Many solar system owners have immediately seen savings on their electric bill, and begin to take back control over their home energy needs. Ensure the safety of your home and family’s utility needs, lock in low electricity rates for the next 20 years before Net Energy Metering changes! There is no better time than now, not only do you save money, but give back to your pocket book when you receive solar incentives, (they wont last long act now before it is too late). Also giving back to the planet, running your own green energy station never felt better!
Below are answers to some common questions beyond the clear benefits to solar.
Q* How do solar panels generate electricity?
A* Solar photovoltaic panels produce electricity when light photons – particles of sunlight – strike a semiconductor material (made of silicon) in the solar cells of the panel. The solar panel then converts these photons into electrons of direct current (DC) power. The electrons flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter where the DC electricity (commonly used in batteries) transforms into alternating current (AC) power, readily available to be used within your home.
Q* Am I eligible to receive a tax credit for going solar?
A* There is currently a federal solar investment tax credit in place through December 31, 2016 which may qualify those purchasing a residential solar power system for a 30% tax credit (please note that Federal tax incentives are administered and governed solely by the federal government and Coastal Solar cannot guarantee the availability, amount, applicability or receipt of any such incentives).
Q* When I go solar, am I going off grid?
A* No. You will remain a customer of your current electricity provider, and the utility will continue to be responsible for maintaining power to your home. You’ll just be far less reliant on the utility-delivered power, since you’ll be generating your own solar energy! And, here’s the best part – you’ll be delivering any additional power that exceeds your usage back into the grid and potentially getting credit for it.
Q* What is a net meter?
A* A net meter is a utility meter that calculates the ‘net’ of the electricity that you use from the utility grid and the amount of electricity that you generate and feed into the utility grid. A net meter will spin forward if you are using more power than you are generating, and backward if you are generating more power than you are using. If the meter is spinning backward, you are contributing electricity generated in excess of your usage to the grid. Coastal Solar gains the necessary approvals from your participating utility in order to get your home set up for net metering.
Q* How am I compensated for power fed back in to the electricity grid?
A* Under AB 920 law in California, you receive a monetary payment for electricity generated by your solar power system (in excess of utility power used) after a twelve-month period from participating utilities including SCE, SDG&E, LADWP and PG&E.
Q* What happens if I generate more power than I use?
A* If over the course of a year you contribute more than you use, California utilities such as SCE, SDG&E, LADWP and PG&E may pay owners of solar powered homes for their excess electricity generation.
Q* What happens if I use more power than I generate?
A* Most solar energy systems are not designed to offset 100% of your energy usage, so you continue to receive electricity from the grid once your solar power system is installed and turned on. If you use more than you generate, you will pay your utility for that usage at the corresponding tier rate associated with such usage. Lower electricity usage is typically billed at lower rates per kilowatt-hour by your utility.
Q* What happens if there is a blackout?
A* If there is a blackout, your solar system for your home is designed to shut off. This is a precaution that allows your utility to safely resolve whatever issue has caused the blackout.
Q* Can I store electricity for my own use?
A* Currently, solar customers are connected to the electric utility grid, which is a reliable source for additional electricity required to power their homes as required. We continue to closely examine battery storage technologies to determine the costs and potential benefits for solar customers. We do have a preferred installer contract with reputable battery back up companies. Let us know at the time of estimate and we can quote with and with out back up.