Are you thinking about buying a solar electric system for your home or business? If so, this booklet provides some basic information that can help you. Solar electric systems, which are also called photovoltaic or PV systems, are reliable and pollution-free.
They make use of a renewable source of energy—the sun. And PV systems for homes and businesses are becoming more affordable all the time. PV works best in an energy-efficient building. So, adding insulation and energy-efficient lighting, appliances, and windows is a good idea, to reduce your home’s overall electricity use before you install a PV system. To make PV systems even more affordable, several states offer financial incentives through solar rebates and other programs.
Some utilities have net metering programs, which further enhance the economics of PV. Net metering means that when your PV system generates more power than you need, the excess goes to the utility grid and the meter runs backward. This allows you to receive full retail value for the power that your PV system generates.
This booklet can guide you through the process of buying a solar electric system. It is not a technical guide to designing or installing a system—for that information, we recommend consulting an experienced PV system designer or supplier. A PV system can be a substantial investment. As with any investment, careful planning will help you make the right decisions for your home or business.