The sun creates solar radiation, which solar panels convert into Direct Current (DC) electricity. The electrical/Utility Grid, along with your home, runs off of Alternating Current (AC). To convert the direct current (DC that solar panels create) to alternating current (AC), there is an inverter system accepted by all utilities. The AC electricity is distributed directly to your electrical panel where the power created is distributed through your house as it is needed. If you don’t utilize the electricity created, it runs through your utility meter and spins it backward (similarly to a deposit in a checking account) and you receive credit for it via “net metering”.
If you have any tax liability (have to pay any taxes), you are eligible for a dollar for dollar federal tax credit, which pays for one-third or 30 percent of the cost of a solar system. So you have the choice of paying tax to Uncle Sam or using this money to pay for your personal solar electric system (free money). Most solar electric system components last/produce electricity for 30 to 40 years, and solar panel manufactures offer a 25-year warranty on their product. Further, if you select a reputable solar installation company/contractor, they will stand behind the system and their craftsmanship for 25 years as well. The average payoff for a solar electric system is five to seven years.
The cost of solar electricity is low and fixed (insulates you from utility and inflation increases). Solar electricity produces an average of a 10 to 15 percent return on cash invested.
Solar electric systems absolutely increase the value of a home and (in most places) does not increase your property taxes like other home improvements do. Multiple studies have been conducted (one by the University of California at Berkeley) and have reported that a home with a solar electric system versus a home without one sells for an average of $5.50 per installed watt. So an average sized system (5kW) can help your home sell for an additional $27,500.00.
The cost of your solar investment will vary greatly depending on the size of the system, your location and available incentives. To find out how a DC Solar Electric system can change your electric bill, schedule your free solar consultation with a DC Solar Electric representative.
Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically $100/yr.) to remain connected to the electrical grid.
Currently, most of America is under a system known as Net Metering, which allows your net electricity costs to be reduced to zero and may often produce a credit from your utility provider.
How does snow affect a solar system’s performance? While snow will decrease production it is on your panels, it should not damage your system when designed and installed properly. Given the angle of the panels and their tendency to produce some heat, the snow will fall off your panels faster than it would fall off your roof, quickly returning your system to its full potential.
Does a DC Solar Electric system require maintenance? With no moving parts and at least a 30 year expected life-span, DC Solar Electric solar panels require very little maintenance. In fact, their design ensures that they remain relatively clean as long as they are exposed to rain or a quick rinse with a garden hose every few months.