The Benefits of Solar Power
Using renewable energy to power your home or business can lower your energy costs, add value to your property, and is a source of electricity that is free of harmful carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases.
Lower your monthly electric bill by making a well-informed choice to use renewable energy as a source of power. Thousands of Californians already rely on our most abundant natural resources—the sun—for generating their power while also taking advantage of the financial benefits. With energy costs continually rising, there has never been a better time to consider renewable energy. Financial benefits may include:
- Federal tax credits – 30% of the entire cost
- One of the largest Returns On Investment (ROI) available (avg 9-14%)
- Protection from the rising cost of utility power
- Increased property value (exempt from property tax increase)
- Increased salability of the property
- Secure investment – equipment has 25 year warrantees!
By using renewable energy you’ll dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Each solar kilowatt-hour (kWh) offsets more than a pound of carbon dioxide (CO2). For example, by installing a 4kw PV system, you can reduce the carbon emissions equal to driving more than 12,000 miles in the average passenger car.
Of course neighbors will be jealous and you will undoubtedly have to explain how much money you’ve saved to your friends and family.
State Statistics (From PGE.com): the total average cost of an installed residential PV system under the California Solar Initiative is $8.70 per Watt (including installation)
- Modules / Solar Panels
- Mounting Hardware
- Electrical Safety Equipment
There can be a lot of information to digest about Solar and how it works. The first thing to note is what most people think of as ‘Solar’, is more precisely named Photovoltaic – meaning, energy from light. This technology of gathering electrical energy from the sun was first developed in Bell Labs over a half-century ago, and is a trusted and reliable technology used by NASA and others.
Every day, light hits your roof’s solar panels with photons (particles of sunlight). A solar panel converts those photons into electrons of direct current (“DC”) electricity. The electrons flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter and other electrical safety devices. The inverter converts that “DC” power into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power is the kind of electricity that your house and appliances use.
All Grid-tied systems are comprised of Solar Modules (panels). An Inverter is used to modify the power from panels before the electricity can connect to your existing house wiring. All Solar components are securely mounted, engineered, and overseen by national standards.
A Net Energy Meter keeps track of the all the power your solar system produces. Any solar energy that you do not use simultaneous with production will go back into the electrical grid through the meter, affectionately called ‘spinning the meter backwards.’ You can carry your credits forwards for up to one year.
PV systems today can be blended easily into both traditional and nontraditional homes. Most Solar Panels are installed as an integrated system that is attached to your roof, or can also be a separate system, most often called Ground Mounts.
Sunlight Requirements For PV Systems
A photovoltaic (PV) system needs good access to the sun’s rays to be effective. The most common practice is to mount solar systems onto a south-facing roof, although western and eastern facing roofs are often more than adequate for producing power.
Shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output. Climate is not a major concern because PV systems are relatively unaffected by air temperatures, and snow cover typically melts quickly because panels are positioned directly into the sunlight. Abundant year-round sunshine makes solar energy systems useful and effective nearly everywhere in California.
The Size Of Your Solar PV System
The size of your solar system depends on several factors such as how much electricity you use, the size of your roof, how much you’re willing to invest, and how much energy you want to generate.
How Net Energy Metering Works
At any time of the day, your solar system may produce more electricity than they need for their home or business. When the system’s production exceeds your demand, the excess energy generation automatically goes through the electric meter into the utility grid, running the meter backwards to credit your account. At other times of the day, your electric demand may be higher than the renewable energy system is producing, and you relies on additional power needs from the utility. Switching between solar system’s power and the utility grid power is instantaneous – you will never notice any interruption in the flow of power.
These days, the question is not as much “if” you’ll go solar as it is “when” to do it and “who” should install this important energy-saving system for you.
With energy prices soaring and State rebates and Federal rebates now is the time to consider solar for your home.
Try to find a solar integrated roofing systems that out shine the conventional PV roof mounted systems. They are flush with and become part of the roof – no roof penetrations. Instead of a complex rack system with multiple roof penetrations which could increase the likelihood of a leak.
Most solar companies are not qualified roofers and often install flashings incorrectly and often over a roof that should be replaced. This means the entire solar system will need removal and reinstalled at future date with much cost. This defeats the purpose of the Solar system in the first place. Saving you money.
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