the power goes out?

Typical home solar installations shut down during a blackout, but you can keep the lights on in 1 of 3 ways: a generator, battery, or a special solar inverter.

Watts, kilowatts, and kilowatt-hours explained (kW vs. kWh)

Ben Zientara

April 3, 2019

Watts, kilowatts, and kilowatt-hours explained (kW vs. kWh)

Watts and kilowatts (kW) are measures of power, or ability to do work, while kilowatt-hours (kWh) are measures of energy, which is power used over time.

Solar panel car roofs: are they a good idea?

Ben Zientara

February 20, 2020

Solar panel car roofs: are they a good idea?

Solar panel car roofs are a relatively new phenomenon that promise to use renewable energy to add some charge to the car’s batteries, but short of some absolutely miraculous new physics breakthrough, a fully solar-powered car will not be practical for the

Sol-Ark inverters expert review: should you choose one for your solar installation?

Ben Zientara

March 8, 2022

Sol-Ark inverters expert review: should you choose one for your solar installation?

Sol-Ark inverters have been popular for off-grid and DIY solar for years, but are they ideal for grid-tied solar systems too? We cover each inverter model's, specs, costs & more in our latest blog.

What is a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?

Ben Zientara

January 29, 2016

What is a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?

A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a law that requires electric utilities in a state to generate a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources by a certain date. The RPS is also used to determine the amount and type of incentives availab

What is a solar carve-out?

Ben Zientara

January 21, 2019

What is a solar carve-out?

A solar-carve out sets a specific goal for electricity generation from solar panels in a state’s energy mix. It often includes incentives for installing solar.

New petition seeks to end net metering across the United States

Ben Zientara

May 20, 2020

New petition seeks to end net metering across the United States

NERA has filed a petition to end net metering. Find out how it can affect solar homeowners and how you can help.

LG to close solar business - what does this mean for people who have or want LG solar panels?

Ben Zientara

March 2, 2022

LG to close solar business - what does this mean for people who have or want LG solar panels?

LG announced it will stop manufacturing solar panels in 2022. What now?