Issues

Environment

Utilizing solar power reduces consumption of fossil fuels, minimizing the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases. In addition, distributed generation technologies such as rooftop solar panels have little impact on the land.

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Consumer Protection

Solar energy is a new and highly technical industry.  Much like buying a car, those selling residential solar typically know much more about it than those purchasing it.  For that reason, it is important that you take time to research solar technology, its cost of installation, and how solar will affect your monthly energy rate. Read more…

Consumer Safety

Residential solar energy has many benefits, however, consumers must be aware of and plan for potential safety concerns before making a purchase.

Rooftop solar panels make it more difficult for firefighters and first responders to access rooftops in the event of an emergency.

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Rate Setting

Rate setting is a formal regulatory process to establish the basis for customer electric rates. These rates include the cost for the utility to maintain and upgrade the electric system that everyone uses. Solar customers are subject to these rates since net metering allows them to sell energy back to the utility, which requires access Read more…

Tax

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created a federal tax credit known as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for residential properties.  This 30% tax credit applies to solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems, and fuel cells.  The ITC was extended in 2008 by the passage of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act.  This Act allowed Read more…

Transmission and Distribution

With “centralized generation”, transmission lines transport large amounts of high voltage electricity produced at centralized power plants to substations where the electricity is converted to a lower voltage.  Then, distribution lines carry the lower voltage electricity to consumers.  With “distributed generation”, the source of electricity is at or near the customer, such as solar panels Read more…

Reliability

The grid is designed to handle variability in energy supply, as new and different generation sources are implemented onto the grid.  An increasing amount of solar energy is being reliably integrated onto the grid with the help of detailed weather reports.  This allows grid operators to adjust other electricity sources as needed.  When solar power Read more…

Solar and the Grid

The electric grid is a two-way interconnected system that maintains a balance between energy supply and electricity demand, while moving electricity from generation sources to customers.  While the grid utilizes a mix of energy sources including fossil fuels, wind, and biomass, solar power can supply reliable energy to the grid, reducing fossil fuel consumption and Read more…