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Solar Electric Systems

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Become Your Own Electric Utility

Why you should use solar power if you live in Melbourne, Merritt Island, Oralndo or Cocoa Beach.

You own your home; why rent your electricity? With a solar power system, you can generate your own energy and earn a great return on your investment, instead of giving your cash to the electric utility company. And it gets better: Any power you don’t use is automatically sent back out through your electric meter to the utility grid, and you receive a credit on your power bill.

While it’s true that a solar power system does require a significant initial investment, your solar PV system will deliver power and pay for itself several times over during its 25-year or longer useful lifespan. And according to Appraisal Journal, home improvements that increase energy efficiency also increase property value, on average, by a 20 to 1 ratio. In other words, for every $1,000 saved on your annual electric bill, you increase the value of your home by roughly $20,000.

Solar electric—or photovoltaic (PV) systems—deliver reliable, clean energy by converting sunlight directly to electricity. These systems work whenever the sun is shining, and even produce energy during cloudy weather (about half as much on a cloudy day). There is no heat energy involved when a solar PV module creates electricity; the creation of electric current is strictly a chemical reaction. In fact, PV cells actually perform better during colder weather.

Solar PV modules installed today should produce power for three decades or more, and many manufacturers currently warrant the power output of their PV panels for 25 years. While prices are continuing to come down, government financial incentives and “starting to save today” make a strong case for going solar sooner than later.

Net Metering

Net metering is a government-mandated program that an electric utility company must extend to its customers who generate electricity. For residential solar systems, a special bi-directional electric meter is installed. This meter runs forward as power is used, and then quite literally runs backward as surplus power from a PV system is supplied to the utility power grid. How an individual utility treats a net surplus of power transmitted back to the grid varies. Some utilities will refund the excess, while others will roll the credit into the next billing period.

False Economy?

Some consumers in Brevard want to know if solar power is a false economy. Specifically, when you consider how much energy it takes to manufacture the solar modules, does it still make sense to go solar? In a word, yes. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost to manufacture solar photovoltaic modules is less than 10 percent of the energy that the modules will general during their useful lifetimes. When you decide to make the move to solar power, you help yourself, your country and your planet.

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