Is Your Electric Bill Too High?
Is Your Electric Bill Too High?
Many people ask about switching their home to independent power to get rid of their utility bill and this has become a reality because of the rapid decrease in solar module prices. In parts of the country where electricity prices are high, installing a grid-connected solar system is actually a good financial investment.
Determine Kilowatt-Hours Consumed
Determining the kilowatt-hours you consumed for a full year by looking at your utility bills will make it easy to determine the cost of a solar power system that will eliminate or reduce your bill. Every kilowatt of grid-connected solar will deliver 1,000 to 1,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
Most states allow net metering, which means you can run your electric meter backwards when you are making more power than you are using, giving you a credit for electricity you make on sunny days and allowing you to use the accumulated credit on cloudy days and at night. Many states offer rebates for installing solar power and the federal government offers grants and tax credits of up to 30% of the cost of the system. If the system is installed on a business there are more tax advantages. Given the extensive state and federal tax incentives in place, Backwoods Solar has added many grid-connected products to our website. We also feature some larger wattage modules that are perfect for this application. You can find all of your states incentives by logging onto www.dsireusa.org<. This website has the most up to date information as well as links to many state and local organizations. Net metering can vary between each utility and in each state, so be sure to check out what is available in your area. Many of these programs and incentives require that a certified electrician sign off on the final installation and actually commission or turn on the system. Most utilities require an interconnection agreement that outlines specific requirements that utility has in regards to safety measures, power quality, permitting, insurance, net metering credits and billing.
Grid-Connected & Off-Grid Systems
Grid-connected solar systems are very different than off-grid systems that we have been offering for the past 30 years. A solar power system on a utility connected home can both buy power from the utility when needed, and sell power to the utility when there is surplus produced. Most grid-connected systems do not use batteries, which is normally the part of an off-grid system that requires maintenance and eventually wears out. The utility serves the function of the system battery. Without a battery, costs are much less, and operation is simple, but a battery-less system does lose power anytime the utility has an outage.
When installing a grid-connected system, you will need to have the system inspected and all components should be UL listed, not having UL products can void the insurance policy on your home. All of the products that Backwoods carries for grid-tie installation are approved for this purpose and have UL or ETL listings.
Smart conservation and superefficient appliances described in this catalog can add additional benefits and cut down on the costs associated with a renewable energy system, before a home considers alternative energy. Every dollar spent on more efficient lighting and appliances and better energy use practices will save you several dollars on a solar power system.
Many people want their lives and their homes to demonstrate clean, renewable energy use, even where utility lines are easily available. The use of clean energy sources in places where conventional energy is available, educates our society about the reality of clean energy.
Energy efficiency improvements and radical conservation of electric use within the home should be included to reduce total power needs to just a few kilowatt hours per day. Then solar energy can substitute for much or perhaps all remaining power needs.