Solar panels harness the power of the sun to produce electricity for your home. In order to generate energy, the panels follow this process:
- Sunlight hits the panels, causing photons and electrons to interact, which creates an electrical current.
- The electrical current flows from the panels to your solar inverter, which converts the energy generated from your panels into usable energy for your home.
- The energy flows from the inverter to your breaker box, which circulates the energy throughout your home.
- Any unused energy flows back to your utility meter and remains available for consumption. Depending on your jurisdiction, this excess energy often also can be used for net metering purposes, meaning it can be sent back to the grid and used to earn energy credits on your next electric bill.
Benefits Of Solar In Raleigh
There are plenty of reasons to consider solar panels for your Raleigh-area home. Beyond the potential financial benefits, there are environmental factors and the potential for a major return on your investment.
- Own Your Power — Protect your family from rising energy costs by owning your power and setting up your home to be less reliant on the grid. Producing your own power means fewer worries about constantly rising utility prices.
- Potentially Reduce Your Electric Bill — By generating your own power, your solar panels can potentially save you thousands of dollars on your electric bills over the years.
- Qualify For Federal Tax Credit — Homeowners can currently claim a federal tax credit of up to 26% for installing solar panels on their property.5
- Potentially Increase Your Property’s Value — As more people choose solar, people see the potential in having lower electric bills. Studies show that solar can increase your home’s value, allowing you to potentially get an increased return on investment if you choose to sell your home.
- Reduce Your Carbon Footprint — Solar energy is a clean alternative to fossil fuels that can easily reduce your carbon footprint and allow you to do your part for our planet.
What Happens To Excess Solar Energy?
During certain times of day, it’s possible that your solar panels will produce more energy than you need. If you don’t use all of the energy that your system produces, there are a couple of ways it can be put to use.
Store excess energy in a backup battery.3
If your panels produce excess energy, the extra power can be stored in your battery backup to be used in the event of a grid power outage or at night when your panels are not producing any electricity. In addition, the stored energy can fill the gaps when your home’s solar panels are not producing at full capacity.
Use excess energy via net metering.
Net metering is the process of sending extra energy that your solar panels produce back to the grid in exchange for credits on future electric bills. If your panels produce extra energy, you can be credited for the energy you sell back (often at a 1-to-1 ratio), meaning that you sell it back at the same price you would buy it. This is a great incentive for using solar energy, but it’s important to note that some utility companies do not offer net metering. Availability, excess credits and other requirements vary by area and utility providers.