Every day, more families are choosing solar energy for their homes. Across the state of Arizona, more than 500 systems are being installed every month. People are taking advantage of the 30 percent federal tax credit, as well as a $1,000 credit on their Arizona taxes and incentives from their utility provider.
The cost of solar has come down in the past couple of years while the quality and efficiency has increased. Today, solar systems are installed with a 25-year warranty on production.
Grid tied means that you would be connected to your utility and you would be billed under the Net Energy Metering rate. That means your meter goes backward when it is producing more electricity than you are consuming at the moment. This bank of credits builds during the day and you draw from those credits at night. The same principle applies year round. You build a large bank of credit during the summer, from which you draw in winter.
Of course, when you are grid tied and the grid goes down, your home is offline. Your home is offline for the safety of the lineman repairing the grid. A Generac backup generator that can operate on gas can be added to your system. This requires additional electrical equipment to keep your electricity isolated to your home.
There are several steps involved for you to enjoy the benefits of solar energy in your home. First we need to see your kilowatt hour (kWh) usage for the past 12 months so a system can be sized correctly for your home. Then a detailed survey of your home is conducted. The designer will measure the available roof space; note the type of roofing material, potential shading issues and the orientation toward the south. They will look at your existing electric panel and determine a location for the inverter.
Next, a system will be designed to fit your home. Please note that in Yavapai County a building permit will not be issued to put solar on a manufactured home. In this case, your designer will look to see if a ground mount system or a carport mount is a good alternative for you.
Your solar sales representative will review the system with you and present the different options of financing available. After you have made your choice, the system will be ordered and a building permit will be applied for. The equipment will be shipped to your installer and installation will be scheduled.
When the system is installed, it will be inspected by the AHJ (Agency Having Jurisdiction). They were the department that issued the building permit. Then your utility will make an inspection. When everything is verified to have been safely and correctly installed, you will be given permission to operate your system and your family will enjoy the benefits of renewable energy for a very long time. QCBN
Jim Evans is a sales consultant with SolarWorks. For more information visit him at the new SolarWorks office at the Gateway Mall, 3250 Gateway Blvd., Suite 548, in Prescott or call him at 928-499-4445.