Residential Solar Installation Basics
Homeowners starting the solar research process always ask, “How does solar work?” Solar electricity is simple to understand when you know the components of a solar electricity system and how solar panels interact with the utility grid. A Grid-tied solar electric system is comprised of three main components: the solar panel array, the inverter, and the bi-directional electricity meter.
- Solar panels are installed on your roof and absorb sunlight. As sunlight hits the panels, current is generated (the photovoltaic effect) and that electric current is sent to the inverter.
- The inverter converts the DC current from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is what homes use to power any systems, lights, appliances, electronics, etc.
- The inverter sends AC electricity to the electric panel and your home uses the solar power.
- If the solar system is producing more than the home is using at any point in the day, the inverter sends the excess electricity back to the electric grid via the bidirectional utility meter.
- Over the year, all excess electricity sent back to the grid is credited to your utility account. Whenever a home is using more electricity than your solar system is producing (like at night) you get to use your solar electricity credits first. This is called net metering.
- Homes with solar electricity move to an annual billing schedule, so that every month your electricity debits and credits are calculated. The policy governing the credit of solar electricity is called Net Metering. Net metering ensures that solar homes that produce excess solar electricity receive credit for each kWh that is fed back to the grid.
Benefits of Installing Solar Power
Once solar panels are installed on a home, solar energy truly offers a wide range of benefits for homeowners, the planet, and the future.
We all pay for electricity. The question is, “how much do you want to pay for your electricity?” Solar power systems offer a clean alternative to the electric utility. Whether you purchase your solar power system or use financing, homeowners save money by locking in an electricity rate at a lower price than the utility offers. Once the solar panels are operational, avoid future utility rate increases and see the solar savings grow year over year. To determine if home solar power will reduce your electricity rate, homeowners simply need to compare their current average electricity rate against the per kWh cost of solar.
The majority of California already pays the highest electricity rates in the nation, and these days, solar energy generation is normally less expensive. Moreover once the solar panels are operational, homeowners will avoid all future utility rate increases. With solar power, all the energy that the system will produce costs a fixed rate, and as energy prices inevitably rise, homeowners will see solar savings grow year-over-year.
Solar Improves Home Value
The US Department of Energy released a study in 2011 showing that installing solar power increases home value. This study looked at sales of solar homes over a 9 year period and concluded that for every annual dollar saved with solar adds $20 in home value. The homes surveyed had an average 3.1 kW solar electric system and these homes sold for approximately $17,000 more than comparable homes without solar. Homes with solar power are also more attractive to new home buyers because of the fixed electricity costs and a greener home.
Use Green Power
2013 marked a record day as the highest CO2 levels in the atmosphere were recorded at 440 PPM. At PetersenDean we know there is a better way. Our solar power installations save millions of gallons of fossil fuels every year. We take pride in delivering clean, renewable energy to our residential and commercial clients and are passionate about installing high quality solar power systems that will contribute to healthier planet and a sustainable future.
Support Jobs in Your Community
PetersenDean employees work and live in your community. PetersenDean has been installing roofs and solar power systems since 1984. When you choose PetersenDean as your contractor you will work with local teams, with a deep understanding of regional roofing and solar installation techniques and requirements.
Click our estimator above to generate a free solar estimate for your home, or call us directly at 1-800-564-0362 to speak with a PetersenDean representative.