Why Should I go Solar?
What are the financial benefits of solar energy?
When you decide to install a solar energy system on your home, it is important to consider the financial benefits. First, you will save money on your electricity bills and protect yourself against rising electricity rates in the future with the utility since you will be generating your own energy. Second, you may also be eligible for the 30% federal tax credit or other state and local rebates which all go right back in your wallet. This is a huge savings and should be one of the main reasons to go solar this year or next year while the federal tax credit is available.
Can I go off grid with solar panels?
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to receive electricity from the grid when your system is not producing all of the power that you need as well as providing your system with the ability to send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use. In order to go off the grid completely, you will need the proper battery storage which comes with its own expense and is not necessary for all homeowners. Please ask your sales representative to tell you more about battery storage options.
What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?
There are many environmental benefits of solar energy including reduction of greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels. Traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases which are the primary cause of air pollution and global warming. Fossil fuels are bad for the environment and our budgets as energy prices have the ability to increase dramatically and as a utility customer, we just simply have to pay the bill. As a solar energy generator, you have much more control over your energy costs.
Does having a solar system increase my property value?
If you purchase instead of lease your solar system, this increases your property value as you have an energy generating asset that you have added which will have a significant value to home, you and the next homeowner. This is an important factor in going solar.
Will I reduce my electricity bill by going solar?
Yes, going solar can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electric bill so that electricity costs are no longer an expense in your household budget. How much you save will depend on the size and energy output of your system and what you could be paying alternatively to your utility. The real savings are the costs you are avoiding paying the utility by going solar and with electricity prices rising, your savings by going solar will continue to grow.
Is my house suitable for solar?
Does my roof get enough sunlight?
Solar panels need unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. Climate is not really a concern, because solar systems are relatively unaffected by severe weather. In fact, some PV modules actually work better in colder weather. Most PV modules are angled to catch the sun’s rays, so any snow that collects on them usually melts quickly. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in California.
Do I need to replace my roof before installing solar?
It can be costly to remove a solar panel system and reinstall it so if you think or know you need some roof work done, it would be beneficial to do it before the solar panels are installed. Our team of professionals can help you with roofing options as well.
Is my roof suitable for solar panels?
Roofs that have a good amount of space, are south facing with little to no shade are ideal for solar. Our professional team will help you determine how much space can be used on your roof for panels and the energy output for that system.
How Does Solar Work?
Do solar panels work in a blackout?
Any system that is connected to the grid will shut off if there is a blackout. There are inverters and battery systems that can be installed to provide backup power if necessary. If you are not connected to the grid, you will not experience any loss of electricity.
What can solar do for my home?
Solar power can be used to power your entire home’s electrical systems, including lights, cooling systems and appliances. Solar systems today can be blended easily into both traditional and nontraditional homes. The most common practice is to mount modules onto a south-facing roof or wall. For an additional aesthetic appeal, some modules resemble traditional roof shingles.
How long do solar systems last?
A solar system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic solar module (interconnected, enclosed panel of solar cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your solar system is by having it installed professionally.
What are the components of a solar system?
Solar systems are made up of different components. These include solar modules (groups of solar cells) which are called solar panels, one or more batteries, a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system along with an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system. Also, when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required there may be some wiring and mounting hardware or a framework.
What is photovoltaics (solar electricity) or “PV”?
What do we mean by photovoltaics? The word itself helps to explain how photovoltaic (PV) or solar electric technologies work. First used in about 1890, the word has two parts: photo, a stem derived from the Greek phos, which means light, and volt, a measurement unit named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. So, photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. And that’s just what photovoltaic materials and devices do; they convert light energy to electricity, as Edmond Becquerel and others discovered in the 18th Century.
How can we get electricity from the sun?
When certain semiconducting materials, such as certain kinds of silicon, are exposed to sunlight, they release small amounts of electricity. This process is known as the photoelectric effect. The photoelectric effect refers to the emission, or ejection, of electrons from the surface of a metal in response to light. It is the basic physical process in which a solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) cell converts sunlight to electricity.
Sunlight is made up of photons, or particles of solar energy. Photons contain various amounts of energy, corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a PV cell, they may be reflected or absorbed, or they may pass right through. Only the absorbed photons generate electricity. When this happens, the energy of the photon is transferred to an electron in an atom of the PV cell (which is actually a semiconductor).
With its newfound energy, the electron escapes from its normal position in an atom of the semiconductor material and becomes part of the current in an electrical circuit. By leaving its position, the electron causes a hole to form. Special electrical properties of the PV cell—a built-in electric field—provide the voltage needed to drive the current through an external load (such as a light bulb).
What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?
A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.
How long do photovoltaic (PV) systems last?
A PV system that is designed, installed, and maintained well will operate for more than 20 years. The basic PV module (interconnected, enclosed panel of PV cells) has no moving parts and can last more than 30 years. The best way to ensure and extend the life and effectiveness of your PV system is by having it installed and maintained properly. Experience has shown that most problems occur because of poor or sloppy system installation.
Can I use photovoltaics (PV) to power my home?
PV can be used to power your entire home’s electrical systems, including lights, cooling systems, and appliances. PV systems today can be blended easily into both traditional and nontraditional homes. The most common practice is to mount modules onto a south-facing roof or wall. For an additional aesthetic appeal, some modules resemble traditional roof shingles
How do I know if I have enough sunlight for PV?
A photovoltaic (PV) system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most or all of the day. Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. Climate is not really a concern, because PV systems are relatively unaffected by severe weather. In fact, some PV modules actually work better in colder weather. Most PV modules are angled to catch the sun’s rays, so any snow that collects on them usually melts quickly. There is enough sunlight to make solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in California.
How big a solar energy system do I need?
The size of solar system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity or hot water or space heat you use, how, the size of your roof, and how much you’re willing to invest. Also, do you want the system to supply your complete energy usage or to supplant a portion of your higher cost energy usage? You can contact a system designer/installer to determine what type of system would suit your needs.
Why should I purchase a PV system?
People decide to buy solar energy systems for a variety of reasons. For example, some individuals buy solar products to preserve the Earth’s finite fossil-fuel resources and to reduce air pollution. Others would rather spend their money on an energy-producing improvement to their property than send their money to a utility. Some people like the security of reducing the amount of electricity they buy from their utility, because it makes them less vulnerable to future increases in the price of electricity.
If it’s designed correctly, a solar system might be able to provide power during a utility power outage, thereby adding power reliability to your home. Finally, some individuals live in areas where the cost of extending power lines to their home is more expensive than buying a solar energy system.
What is net metering? And why is it so important?
Most solar panel systems are hooked up to the municipal electricity grid, and are therefore called “grid-tied” systems.
Net metering ensures that the local utility will purchase any excess electricity that you produce. This excess electricity is commonly referred to as net excess generation, or NEG for short.
PV systems create real value in this way by offsetting your monthly electricity bill
Will the utility pay me for generating excess electricity?
You will have a credit on your bill when you are generating more than you are using but that credit will only be carried forward for a year. After that, the utility will not issue a check for the excess electricity, which is why we design system to match your electricity usage.