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Switching to a Solar Energy System: Everything You Need to Know Part I

Earth Day comes around once every year, reminding us that we can all make a small (or big) difference to the future of the planet. Nowadays, many of us teach our kids the benefits of recycling, bring reusable bags to the grocery store or carpool to work – all of which are valuable efforts to reduce carbon emissions and preventing global warming. Taking the plunge to move to solar energy, however, can seem like a daunting commitment. Even after lots of research you can often be left with conflicting information and queries that can’t be answered by Google. Switching to solar energy in Texas is often a simple, affordable way to make a difference in the environment. Let us clear up some of the mysteries.

How do solar panels and solar energy systems work?

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The solar panels that are mounted on your building or roof are comprised of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight to electricity. Solar panels allow particles of light called photons to knock electrons free from atoms, which in turn generates a direct current (“DC” power) of electricity. These currents flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter,which converts the DC power into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power can then be used to power your home. Most homes in the Texas market choose to stay on the grid, meaning you will continue to get power at night from a local utility company. But with solar energy as your primary source of electricity during the day, you can cut your bills by up to 50 percent. You can also benefit from significant rebate incentives by keeping your solar energy system tied to a utility grid.

How long does it take to install a solar panel system?

For residential solar installations, actually putting the solar power system on your home’s roof is a pretty fast process.Depending on the size of your house and the system, it can take less than a day or 2-3 days at the very most .Another fact to consider, however, is the time it takes to get the permit, based on your jurisdiction. Alba Energy’s solar power experts would be happy to walk you through the process from start to finish. We’ll even handle all the paperwork.

Will I be without electricity when it rains or when it’s cloudy?

Solar panels work just as well in ambient light and will produce a significant amount of energy in cloudy or overcast days. Don’t believe us? San Francisco is one of the most progressive solar energy using cities in the country.

Shouldn’t I wait until a newer solar energy system model comes out?

When was the last time you updated your current electricity source? That’s right, never. Solar panels have a life span of over 30 years with the correct maintenance and servicing approach. And no, a newer model won’t replace the functionality of the system you buy this year. We are still using the same solar technology as we did back in the 1960s. While marketing and media would have you believe that there will always be a newer system around the corner, no emerging technology can make your solar energy system obsolete.

How do I know if solar panels will work on my house?

It’s simple. An Alba Energy home inspection can quickly determine whether your house is suitable for solar panels. We’ll check it out for you free of charge!

Is switching to a solar energy system really worth it?

Apart from the obvious benefits to the environment and your electric bills, switching to a solar energy system provides energy reliability and security. Additionally, did you know that a house with a solar energy system is appraised at a higher value than the house next door? According to a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory, home buyers are willing to pay more for homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems, and a house with a PV system is valued at almost $15,000 more than those without a solar energy system. Purchasing a solar energy system for your home really is a solid investment.

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