Menu

FREE Solar Calculator

Find out how much you'll save.

Get started here with everything you need to begin.

Get Started
Free Local help

Looking for more information from a local expert?

Get a FREE quote from pre-screened, licensed and insured installers.

Get Started

Harnessing Solar Energy in Solar Electric Power Systems

Benefits of Photovoltaic PV Panel-Based Electric Solar Power Systems for Residences

If you like the thought of contributing to the efforts of making the earth a better place to live and you like saving money, you’ll love solar energy. There are a myriad of great reasons to install a photovoltaic solar power generation system in your home or commercial building, and here are a just a few.

  • A solar energy system adds to your property value without adding any tax liability.
  • Home based solar power is a quiet, nearly maintenance free, continuous source of electricity.
  • Solar electric systems reduce pollution and CO2 emissions by generating electrical power using radiant Sun light that can replace electricity that comes from coal fired electrical plants.
  • Many states including California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and Arizona offer $0 down installation plans that immediately lower your electric bill and cost nothing to install or maintain.

The average price of a solar panel has declined by 70% since the beginning of 2011.*

Solar power systems generate electricity at peak power usage times (during the day) when the value and cost of electricity is the highest. Modern grid-tied home solar power systems can use the cheap rate grid power at night and reduce or eliminate the need for the high rate electrical power during the day. Home-owners can actually push power back into the electrical grid during the day and run their meters backwards which is generates energy credits and even capital. Imagine your electric company sending you a check every month instead of a bill! Sounds too good to be true? It happens every day in America.

Sizing Solar Electric Power Systems for Homes

Calculating the ROI of Home Solar Power

The cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system has come down dramatically in the past few years. Where a suitable system from 1998 would have costs around $12 per watt of energy produced, the costs are typically less than $3 per watt installed. This dramatic drop in cost makes modern solar electric power systems far more available and accessible for the average home-owner. When tax credits from federal and state incentive programs are considered, the energy savings and profit potential are impossible to ignore.

Solar electricity is no longer a fringe idea. With photoelectric solar cells and a complete photovoltaic power system, your household can easily reduce the electricity consumption needed from the grid and can literally reverse the spin of your electrical meter by generating more energy than the amount you are consuming. As a home-owner, consider the increased value to your investment and imagine the joy you’ll feel watching your meter spin backwards knowing that your home is passively making money. Many home-owners with modern solar electric systems receive a check instead of an electric bill every month. Why don’t you?

To calculate the return on your investment or figure out the appropriate size solar system you’ll need to eliminate your electric bill, use this simple calculator. To be sure, call (989) 660-1290 or fill out this form request quotes from several pre-screened, local solar installers that will happily come to your home or business to look at your exact situation and advise you regarding installation options, the amount of electricity you can expect to generate from your roof and any available tax savings, leasing programs, government rebates and incentives in your area.

Modern Solar PV Panel Power Generation Tech

We are constantly seeing new breakthrough tech in photovoltaic solar power systems as scientists continue to create more efficient panels and components.

However, even with all the research and development in the solar industry, one thing is for certain, solar panels are the best way for home-owners to create electricity simply and efficiently. Regardless of the myriad of technological advances, solar panels will remain the primary component of home solar energy production systems for the foreseeable future. There will always be various different types of photovoltaic cells being developed in an effort to improve efficiency and production costs, but the modern solar panels are amazing. Today's solar photovoltaic systems are light years ahead of the early designs with often haphazard set-ups. Modern solar power systems use a method of sun exposure to generate electricity via semiconductors. Simple, direct exposure to the sun and its heat generates electrons that are then captured into the solar system and transformed into usable electricity. This same basic design is used for tasks as small as charging your mobile phone to as large the system needed to entirely power all of the appliances in your home.

Long gone are the days of the extremely expensive and relatively inefficient solar panel in the 1970s. Fortunately for us, the US government spent a small fortune to purchase and manufacture a massive amount of these early and inefficient panels for use by the military. This huge order jump started the entire industry and paid for the lion share of the research and development to get to where we are today. Now most any home-owner can afford solar panels that are so efficient they can even generate passive income right from your roof. If you install a large system and use less power than your photovoltaic system produces, you can get paid for the unused electricity by your local utility company. Imagine, instead of seeing a bill every month from your electric company, getting a check instead!

Solar panel systems are a fantastic investment whether or not you intent to sell your home or stay because they last so long. Modern solar panels last at least 25 years and it’s hard to know how long they will really last because the ones built in the 1990s are still producing power. Current model panels are built to last even longer. It is typically recommended that you start with an appropriate size solar power system to eliminate your electric bill. However, modern systems allow simple additions to grow your power production whenever you want to expand which allows you the freedom to build out your system further as your budget allows. Please contact us for a free, no-pressure on-site evaluation and quote from local, pre-screened, licensed and insured solar power system installers.

How Solar Energy System Leasing Works

Leasing Solar Power, PV Solar Panel Systems for Home Electric Power

The draw? No upfront cost! Total cost of installation to you is $0. Total cost of maintenance and insurance for the system, also $0. You can immediately starts saving money on your energy bills and most leasing plans include the insurance. They provide all of the equipment, complete the installation and take care of any and all necessary maintenance. If you live in a high power cost area, these companies are essentially willing to rent the sunny parts of your roof from you. They cover all of the costs involved, you save on or eliminate your electric bill and they profit over the long term buy pushing the excess back into the grid at the peak usage times (during the day) when the energy rates are the highest.

“This $17 billion industry is on track to double again in five years, and we believe that the 2020s will be the decade that solar becomes the dominant new form of energy generation.” **

All of the following states have attractive solar leasing options: California, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Solar leasing partnerships are particularly popular across California and especially in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno and Orange County.

State and Federal Tax and Utility Company Solar Rebates and Incentives

Let’s be real, the solar leasing company is offering you this deal because they are making money in high energy cost areas by selling the excess power generated on your roof by the Sun. It's brilliant!

Do you want to share all that power? If you want to a check from your utility company instead of a bill, you’ll want to own your solar energy system. You already own the roof, then you can likely receive state and federal tax benefits and savings that will offset a large part of the cost. Ask your tax advisor or get free quotes from pre-screened, licensed and insured solar power installers that can personally walk you through available tax incentives in your area.Then you’ll have on-site inspections and up to four detailed quotes including all of the information you’ll need to take to your tax advisor. You may be surprised to find out that the installation companies and installers can often steer you in the right direction to apply for little-known incentives and rebates in your area.

Alternative power generation is the future and America is investing in solar energy. Savings of 30-50% of the total installation costs through reduced tax liability and rebates are common. The incentives are especially aggressive the high cost power states. Specifically California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Maryland, Arizona and Nevada.

Home Solar Power and PV Panel Tips

Solar power panels must be mounted on a solid structure and face east, west, or south. All photovoltaic panels must have little or no shade from trees and other buildings.

The most common method of installation is to mount the panels to the roof with a standard slope. Solar panels can be mounted on a flat roof however the installation requires additional expertise that may add a little to the cost. The solar panels can be mounted to a pole if tree cover is an issue, but the ideal situation is to mount them to the sunny side of your roof or if you have some available open space, ground mounted systems are common and affordable as well.

Fortunately solar panels require almost no maintenance as a normal amount of wind and rain is all that is typically required to keep the panels operating at near 100% of their rated efficiency. The system does continue to generate power during inclement weather albeit at a slightly lower rate during the actual rain. Solar panels do not generate any electricity while they are covered in snow, however because the panels are strategically placed in areas of the highest available sunlight, snow tends to melt quickly with no maintenance required from the home-owner. Modern solar panels are manufactured to withstand lighting strikes, high winds and hail up to nearly an inch.

Photovoltaic solar modules, commonly referred to as “solar panels,” are the main collection devices in a renewable solar energy system and are the components that actually convert the Sun’s rays into a daily source of clean and sustainable power. Simply put, photovoltaic solar panels create electricity by converting radiant sunlight into usable electrical power via a phenomena coined the “photovoltaic effect.” They work by using individual solar cells (PV cells) that contain a photovoltaic material that converts energy from the Sun into a flow of electrons. This “photovoltaic effect,” was first observed in 1839 by a nineteen year old French experimental physicist, A. E. Becquerel. In brief, the “photovoltaic effect” refers to photons of light exciting electrons into a high state of energy which allows them to act as charge carriers for an electric current. While this was discovered in 1839, the rest of the power generation, routing and storage technology to turn this discovery into usable home power generation was still a long way off. The discovery of cheap oil further delayed research into the matter and any adaptation of the technology until the 1970’s. Now, modern renewable energy systems have come around and are economically viable for both commercial and residential applications. Solar panels are not all you need, modern systems require supporting components including high tech batteries, charge controllers and junction boxes. Some of the most efficient solar energy systems also include Sun tracking technology and/or magnifiers.

Using current production methods, photovoltaic solar panels can recoup the energy needed to manufacture them in only 18 months if they are mounted in a sunny climate, so regardless if it’s the earth or money your into, a modern solar power system is a fit. If you like the earth and money, then what are you waiting for? If you are ready to rock, the first step is finding a local, licensed, vetted, and insured solar power installation company to quote and build your home power system. If your not sure yet, use our handy solar calculator to estimate your potential solar savings or even profit in your location.

* Source: Solar Energy Industries Association
** May 9, 2019 - Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO