What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing program where you pay for your “net” amount of electricity consumed during a billing period. This allows customers like you to return excess power to the utility if your solar system is producing more than you use. When you return electricity, you receive a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit for future use. This requires a meter that can read delivered and returned electricity. A net meter is like two meters in one and can register electricity whether you are consuming or returning power.

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What are the components of a photovoltaic (PV) system?

A PV system is made up of different components. These include PV modules (groups of PV cells), which are commonly called PV panels; one or more batteries; a charge regulator or controller for a stand-alone system; an inverter for a utility-grid-connected system and when alternating current (ac) rather than direct current (dc) is required; wiring; and mounting hardware or a framework.

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How long does it take sunlight to reach Earth?

Even though Earth is located 90 million miles away, it only takes sunlight an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel to our planet’s surface.

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What was the first solar-powered satellite?

Not only is the Vanguard 1 the first artificial Earth Satellite powered by solar, but it also remains the oldest man-made satellite still in orbit today.

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What is Solar Electricity?

Solar electricity is produced when sunlight reacts directly with semiconductor materials in solar electric cells, a process that frees electrons and creates an electrical current. Electricity is produced whenever the sun is shining, but more is produced when sunlight is intense (like on a clear sunny day) and direct (when the sun’s rays are perpendicular to the solar cells).

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Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

While solar panels operate more effectively in direct sunlight; even when covered by clouds photovoltaic panels are still able to generate power.

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Why should I buy a Solar Electric System?

There are a variety of benefits should you choose to invest in solar energy. Some are motivated to help preserve the environment and support the development of clean energy technologies, while others might consider solar electricity a property improvement. Whatever your reason, solar energy is widely thought to be the energy source of choice for the future.

Benefits of solar electricity include:

  • No fuel
  • No water
  • No noise
  • High reliability
  • Low maintenance
  • Long life
  • Modular and expandable

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What country leads the solar energy race?

China produces the most solar energy annually, followed by Japan. The United States is the 4th largest producer of solar energy globally.

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Is solar energy the most abundant energy source on Earth?

Absolutely! The Sun’s rays cover the whole surface of the Earth, making it the most widely abundant energy source available.

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Do I have enough space on my roof?

The amount of space needed for a solar power system directly relates to the type and size of the system you purchase. One attractive feature of solar electricity is that systems may be sized for almost any application or power requirement. So, you should be able to find at least a small area that has good solar exposure. Of course, larger systems will provide a greater percentage of your annual electricity needs.

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How big of a solar power system do I need?

The size of the solar power system you need depends on several factors such as how much electricity or hot water you use, the size of your roof, and how much you’re willing to invest. Also, do you want the solar system to supply your complete energy usage or supersede a portion of your higher cost energy usage? Contact us today and we’ll help to determine what type of system suits your needs best.

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What is the largest solar energy plant?

The Noor Complex located in the Sahara Desert is the largest solar power plant in the world, stretching just under 3 miles (1853 acres).

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What state leads the solar energy race?

California is the leader with solar installations in all of the US followed by North Carolina.

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Does the type of roof on my home matter?

Roof type, slope or condition can influence the solar equipment selected for your property. While a solar electric system can be installed on any type of roof, some roof types are simpler and less expensive to work with. Typically, composition shingles and moderate to low slopes are easiest to work with, while steep, slate roofs are more difficult. In any case, our experienced solar installers will be familiar with all roof types and installation techniques that will help eliminate any possibility of roof leakage.

Ready to save your money by going solar? Call Westcoast Solar Energy at (707) 664-6450 today.

Creating Solar Energy Opportunities with these Great Organizations

Northern California Engineering Contractors Association
Solar Sonoma County
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
California Solar Storage Association
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Rohnert Park Chamber of Commerce
Solar Power World
North Coast Builders Exchange