Solar Basics

Why Solar: 


We’ve all seen the articles in the news about the constant increase in demand and the constant increase in energy costs. Here are just a few of the many ways solar can benefit you:


  • A means to independence from energy hikes
  • Reduce the cost of owning your home
  • An addition to your home that increases its value
  • A great way to take advantage of tax incentives


A kilowatt hour (kWh) produced by solar is cheaper than buying from the local utility.

Recently a friend asked me skeptically, “Why do people buy solar? How does it benefit them?”

I responded with “If you could pre-purchase power for your home at half the rate of your current cost of power, would you do it?” He looked at me confused. “But isn’t solar power expensive?” Understanding his concern, I wanted to help put things into perspective. I presented the following:

Take a look at what you have spent on power bills since owning a home and you’ll be amazed. Remember, there is no such thing as a return on investment from the power bill. The cost of powering your home continues to rise, but there is now a way to make yourself immune from the power company’s connection to your wallet. A properly installed solar system will produce power day after day, year after year, giving back your hard earned money with interest.

Whether your roof space, budget, or power usage are the limiting factor, any kWh produced by solar will save you cash. In many locations, utilities have a tiered rate schedule. This means that the more you use, the more you pay. The higher your usage gets, the more expensive each kWh becomes. Solar can cut down that peak usage. Even if your system is 50% of your bill, you are offsetting the most expensive part of your power bill.

Components of a Solar System

There are 4 main components to a basic grid-tied solar system:

  1. Solar Panels-The proper term for a collection of solar cells is a solar module. Even though it technically incorrect, the term solar panel is used synonymously with module. The solar panel is where the collection of solar energy takes place. The solar panels offered here are made by world-class manufacturers and are well within the top-tier of panels available. We only offer a select few panels that we can trust both the quality of the product and believe the longevity of the company behind the product.
  2. Inverters-Solar panels produce power as DC (Direct Current), which is the same as battery. Our appliance and lighting in our homes use AC (Alternating Current). The inverter converts the from DC to AC. Inverters come in two main technologies: string or microinverters. String inverters are one large inverter that multiple panels are connected to in a string. Many system can do with only 1 string inverter. Microinverters are small inverters that are sized to be used with one solar panels. In a microinverter system, each panel functions independently with it's own microinverter. We offer SMA string inverters and Enphase microinverters. These product have been selected for their quality and value.
  3. Mounting Hardware-The racking system that attached the solar panels to a roof or to a ground-mounted system usually consists of  rails, clamps, flashed attachments or tile hooks, and grounding component. We have selected SnapNrack as our vendor of choice for racking components. The SnapNrack system is very easy to assemble and install, high quality, and aesthetically clean in appearance when installed.
  4. Electrical Wiring & Disconnects-