Solar power systems that are tied to the grid are designed to feed power back to the utility system when they generate more power than can be used. Consequently, the good you do for the environment doesn’t stop at your home or office. Even neighbors without solar power systems can draw upon the renewable energy of the sun – while you bank credit against the utility-generated power you use at night.
In optimal conditions, the credit you earn by feeding power back to the grid will offset the cost of the energy you use when the sun shines less frequently. This arrangement with your utility company is called “net metering.” In California, utility companies are required to provide customers with net electricity consumption information each month. Every 12 months the credits and debits are reconciled, or “trued up.”
Of course grid-tied systems do not need to offset all your power. They can also be used for “peak load shaving.” That is, you can offset your usage during the highest rate tiers, where the payback is best.
Grid-tied solar power systems generally will not operate when the grid is down. That disadvantage is offset when you consider that these systems are much more efficient and less expensive than those that include backup batteries. Unless you live in an area subject to frequent outages, it will generally be to your benefit not to be concerned about the occasional outage.
On the other hand, we do offer a stand-alone battery backup module that can be installed at any time to keep your power on while every building around you is dark. This backup module can be used whether or not you have solar power for you home or small office.