Understanding the power grid
The difference between an on-grid and off-grid system
What is Net Metering and how benefit from it
Importance of understand your current energy consumption
How to free yourself from the electric company and own your power
In this chapter, we will look at some of the most important factors that determine how energy-efficient your home is.
You will learn more about the power grid and ways to reduce your energy consumption and in order to increase your savings and save your wallet.
Before understanding how we can become energy independent and enjoy living off the grid, let us first learn what the power grid is and how it works.
What is a power grid?
The power grid delivers electricity from power plants to homes, businesses, neighborhoods, malls, schools across the nation. The electricity fueled by the power plants and utility companies are usually generated off fossil fuels – mostly coal and natural gas. However, with innovation, today there are cleaner and greener options for generating energy, which is why many homeowners and business owners are switching to solar energy.
Now we have understood that the utility grid powers homes, but did you know that you could also power your home while being completely disconnected from the grid? This is known as off grid living.
What is off-grid living?
As the name suggests, an off grid solar system is not connected to the grid, hence the homeowner is energy independent from utility companies, generating their own electricity. A customer’s choice of a particular grid system influences the equipment needed for the installation; as an off grid system requires the solar owner to install a solar battery along the main system. (We will get more into it soon)
Investing in an off-grid solar system means avoiding power outages, reducing electricity costs, becoming energy independent, and keeping the environment clean and green. All of this is attractive for people who want to save money while contributing to help create a better and greener tomorrow.
Make sure to stick around for Chapter 4 to learn about solar batteries help you go off the grid and how they work.
Despite the benefits solar owners enjoy when going off the grid, many homeowners prefer to stay connected to the grid to enjoy the financial benefits of net metering.
What is Net Metering?
With solar panels, you can provide electricity for your home and sometimes more than what is needed. When this happens, you have two options; you can store the excess energy in solar batteries or you can sell that excess electricity to the utility company to distribute elsewhere along the power grid. That process of selling your excess energy generated back to the utility company in your state is known as net metering.
Moreover, many homeowners prefer to stay on the grid in order to benefit from net metering, as you can use the credit paid to you by the utility company to cover the cost of your monthly electric bill.
You need to note that net metering policies differ from one state to another that is why during your free solar consultation with Palmetto Energy Solutions our solar experts will help you understand the net metering policies and programs in your state!
However, you need to note that just because your state doesn’t have a full-fledged net metering program doesn’t mean there are no options for your grid-connected excess energy. More than a dozen other states offer some form of compensation in exchange for your solar panel-produced power. So do not worry, you will take advantage of the financial solar benefits one way or the other!
It is our duty as a solar installer to educate you on how to maximize your solar profit and return on investment. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that yes, net metering is a great way to generate extra cash, but the solar energy you produce is way more valuable when you keep it, store it and use it, than when you sell it back to your utility company. In fact, 2-3X more valuable! So, it is best to install a solar battery and store all that excess energy your panels generated for future personal use.
To get the most out of your solar PV system, it is important that you analyze and understand your energy consumption habits to learn how to save energy and cut costs beyond just solar.
At home, you are constantly consuming energy, whether you are charging your laptop, doing your laundry or just simply watching the TV. However, do you know how much energy these appliances around you are using?
Let us take a look at a breakdown of the amount of energy the appliances in your home use.
900 - 1200 Watts
750 - 1100 Watts
800 - 1400 Watts
350 - 500 Watts
1800 - 5000 Watts
100 - 800 W
65 - 175 Watts
4500 - 5500 Watts
1200 - 1875 Watts
1200 - 2400 Watts
2000 - 3000 Watts
7500 - 10500 Watts
As we saw previously everything at home consumes energy whether at a low or high scale, it is all playing a role in your electric bill. According to a study conducted in 2020, the space cooling anf heating consume the most energy, take a look at the attached graph and learn more. However, this can all be controlled by installing a green energy solution.
Knowing generally your consumption habits will help our solar experts provide you with simple guidelines and tips on how to reduce your energy use in a way that reduces you electric bill without hindering your day-to-day activities.
We’re all responsible for the energy we use in our homes, so let us learn together easy tips and tricks on how to save energy.
Whether your motivation is to save money or to decrease your carbon footprint, making small adjustments to reduce your daily energy consumption can have a positive effect on the environment and help reduce the amount of energy consumed by your community.
Here are some of the tips that any household can implement to save energy:
You can reduce your energy bill just by using your washing machine more carefully. Wash your laundry with cold water and only one day a week if possible.
Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume an excessive amount of electricity and must be replaced more often than their energy efficient; therefore, it is better to switch to using energy efficient light bulbs.
A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling during the times when you are asleep or away. When you install a programmable thermostat, you eliminate wasteful energy use from heating and cooling without upgrading your HVAC system.
Open the refrigerator or oven door only when necessary so the cold and the heat don’t escape. Your appliances will thank you for not having to work extra hard to do their job.
In summer, keep the window coverings closed during the day to block the sun’s heat.
Consider investing in a pressure cooker. Foods cook in about one-third the time of using the oven or stovetop and you can make large quantities of soups or stews for the freezer.
Every home needs to be as energy-efficient as possible before going solar, that’s why at Palmetto Energy Solutions we analyze your home’s current energy consumption, identify any energy efficiency home improvements that can be done at a cheaper price than just offsetting it with solar, and then design and install a custom solar system for your home.
Are you tired of playing guessing games with next month’s electric bill? Having a difficult time finding the balance between comfort and efficiently when selecting a thermostat temperature? Imagine having the same electric bill every month, regardless of the season. Wouldn’t the consistency rather than significant fluctuations and reduced electricity costs offer peace of mind? This is your financial reality when you choose solar panels!
We live in a time where stability is cherished, and increasing our reliance on fossil fuel supplies from utility companies does not always sit well with everyone. With some or all of your electricity coming from the sun, you will not have to worry so much. You will be able to sleep comfortably knowing your energy need are met and your thermostat temperature is just right.
Not only that, but also owning your power and generating your own electricity away from the utility grid allows you to keep the lights on during grid blackouts. In other words, power and peace of mind go hand-in-hand.
Solar loans and solar leases each have advantages and disadvantages. Both options reduce your home's monthly electricity bills and your environmental impact, but each type of agreement's terms and conditions differ.
As long as you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery; excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate!
Throughout the day, solar panels capture ultraviolet (UV) rays and transform them into direct current (DC) electricity. Alternating current (AC) power is used in the majority of households and businesses; DC power is converted to usable AC power by means of an inverter. Either use the electricity in your home at that time or release it back into the electrical system.
When you install solar panels on your property, you will still be connected to the grid. This allows you to draw from the grid when your system is not producing all the power you need and send power back to the grid when you produce more than you use.