Another pro to owning a solar array is net-metering. Through net-metering, solar array owners can feed excess electricity onto the local utility grid and then be credited back the excess energy created for energy you consume when the sun isn't shining. For example, lets say on Monday and Tuesday a system owner generated 50 kWh's of electricity but only used 34 kWh's. Then on Wednesday it was cloudy and the system only generated 9 kWh's but the system owner used 25 kWh's. The system owner has a net energy bill of 0 kWh's because of the excess electricity generated on Monday and Tuesday.
Think of the local utility grid as a battery, it stores energy generated by your system for use when the sun isn't shining.
Net-metering is mandated state-wide but not all utilities have the same policies and requirements. Contact Dixon Power Systems today and let's see what your utility wants before going solar!
Monday & Tuesday ---- 50 kWh generated - 34 kWh used = 16 kWh credit
Wednesday ---- 16 kWh credit + 9 kWh generated - 25 kWh used = 0 kWh
When considering solar for your home or business, we at Dixon Power Systems, feel it's important the customer understands the basic aspects of how solar energy operates. First , solar arrays need generous access to sunlight. Think 9 am to 3 pm, if you have roof or ground space large enough to accomodate an array with no shading during this time, then you probably have a good solar window. Minimal shading can be dealt with but for simplicity sake, you want full access to the sun. Second, with a basic grid tie system as seen above, it's important to understand these systems depend on the local utility grid to operate. If a power outage with the local utility occurs, the inverter will shut your system off and you will be without electricity to your home. This is a function mandated to protect utility workers from un-expected electrocution due to the energy generated from the array that back feeds the line. If you require or want electricity when the local utility is down, then you will need a battery bank with your system. See our Battery Back-up page for more information on battery based solar.
Solar and Net-Metering
In addition to generating your own electricty, renewable energies are eligible for a number of incentives at both the local and federal level. Including a 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit! Learn more here
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a great tool for finding what incentives apply to your project, it can be found at www.dsireusa.org
Also, check out our resources page for more links to great information on renewable energy!