Information on Going Solar

Basic Information about ‘Going Solar’

The idea of ‘going Solar’ is incredibly intriguing to most people but until we become more comfortable with understanding the technology, many of us will continue to pay utility companies the ever-growing costs for our electricity. Here are some interesting things to know about ‘going solar’:

  • You can calculate how much solar energy your home will need by simply looking at your utility bill.
  • You can choose to supplement your power needs or go “off the grid” completely.
  • Your numbers will help you determine what size PV (photovoltaic) modules you will need. Photovoltaic is the method most all solar cells use to convert sunlight to energy.
  • Night time darkness and cloudy days reduce the amount of “insulation”. Most people will opt for a battery storage system to supplement these uncontrollable sunlight reduction factors.
  • If your system generates more power than you need, many utility companies will buy any excess back.
  • All systems must be inspected by your local utility company to ensure that it is safe for their linemen. They must be guaranteed that during a power outage, your system was installed properly and that it will have no power running through the lines.
  • All in, solar panel systems can cost between $30,000 and $50,000. This is a costly up-front expense. But don’t forget that cost will be offset against what you would have paid for electricity over your lifetime, the ever-rising cost of electricity, the nice tax credits that are now available AND the improved systems that are coming down in price.

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