How Grid Tie Solar Works
Grid tie solar simply means your solar electric system is connected to, and relies on, your utility grid as an essential system component.
A grid tie solar system is an array of solar panels installed and connected to your home’s electrical service. The electricity generated is first used to power any immediate electrical use. When those needs are met, the additional electricity is sent out to the grid through your utility meter. What happens next depends on where you live.
In many states, including Washington, “net metering” lets you get the most out of your grid tied solar system.
Net metering means your utility tracks any excess energy produced by your solar array and sent out to the grid as credits on your account. For each kwh you send to the grid you get a 1 kwh credit to use later. Your utility then bills you for the “net” amount of energy. If you made more energy than you used the credits carry over to the next billing cycle.
Outside Washington utilities may have different rules regarding how solar energy is compensated. In some areas, utilities give a set kWh price for excess production sent to the grid. This may or may not be equal to the amount charged per kWh at a later time. There is wide variation across the country, and even within state lines in some areas. Read more about Net Metering.
- First, you’ll see savings on your immediate electrical costs as the solar is activated and starts producing electricity.
- Second, you are protected against increasing utility prices for the life of the system. Generally, you can expect at least 25-30 years out of your system. And there are many systems still working that are 40+ years old!
- Third, solar increases your property’s value and resale appeal – as soon as you have solar, this “solar premium” takes effect.
- Finally, grid-tied systems are eligible for a 26% federal income/investment tax credit, and in Washington State they are also exempt from sales tax. This applies to the total cost of the installation – not just the equipment! Read more about the Solar Investment Tax Credit.
Reputable solar installers excel at determining how to best take advantage of the benefits of solar, while navigating a complex utility landscape is what .
Fire Mountain Solar has the experience and expertise to help you take advantage of all the benefits solar no matter where you live. We are here to answer questions, make recommendations, and be a resource for you—before, during, and after the completion of your project.