State of the Solar Union, 2012

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On November 2nd, the Solar Foundation announced that the U.S. solar industry employs 119,016 Americans across all 50 states. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar jobs and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. During the same period, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that employment in the… read more

Dealing With Snow on Your Roof-Mounted Solar Panels

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During the winter months in parts of California, Colorado and the Northeast, snow buildup on your roof and your home solar panels is common. While snow will temporarily inhibit your home’s solar energy production, we do not recommend climbing ladders or getting on the roof to manually remove the snow from your panels. Getting up… read more

Combine EV and PV to Make the Sun Work Harder for You

When John G. of Oceanside, CA saw the chance to participate in the BMW ActiveE trial program, he jumped at the opportunity. “I’m not an environmentalist, but I am concerned about our dependence on fuel and how it’s impacting the environment. Electric vehicles make a point to shift away from fossil fuels,” he explained. According… read more

Community Solar in Charlotte, VT

Over the past year, solar photovoltaic projects in Charlotte have mostly prompted public outcry and instigated large legal bills. But there is one quiet project that is so positive from every angle that the people who put it up are showing the world that solar done right is good. The Ten Stones Solar Collective is… read more


It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world as these lowly organised(sic) creatures. CHARLES DARWIN on EARTHWORMS, 1881  Everyone’s heard of a back yard compost pile, but did you know you can create even richer compost if you let worms… read more

Sustainable Vacations Across the USA

It wasn’t long ago that the concept of ecotourism was limited to flower children and conservationists. Only over the last two decades, as humans’ impact on the planet’s climate and natural resources has become more apparent, has the notion of a sustainable vacation gained traction. While the exact definition of “ecotourism” varies across the organizations… read more

Real Goods Solar and BMW Partnership Provides Ultimate Green Experience

Real Goods Solar is thrilled to announce a partnership with BMW North America that will make the new, all-electric BMW ActiveE the ultimate green machine. ActiveE drivers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York can now get 35% off a home solar system from Real Goods Solar. The marriage of solar panels and… read more

Building Bottle Schools in Guatemala + Beyond

Imagine solving environmental, social, educational and financial problems for an impoverished community all at the same time and with one project. A project that truly realized those ambitious goals would need to identify a community in need and put that community’s people to work in addressing those needs – getting money circulating locally while producing… read more

87 Solar Myths eBook

Download the free 87 Solar Myths eBook today to get the dirt on common myths about solar power that are floating around out there and could be standing between you and renewable, affordable solar energy! Real Goods has been helping people go solar since 1978 and if there’s one company out there that’s qualified to… read more

Bike-Friendly Cities in the USA

How Do You Identify a Bike-Friendly City? One of the easiest, most fun ways to regulate your carbon footprint is to replace car travel with pedal power. Of course, bike commuting isn’t always realistic. Winter weather can certainly be a deterrent, and the bike-friendliness of your city makes a big difference. So what makes a… read more

State of the Solar Union, 2011

In an economy plagued by high unemployment and slow growth, the solar industry continues to experience healthy expansion with an optimistic future. A recent jobs census shows that the solar industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, double the number since 2009. This group is more than are employed in either steel production or coal mining (not including transportation and power… read more

Home Composting 101

Why and How to Begin Composting Home composting is one of the greenest things you can do because the benefits are twofold: a reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfills and the creation of rich organic, soil-stabilizing fertilizer. According to the EPA, yard trimmings and food waste make up 26% of municipal solid… read more

Ecovillages Across the USA

We sometimes get discouraged trying hard to live with a light ecological footprint but not seeing the same commitment to the Earth in others. Living sustainably is much easier and much more enjoyable with a support group of like-minded friends or family members who can reinforce the benefits of preserving the environment. Maybe you’ve already… read more

Colorado Springs’ First Solar Farm

For David Amster-Olszewski, it was a realized dream, attended by Governor John Hickenlooper and supported by the crowd of hundreds that turned out for the groundbreaking ceremony of his company’s first project. For RGS Energy (the commercial division of Real Goods Solar), it was approximately the 12,000th time mounting the first solar panel in an… read more

Grid-Tied Solar System Basics

Most of our customers’ solar installations are grid-tied, which means they are connected to the utility. The solar panels on their roof- or ground-mounted arrays collect energy from the sun and generate DC electricity, which is converted to AC electricity and used for their homes’ electricity needs. Any excess energy is fed through their utility… read more

Severe Weather and Your Solar Panels

With Hurricane Irene quickly approaching the Northeast, the team at Real Goods Solar (formerly Alteris Renewables) wanted to reassure customers that their photovoltaic systems were designed, engineered and installed to all applicable building codes and engineering standards for their location and environment. You do not need to take any extra measures to secure your solar… read more

Natural Pest Control

Pesticides are designed to kill. Designed to kill pests, yes — but anything that’s made to destroy living organisms is, well, poison. If you want a natural, green home, you probably don’t want anything like that hanging around your children, your pets, or your food or clothing. But what to do about pest control? The… read more

Green Home on a Budget

If you’re wondering how to be green, at first glance the answer might seem to be: Open your wallet. Organic foods, alternative fuel vehicles and items made from recycled materials all tend to cost more than their conventional counterparts. But the benefits of a green home often show up in less obvious ways than a… read more