Solar Home Energy
The Basics of a Solar Home Energy System
- Condensing Unit – Select air conditioners and heat pumps can be modified with a simple upgrade to serve as the platform for a Solar Home Energy System.
- Solar Modules – As few as one or as many as 15 solar modules can be added at the time of installation or in the future. These modules convert solar energy into usable electrical power for your home.
- Communication Module – Uses your broadband Internet connection to send performance information for each solar module to a third-party website where you can monitor how your Solar Home Energy System is working.
- Performance-Monitoring Website – Gives you 24/7 access to real-time data showing system status, energy production, and environmental benefits, including carbon offsets.
A Simple Guide for Getting Started with Solar
- Step 1 – Call Charlotte Comfort Systems for a consultation.
Using our detailed planning checklist, we will help determine whether your home meets all the requirements for installation of a Solar Home Energy System.
- Step 2 – See if your roof gets enough sun.
A southern exposure is best, and your roof should be relatively free of shade from trees or structures such as chimneys. Charlotte Comfort Systems will perform tests to estimate the site’s monthly and annual solar energy generation potential.
- Step 3 – Determine whether your roof is big enough.
Each solar module requires about 15 square feet of rooftop surface area. The number of modules you want installed determines how much space you need. Charlotte Comfort Systems will help you with the calculations.
- Step 4 – Investigate possible building restrictions in your neighborhood.
If you belong to a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), you might be required to submit your solar installation plans for approval ahead of time.
- Step 5 – Upgrade your Internet service if necessary.
An always-on Internet connection with broadband router is required to take advantage of the Lennox SunSource system’s web-based performance monitoring service.
- Step 6 – Check for proper utility service and electrical wiring.
Charlotte Comfort Systems will check the grid power supplied by your local utility company and also inspect your home’s distribution panel to make sure all required specifications are in order. We will also need to identify all local electrical code requirements to ensure compliance.
- Step 7 – Find out if your local utility company has solar-friendly programs and policies in place.
Ask whether your utility company has a net-metering program that will allow you to receive credit for at least a portion of the electricity your Solar Home Energy System generates. You will also want to learn whether you must meet power-generating thresholds to qualify for valuable rebate and incentive programs.
- Step 8 – Watch your utility bills shrink, right along with your carbon footprint.
Once your Solar Home Energy System is installed, the money-saving and environmental benefits begin!
Frequently Asked Solar Questions
Solar power has a number of substantial advantages, from economical to environmental:
- Readily available. Electricity generated from sunlight is free and limitless.
- Significant energy savings. A Solar Home Energy System with as few as one solar module can save you money on your monthly utility bills. The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credit for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. Contact Charlotte Comfort Systems to find out what incentives are currently available in your area.
- Virtually no environmental impact. Solar is a fast-developing renewable energy source because it produces no air pollution or hazardous waste. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that are believed to contribute to climate change and pollution.
- Can be expanded over time. Solar Home Energy Systems give you the flexibility to start small and add more roof modules at a later date for greater energy savings.
In the U.S., financial incentives are available at the federal and local level to support the use of renewable energy:
- Federal tax credits. Charlotte Comfort Systems offers solar energy solutions that meet the requirements for federal tax credits listed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, covering 30 percent of the cost of the solar modules, including installation. You can also receive up to a 1,500 credit for the solar-ready heat pump or air conditioner that’s at the heart of the system.
- State tax credits. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are about 47 states and 600 electric utilities across the U.S. that provide incentives for renewable-energy systems.
- Utility net metering. If your utility company offers net-metering agreements, you may be able to receive a credit for any surplus power generated that’s not used in your home and is fed back to your utility company.
Solar Home Energy Systems reduce the amount of electricity needed from your utility provider to put you in control of your utility bills. This energy-saving system harnesses solar-energy and uses it first—before using electricity from the utility company—to power your air conditioner or heat pump. The solar power that’s collected can also operate other appliances and electronics when the heating and cooling system is not in use. What’s more, if the system generates more solar power than is needed, that power will be sent back to the utility company, possibly entitling homeowners to a credit.
The hardware that mounts the modules to your roof allows them to integrate nearly flush with the surface for a discreet appearance that does not detract from the overall appeal of your house.
Charlotte Comfort Systems includes a sophisticated communication module with every Solar Home Energy System. This device sends performance data for each module to a website, where you can view systems status, energy production and environmental benefits online, including carbon offsets, in real time.