Because sunlight is abundant and inexhaustible, solar energy is a valuable renewable energy source that, when used in place of traditional fossil fuels, can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulate the economy.
By investing in a solar system, you can harness the sun’s energy to help power your home and may even be able to sell excess energy back to the grid. Solar is not an option for everyone, but if you own a home it’s easy and risk-free to determine if solar can be an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution to your energy needs. Ready to find out?
How Does a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System Work?
A solar PV system is a set of connected solar panels, or PV modules, that generate direct current (DC) electricity by absorbing energy directly from the sun.
Is it that simple? Almost! While these systems generate DC electricity, all of your household appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity. Therefore, the DC electricity from the panels must go into an inverter to convert it into AC electricity. Now it can be used by your house or goes back to the electric grid.
There are many factors that affect the productivity of your solar PV system, such as:
A qualified specialist will assess your property’s solar potential.
How much would this lower my electricity bill?
If your property is a good candidate for solar, the next thing to consider is whether it is a good investment. Let’s begin with a quick review of electricity basics:
Solar panels will generate different amounts of energy (measured in kWh) depending both on their power capacity (measured in kW) and how many hours the panels have ideal access to sunlight.
* Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
** Source: April 2011 report: “An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California” by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-4476e.pdf). The price premium for the average size installation in the study 3.1 kilowatts [kW]) was approximately $17,000.
1 Assumes that you have a solar array installed on your home and choose 100% renewable Green Mountain Energy® electricity to supplement the electricity your array generates
2 Subject to meeting credit eligibility
3 Request a free solar assessment now to receive your Solar Power System Lease document, which will include Performance Guarantee and Limited Warranty terms