Solar systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, produce electricity by using solar cells to convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. Photons in the sunlight hit the solar panels and are absorbed by semiconducting materials such as silicon.


Electrons are then freed from the semiconducting material creating electricity. Because of the configuration of the solar cells, the electricity flows in a specific direction. An inverter installed with the PV solar system converts the direct current to alternating current (AC) that can be used for residential and commercial applications.


Grid Tied System

A system designed to operate in conjunction with your utility company and uses an inverter to distribute the electricity. When your home produces more electricity than it needs, the excess electricity is fed back to the power grid essentially making your electrical meter spin backward.


Net Metering

Customers who produce electricity with their solar panel system enter into an annual billing cycle with their utility company under the Net Energy Metering agreement. Over the course of the year, the utility company tracks how much energy is put onto the grid through your smart meter. They also account for all energy pulled from the grid. At the end of the annual billing cycle, they’ll send you a True-Up bill which accounts for the “net difference” between the two. Depending on how your system is designed, you can achieve net-zero (which is when the system produces enough energy to offset your consumption completely) and only owe your utility company grid-connection fees.

*Net metering is subject to change at any time with legislation passed by the CPUC. For any proposed changes, please speak to one of our Renewable Energy Specialists.

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