Home Solar

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Home solar can be the leading element in beneficial changes in your household. Without moving or remodeling, you and your home can slip into self-sufficiency mode with solar modules. With solar installation, you become your own electricity producer and substantially cut, or even eliminate, your bill from PG&E.

Outages, rolling blackouts, aging power lines, overwhelmed grids--these signs of the times will not go away, but, in fact, will undoubtedly become more severe. Businesses in California alone have lost millions of dollars as a direct result of the malfunctions and inadequate functioning of conventional energy sources. With solar systems, you create your own small world that operates independently of these calamities.

Hooked to the Grid

Photovoltaic (PV) solar units produce clean energy that is renewable, since they use the sun's rays to produce electricity. The system's inverter converts the direct current into the alternating current used by households. Although self-contained, solar homes usually do remain connected to PG&E's grid because that is mandatory in order to receive the cash rebates and tax credits from the State of California.

So why don't home solar systems go down when PG&E goes down? Because home units can be coupled with other clean and quiet back-up systems--natural gas or propane. Even though there remains a connection to conventional electricity, solar systems are not dependent on that conventional source. If there are interruptions in service, solar continues to function smoothly.

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