Residential Solar Power Solutions
By the end of 2018, there will be nearly 2 million solar installations throughout the U.S., generating enough energy to power more than 9.5 million homes. You heard that right. Solar actually generates more power than most homes need. This is what allows so many homeowners to be completely free from electricity bills, and in some cases, even receive a check from the electric company in exchange for their excess power.
Here’s what you need to know about getting started with residential solar power systems.
How Much Power Do You Need?
A common concern among homeowners considering solar is that they won’t produce enough energy to power “all the stuff.” A legitimate concern considering the average house size in the U.S. is now more than 2,600 sq ft, up from 1,600 sq ft in the 1970s.
However, two things have occurred during the past 40 years: homes are more energy-efficient in many ways, from better insulating building materials to appliances that use less electricity and solar panels are more efficient. While the size of solar panels hasn’t increased, their power rating has. These factors mean that most homeowners can produce more than enough energy, often with fewer panels than they realize.
Homes that have the highest power bills are the ones that benefit most from solar; meaning, they will see a return on their investment – the system will pay for itself in saved power bills much quicker.
Is Your Home A Good Fit For Solar?
In addition to your electricity bill and energy needs, we look at several factors to determine if your home is a good fit for solar. In almost all cases, any home can accommodate some level of solar panels, even if just enough to offset utility costs.
Do you have a South-facing roof?
Southern exposure receives the most amount of sun throughout the day, but today’s high-efficient solar panels can usually capture a sufficient amount of sun from East and West-facing roofs as well.
Is your roof shaded?
While full sun is ideal, solar panels can still work if there is some partial shading throughout the day. If your home is completely enclosed under a canopy of trees, however, you would need to do some trimming to make solar work for your home.
What material is your roof made of?
Solar panels are the easiest – and most affordable – when installed on composite shingle roofing. However, solar can still be installed on other roofing materials, such as metal, slate, and Spanish tile; it just requires special mounting equipment.
What To Expect When Switching To Solar
Call (866) 425-9077 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. A Solarize U.S. solar specialist will come to your home, survey the roof, and assess your energy needs.
We will then provide you with options and costs based on your needs and budget. For example, top-rated, super-efficient panels are the most expensive, but you need fewer of them, making them ideal for smaller homes or limited roof space. Less-efficient panels are also less expensive, but require a larger roof space as more panels are needed to produce the same amount of energy. Your Solarize U.S. will help you understand the options and select the best system for your needs.
Next, our team of expert installers will place the system on your roof and discuss technical details and maintenance. A net meter is installed, which allows power to transfer to and from “the grid.” The net meter transfers excess power to the grid, basically storing it for a “rainy day” to ensure you have power when the sun isn’t shining. This is also how some homeowners are able to have excess, unused power to the grid.
Best of all, you pay $0 until the installation is complete!
How Solar Power Is Converted To Electricity
While the science behind harnessing solar power is complex, the important thing to understand is that the equipment on your roof effectively collects sun from the energy, called photons, and converts it to the type of electricity used in your home: alternating current (AC) electricity, which utilizes electrons.
1. The panels produce DC power whenever the sun shines on them
2. The Inverter converts the DC current from the panels to AC current for your home.
3. The produced AC power is then used to power your home.
4. A net meter monitors excess power sent to the grid, which powers the home when the sun isn’t shining. This is what also allows some homeowners to “sell” excess power to the grid.