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If you're like most people, you know that solar panels are great for the environment, but you haven't really looked into how they actually work.  This page is dedicated to giving you a crash-course on all things solar and how it can help you save thousands of dollars in energy costs!

Climbing on Power Pole
Shadow electricians repairing wire on electric power pole at the sunsetbackground

Traditional Power and
Electric Utilities

The power we use at home is delivered through a massive network of generators, wires, and stations.  This network is called "the grid".  The grid is most often owned by large corporations that are regulated by state and local governments.  The power you use every month is sold to you at whatever rate they choose!  The incredible thing about solar is that YOU become the BIG BOSS of your power.

Solar Panel Photovoltaic installation on a Roof, alternative electricity source - Concept

Home Solar Systems

A solar system is an exciting way to reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously saving money on your electricity.  Your home becomes its own small-scale power generation plant, and you eliminate the need to buy the majority of your power from the power utility.  Any extra power your system produces is put back into the grid and sold to your neighbors, while you get energy credits applied to your account.

Solar Panel Photovoltaic installation on a Roof, alternative electricity source - Concept
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Net Energy Metering
(NEM) Explained

Net Energy Meters are a critical component to residential solar systems.  They allow homeowners to "pull" power from the grid, as well as "put power back" into it.  Your utility company then credits your account for the excess energy produced; these credits are then used by you at a later time.  It's all automatically monitored - so there's nothing you need to figure out or do!

Pulling It All Together

Your solar system is linked to your utility grid.  As your solar panels convert the sun's energy and produce power, it then travels into a power inverter which converts the electricity into a usable form of energy.  Your own power needs are met first, and if excess electricity is available, it goes back into the grid through your Net Energy Meter.  The meter tracks how much energy the utility owes you in the form of kilowatt hours (KWH).  If your system is producing less power than what your needs are, you have the connection to the grid to draw power as needed.  Because you've built up credits, you'll be able to use those first rather than paying the going rate (whatever they choose) for it!  This is particularly useful in avoiding peak-time rates (yes, they charge more during the peak seasons) during those hot summer months.

Black solar panels on roof of home. Electricity reduced from high quality black solar pane

Solar + NEM =
a Better Way to
Power Your Home

Solar panels produce the most power during the time of year when demand and rates are at their highest. People with solar homes enjoy lower energy rates year-round, and only buy power from their utility companies at the lowest rates, if they buy any at all!

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