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

The Sense energy monitor review: is it worth it?

Ben Zientara

February 27, 2020

The Sense energy monitor review: is it worth it?

Adding a Sense Energy Monitor to your solar installation can provide insight into how much energy you use, how much your solar panels produce & more.

Is a DC or AC battery right for your solar home?

Ben Zientara

April 7, 2020

Is a DC or AC battery right for your solar home?

Comparing DC and AC solar batteries and providing guidance on which is better for your home solar installation.

Questions to ask a solar company before you sign a contract

Ben Zientara

September 26, 2019

Questions to ask a solar company before you sign a contract

Forgetting to ask these questions will surely take a toll on your solar panel installation.

How much electricity prices increase per year in the U.S.

Ben Zientara

May 19, 2021

How much electricity prices increase per year in the U.S.

The average electricity cost increase per year in the U.S. is about 2-3%, but several factors can affect that rate for individual states and utility companies.

What residential solar installers need to stop doing immediately

Ben Zientara

June 9, 2021

What residential solar installers need to stop doing immediately

Some solar installers use inflated estimates of utility price growth to make it seem like savings will be higher than they likely will. It’s time to stop.

PERC solar cells - are they the best choice?

Ben Zientara

March 11, 2021

PERC solar cells - are they the best choice?

PERC is a technology that makes solar panels more efficient by adding extra layers to traditional silicon solar cells. Find out if they’re right for you.

The state of net metering in the United States in 2021

Ben Zientara

January 26, 2021

The state of net metering in the United States in 2021

This annual report ranks the states for friendliness to home solar based on their net metering programs.

How your utility company can make it harder to go solar

Ben Zientara

March 27, 2018

How your utility company can make it harder to go solar

Here are the ways utilities have increased costs for future solar owners: Utility strategy 1: Time-of-use billing. Utility strategy 2: Non-bypassable charges. Utility strategy 3: Demand and grid-access charges. Utility strategy 4: Increasing minimum month

Recycling solar panels: What happens when they no longer work?

Ben Zientara

April 13, 2018

Recycling solar panels: What happens when they no longer work?

Recycling solar panels: What happens when they no longer work?