How does a Solar System Generate Electricity?

Creating solar energy is easy as 1-2-3 (just like Braggawatt’s Savings Calculator), making it inevitable for energy consumers to want to harness the more than 3 TRILLION watts of free, clean energy the sun provides our Earth daily.

Wonder how easy it is to convert sunshine into usable electricity? Check it out:

1
Sun rays stimulate electrons inside the cells of a solar panel, which creates Direct Current (DC) Electricity
2
The DC Electricity travels to the “brain” of the solar system, called an inverter, which transforms it into Alternating Current (AC) Electricity, the type of Electricity most commonly used in buildings.
3
The converted AC electricity travels through your building’s existing circuit breaker to power your devices - just like energy from the utility company!
Power plant
4
Once solar electricity is converted to AC, any building or device can use it! In most cases, the utility company will provide a bill credit for the excess solar energy produced through a concept called Net Metering.

Do I still pay the utility?

Your building remains connected to the utility grid and, when your solar system doesn’t produce as much energy as your building requires (i.e at night, on cloudy days), it continues utilizing the energy provided by your utility to keep things up and running seamlessly. Therefore, you will still receive that familiar Electricity Bill, but with lower cost for lower utility energy usage.

The Good News
The Really Good News

Your electricity bill is going to be a lot lower! The utility is no longer providing 100% of your electricity, so your bill is going to reflect significantly reduced energy consumption, which makes up a significant part of your utility cost!

What is Net Metering?

(what happens when my system produces more energy than needed)?

Net Metering is a significant (and often overlooked!) benefit of going solar for businesses!

At the most basic level, Net Metering is what happens when your solar system produces more energy than your building can use. When this happens, your utility accepts the excess power back into the grid and sells it to other local customers, while crediting you for providing the energy!

Conclusion

In the end, you get credit for the energy your system generates, and you can feel good about helping provide your community with clean energy that replaces the non-renewable sources they typically consume while also helping you offset your energy costs at other times.

To find out more about Net Metering and other related incentives & policies in your state, check out the Database of State Incentive for Renewables & Efficiency.

See how much solar saves commercial buildings in your area!

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