Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ
1.How Does Solar Work?
Solar panels are made of highly excitable, conductive materials. When the sun’s rays hit the solar panels, the reaction creates direct current (DC) electricity.
Since most homes and businesses use alternating current (AC) electricity, your solar-generated DC energy will pass through an inverter to become AC electricity. Then it flows through your property’s wiring and behaves just like the power you’ve been using your whole life.
2.How Reliable Is Solar? Is it reliable enough to power my home or business?
The only time your solar panels stop generating electricity is when the sun’s not out. That means at night and during eclipses.
The sun is constant. It rises and sets pretty routinely. It’s more predictable and reliable than power plants, which often experience outages several thousand times every year.
Maybe that’s why the U.S. Department of Defense pledged to purchase 3 gigawatts of clean energy for its bases by 2025.
That’s renewable energy contributing power equivalent to nearly six coal plants!
This kind of recommendation seems to give people more trust in clean energy like solar power. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):
- There are currently more than 1.5 million residential solar systems in the U.S.
- One consumer makes the switch to residential solar every 90 seconds
Solar energy isn’t a passing fad. It’s the key to a future of lower electricity bills and a cleaner environment.
3.Do solar panels work with snow, rain, clouds?
Your solar panels don’t need sunshine, per se, to generate electricity as much as they need direct, unobstructed access to the sun’s UV rays.
Similar to how your skin still tans when it’s overcast outside, your solar panels will still generate electricity during cloudy, rainy, or snowy days — they just won’t produce as much energy as they do during clear days.
Solar panels do not generate electricity at night since the sun’s not out. This is when staying connected to the power grid comes in handy as you’ll still have electricity to Netflix and chill.
4.What is Net Metering?
You know how you have an electric meter on your property to record how much energy your home or business uses every month?
When you switch to solar energy, you’ll have an electric meter that works both ways:
- It will show the utility company how much energy you consume when your solar panels aren’t generating electricity (like at night)
- It will show how much energy your solar panels generated during the day
See, your solar panels will produce a lot of energy during the day when the sun’s the strongest. You most likely won’t use all this solar-generated power. Your excess solar energy will feed back to the grid and help supply power for the utility company.
Your utility company will pay for your solar-generated electricity by giving you credits to lower your monthly electricity bill.
So at the end of the month, you’ll only pay for the net amount of electricity.
Let’s say you banked $100 in solar energy credits and used $150 worth of electricity for the month. Instead of paying $150 like you normally would, you’ll only have to pay $50.
5.How much will I save going solar?
That depends on how much electricity your home or business uses, where you live, the rate your utility company charges for electricity, and several other factors.
Most solar providers aim to offset 70–90% of your monthly electricity bill, so that’s a good place to start your calculations.
6.How soon will I see a difference in my electric bills?
Your solar panels will start generating usable energy for your property the day they’re installed. Depending on when you receive your electric bill, you could start noticing lower bills the very first month.