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Solar electric or PV panels convert sunlight to electricity by a process called the “photovoltaic effect.”
In a grid-tied solar system, electricity generated can be used in the home or sent back to the utility company and credited to your account. This process is called “net metering” and reduces your electric bills according to how much energy your system has generated.
In North Carolina you also have the option to enter into a “sell all” agreement with the utility company in which they purchase the energy you produce at current rates of about 10 cents per kwh. A “sell all” agreement will pay you directly but will not reduce your electric bills. Another option is to install a grid tied PV system with energy storage and program the inverter to "zero export" to the grid. This necessary when your utility doesn't allow net metering. Any energy produced by your inverter is either consumed by the home or stored in a battery for later. Sun Dollar Energy will help you determine which option is most suitable for your home based on your individual needs during your consultation.
You may also be interested in having off grid capability in the event of a power outage. A grid-tied pv system with battery back is dual purpose. When the utility grid is up and in working order the solar panels off-set your usage, reducing or eliminating your electric bill. When the grid goes down as can happen during a storm, service failure or natural disaster, your system’s battery bank kicks in to provide reliable power for you and your family. A generator will only get you through a few hours or days before you need to refuel. A grid tied PV system with battery back up, if properly sized, can meet your critical energy needs for years with only solar power.
Not all homes are good for solar because there could be too many trees or the roof may be pitched too steeply in an east-west direction. When you request a quote from Sun Dollar Energy the first thing we will do is look at a satellite picture of your home to prequalify you. Then we will answer any questions you have and give you a rough price estimate all by phone. A southern facing roof is optimal because it receives direct solar radiation all day long. Trees on the property have to be far enough away from the roof so that in the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, your roof is not shaded. As a general rule of thumb, you want your roof to receive sun from 9am to 3pm all year round. A roof that is pitched east-west and not very steep can still be good for solar provided there is no tree cover.
NABCEP Certified PV Installer # 032611-183 Dan Lezama is qualified to install traditional on-grid PV systems and also more complicated off-grid PV systems requiring battery back up. Are you ready to start generating your own clean renewable electricity? Are you interested in taking your home off the grid? We can help you with that!
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is the “gold standard” for PV and solar heating installation certification. Designed to raise industry standards and promote consumer confidence, NABCEP offers certification and certificate programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America.
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