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How does solar power work?
A solar energy system creates usable power from sunshine. There are two basic kinds of systems: Photovoltaic or PV uses sunlight to generate electricity. It’s the same technology found on pocket calculators, just on a larger scale. PV systems can be designed to generate the majority of the electricity used in your home, or just a portion of it.
Thermal solar uses sunlight to heat water. Typically this is used for a home’s hot-water supply. A well-designed thermal system can be extremely effective, and provide most of the hot water used in your home. Both let you do your part towards reducing greenhouse gases and improving the environment.
Does solar only work on warm and sunny days?
Solar systems work even when it’s cloudy. For instance, Germany isn’t known for being a warm and sunny place but its solar power plants produce between 20-30% of all its energy daily. Clouds don’t stop the solar UV rays from getting through and power production from Photovoltaic solar panels actually works most efficiently in colder temperatures.
What regular maintenance do I need to do?
With systems that we recommend, very little. PV systems are inherently very low-maintenance, requiring the system owner only to wash the solar modules down with water when they get dirty so light can get through.
How much does solar cost?
The cost of solar depends on the size system you need to produce the power that you use in your home, which will save you money by not paying the utility company on the electricity that you produce. Usually the pay back on the solar system is much less than paying your utility bill and your investment return on your money is far better than you would receive, having your money sitting in your financial institution, or bank.
Are there still federal tax credits?
Yes there are still federal tax credits, 30% on the cost of your system. Our team will help you identify the programs, rebates and credits you are eligible for.
Are there still state rebates?
Yes there are still state rebates, only for a limited time. Reserve your rebates now to participate in this state rebate program. Our team will help you identify the programs, rebates and credits you are eligible for.
How much can I save on my electric bill?
Depending on the size of the system you install on your home you can basically have no electric bill if that is your goal. If you over produce electricity that you don’t need, your utility company has to pay you the electricity that you over produce.
Related links and resources:
- Pacific Gas and Electric solar information
- Southern Cal Edison solar information
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Solar radiation in your area
- California Solar website discussing rebate programs and current events
- California Energy Commission PV Systems Design and Installation Guide
- Equipment to analyze shading impact on the system
- Government website explaining all federal rebate / incentive programs
- Solar lobbying website covering all the recent new
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
- Treasury Department discussing the 30% tax credit / cash grant