As your trusted energy advisor, the cooperative’s energy experts can help you decide if solar is right for your energy needs. We’re here to help you understand how adding solar panels will affect your monthly electric bill. We’ll explain how the billing and metering process works. Let your member-owned cooperative be the first call you make when considering a solar installation.
In most cases, you will still require electricity from the cooperative’s power grid, even if you install solar panels on your home. Remember that solar panels won’t provide all the power you need, especially on cloudy winter days and at night when the sun isn’t shining. Our energy experts can help you evaluate your home’s energy usage to decide if a rooftop solar installation is right for you.
A typical residential rooftop solar system includes solar panels, equipment to mount them to your roof and an inverter. The solar panels collect the sun’s energy and turn it into electricity. This electricity passes through the inverter, which converts it into alternating current (AC) that helps power your home.
Your home’s electrical panel will need to be changed to accommodate the electricity coming in through the inverter. A licensed electrician will need to take care of that. The wiring, as well as the rooftop solar system you choose, must comply with the National Electric Code (NEC) and all applicable local codes.
You may choose to add a battery. Some systems on the market today include batteries that can store a limited amount of excess energy for later use — the higher the battery’s capacity, the more energy it can store. However, in most cases, a residential-sized battery backup will only provide a portion of your home energy needs.
There are also safety precautions and other connection-related details to consider. It’s critical that your system’s equipment is connected and maintained properly.
Otherwise, any back-feeding of electricity could seriously endanger crews working on power lines. It is your responsibility to notify local or state officials who will conduct a safety inspection of your system once installed.
Before installing solar panels, you will want to check with your insurance agent and local fire department, too. Make sure the type of solar panels you’re considering will be covered by insurance. Talk with your local fire department about safety factors that may prevent firefighters from putting out fires at homes with rooftop solar panels. Let them know if you decide to install a system.
Count on us for helpful resources and guidance throughout the process.