Solar panels produce electricity for your home by using that bright Texas sunlight. In order to generate energy, the panels follow this process:
- Sunlight hits the panels, causing photons and electrons to interact, which creates an electrical current.
- The electrical current travels from the panels to your solar inverter, which turns the energy generated from your panels into usable energy for your home.
- The energy flows from the inverter to your breaker box, which distributes the energy throughout your home.
- Any unused energy flows back to your utility meter and remains available for consumption. Depending on your jurisdiction, the remaining energy can often be used for net metering purposes. This means it can be sent back to the grid and used to earn energy credits on your next electric bill.
Benefits of Solar In Houston
Are solar panels right for your Houston-area home? Beyond potential financial savings, there are environmental reasons to go solar as well as the potential for a major return on your investment.
- Own Your Power — Protect your family from rising energy costs by owning your power. Becoming less reliant on the grid means less stress about higher electric bills.
- Potentially Reduce Your Electric Bill — Your solar system can help you potentially save thousands in electric bills over time.
- Qualify For Federal Tax Credit — Houston homeowners who install solar panels on their property can currently claim a federal tax credit of up to 26%.5
- Potentially Increase Your Property’s Value — Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular. If you choose to sell your home, potential buyers will see the benefit of having lower electric bills. Studies show that solar panels can raise your home’s value, which means a potentially higher return on investment should you sell.
- Reduce Your Carbon Footprint — Solar energy is an earth-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.
What Happens to Excess Solar Energy?
Solar panels can produce more energy than you use daily. Fortunately, this excess energy can be used in two ways.
Store excess energy in a backup battery.3
If your solar panels produce excess energy, your Generac battery backup can store excess energy from your solar panels for use at night when panels are not producing electricity or in the event of a grid power outage. In addition, the stored energy can fill the gaps when your home’s solar panels are not producing at full capacity.
Use excess energy via net metering.
Net metering is the process of sending extra energy from solar panels back to the grid in exchange for credits on future electric bills. You can often receive credits for the energy you sell back at a 1-to-1 ratio, meaning that you sell it back at the same price you would buy it. While this is a great incentive to go solar, it’s important to note that net metering is not offered by all utility companies. Availability, excess credits and other requirements vary by area and utility providers.
Solar Panel FAQs
Solar panels operate using the power of the sun. Once sunlight hits the panels, electrons come loose from their atoms, forming an electrical circuit with the conductors in solar cells. These electrons traveling through the circuit create electricity.
Typically, a solar panel’s lifetime is about 25 years with proper care and maintenance. Pink Energy’s panels fall into this timeline; our panels last about 25 years.⁶
How many solar panels are needed for your home depends on several factors: your electricity usage, how much shade your roof receives, your location, and the size of your home. Other factors may play a role in determining how many panels are necessary, but these are the most common.
Clouds do not stop sunlight from reaching your solar panels. Even if you live in one of the cloudiest parts of the country, you’ll be able to make use of solar panels. It is worth noting that solar panels will not produce the same amount of electricity as locations that receive mostly sunny days.
No, though that is the easiest way to generate electricity. As long as the sun is out, even if you can’t see it yourself, your solar panels will be working.
We recommend your solar panels face south or west, as those directions get the most direct sun exposure. If your roof does not face in that direction, though, you can still produce electricity with solar panels!
We recommend contacting professionals when you clean your solar panels for safety reasons. However, simple is best when it comes to cleaning your solar panels. Some clean water and a sponge or small towel will work in most cases. Do not use pressure washers on solar panels, as this can damage them.
During an outage, you can make use of the energy from your solar panels by using a battery backup system. That will power up select portions of your home, enough to keep limited backup loads running for a limited amount of time.
There is no one true way to keep snow off your solar panels. However, since solar panels are installed where they will get the most sun, snow should melt off with time once the sun does its work.
Yes! Pink Energy’s panels are protected with a sheet of glass. That glass covers up the delicate working parts that create the solar panels, so water is no trouble at all for your panels.
Net metering is the process through which you send excess solar energy produced by your solar panels back to the grid for points off your upcoming electric bills. It may or may not be offered in your area, so check your local and state government sites for more information.⁸
At certain times throughout the day, your solar panels may produce more electricity than your home needs. You might be able to send this energy to your battery backup system for later use, but another option could be to send it to the grid. By doing so, you might receive points off your upcoming electric bill as compensation for the energy – at no cost to you depending on local legislation and policy.⁸