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How Solar Works

Powering Your Home With Sunlight

Clean Energy

Energy Costs

Power Rates

The Basics of
Home Solar Energy

Most people have basic knowledge of how solar panels work, but not as many people understand how they can benefit from them. Here’s a crash-course on home solar power, and how it can help you save thousands of dollars in energy costs.

Traditional Power and
Electric Utilities

Most of the power used in homes across the U.S. is delivered through a massive network of generators, wires, and stations. This network is called “the grid”. The grid is usually owned by large corporations, which are sometimes regulated by state and local governments. If you own a house, chances are these corporations send you a bill every month for the power you use.

Grid Power

As a grid power consumer, you can control how much power you use, but not the price of your power, or when that price may change.

Solar Power

With solar, your system will produce clean power that you’ll either use immediately, feed into the power grid, or store in a battery. A home solar system gives you more control over the price you pay for the power you use.

Is Your Home a Good Fit for Solar?

Every home is different. With some basic information about your home and power usage, we can tell you if a solar system is the right choice for your home.

Home Solar Systems

When a solar system is installed on your home, attractive, low-profile solar panels are attached to your roof. Your home becomes its own small-scale power generation plant, and you eliminate the need to buy most of your power from the power utility. Any extra power your system produces is put back onto the grid and sold to your neighbors, and you get energy credits applied to your account.

Net Energy Metering
(NEM) Explained

A critical component to residential solar systems is the Net Energy Meter. A Net Energy Meter doesn’t look much different than the meter you have now, but it’s capable of running in both directions. You’re able to pull power from the grid, as well as put power back onto the grid. Your utility then credits your account for excess energy produced. These credits are then used by you at a later time. It’s all automatically monitored, so there’s nothing you need to figure out or do.

Pulling It All Together

As power is produced by your solar panels, it travels into a power inverter which converts the electricity into a usable form. Your own power needs are met first, and if excess electricity is available, it goes back onto the grid through your Net Energy Meter. This meter keeps track of how much energy the utility owes you in return. If your system is producing less power than what you need, you still have the connection to the grid to draw power as needed, and rather than paying the going rate for it, you use the credits you’ve built up first. This is particularly useful to avoid peak-time rates during those hot summer months.

Solar + NEM = a Better Way to Power Your Home

Solar + NEW = a Better Way to
Power Your Home

Solar panels produce the most power during the time of year when demand and rates are at their highest. People with solar homes enjoy lower energy rates year-round, and only buy power from their utility companies at the lowest rates, if they buy any at all.

Avoid High Summertime Power Rates

You can stop being charged higher rates during the summer months when your A/C is on and you need the power most. The best solar production happens when the days get longer.

Avoid Peak Time Rates

Stop paying more for power you use just because it’s the middle of the day. Solar panels produce the most power mid-day when the sun is high in the sky.

Use Credits First

Your energy credits are like currency! Use them first, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for peak season and time-of-day usage.

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