Q. What is the best system size to eliminate my electric bill?
A. Size of the system is determined by your annual usage. Square footage of the home is not necessarily a factor. Homes with high power requirements will require a larger system; energy-efficient homes will require smaller size systems. Other factors include panel orientation, shading, space limitations, and other site features.
Q. What’s a grid-tied system?
A. Grid-tied systems are connected to the power grid. Think of it like a bank. During the day, excess power is generated and fed to the grid and, at night, power is drawn by the consumer as needed. When excess power is generated and fed to the grid, the meter runs in reverse. At night, when drawing from the grid, the meter runs forward. A perfectly sized system will be considered ’Net Zero’, where generation and consumption are about equal over the course of the year.
Q. Do I need batteries to store excess power generated by the panels?
A. Since the excess power goes back to the grid, no batteries are necessary. However, some consumers have a desire to install a battery backup system to store power if they are in an area where power outages are frequent. In these cases, the consumer identifies high priority circuits, such as well pumps, security systems, heating systems, etc. for backup.
Q. Are there financial incentives to help offset the cost of the system?
A. Yes, currently there are 3 types of incentives. Many power companies offer 2 incentives, REC Credits and installation credits. Check with your power company for the current rebate tiers and amounts. There is also a 30% Federal Tax Credit, based on the cost of the system. Consult your financial or tax adviser to determine applicability for your specific situation.