Solar Electricity

Photovoltaic or PV

The United States and China are the world’s leading producers of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Generating electric power from fossil fuels produces more pollution and greenhouse gases than any other single industry.

Until recently, the U.S. lagged badly in photovoltaic (PV) capacity despite its abundant solar resources. But annual U.S. solar installations doubled in 2011, and nearly did so again in 2012, when 3,300 megawatts of PV came online. As of mid-2013, U.S. PV capacity had passed the 10,000 megawatt mark (Earth Policy Institute – 2013).

Solar electric systems use a chemical reaction to sunlight to generate electricity. The panels that are used to create the electricity are called photovoltaic modules. PV systems generate electricity during the day only and usually are generating their highest amount of electricity in the afternoon. PV systems do not generate electricity at night. When it is cloudy, rainy, or if the modules are dirty the PV system will generate less energy.

California leads the nation in the total number of homes which have solar panels installed. The majority of the systems are connected to the local utility. This is called a grid-connected system. The systems do not have any batteries and will not operate when there is a power outage. Although recently, some of the newer inverters, such as the SMA Transformerless models, include a “secure power supply” dedicated AC outlet, which can deliver up to 1,500 watts in daylight during a grid outage—without needing a backup battery bank.

When a PV system does not generate enough electricity to power the home or business (for example, at night) the local utility provides power to the site. When the PV system generates more electricity than the site can use, the excess electricity flows back in to the grid. All of this is done automatically. The rate schedule choice is important because all customers are eligible for a program called ‘net metering.’ Net metering gives customers who generate excess electricity a retail credit against their utility’s energy bill. When the customer is using energy, the utility applies these credits against the bill. The net metering credits are balanced annually.

With a Vasco Solar Electric System, You Can:

  • Dramatically reduce your electric bill
  • Spin your electric meter back to generate a credit
  • Protect yourself from future rate hikes
  • Increase the value of your property without paying higher taxes
  • Significantly reduce the toxic emissions that harm our planet
  • Reduce our dependence on oil

Understanding Your Net Metering Bill (SCE)

Understanding Your Net Metering Bill (SDG&E)

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