Solar energy technology can further reduce your carbon footprint, help you reduce monthly energy costs and increase the resale value of your home.
Benefits of Home Solar Power and Battery Storage Systems
We recommend making your home energy efficient before installing at-home solar power and battery storage systems. This will help you determine how many solar panels you’ll need for maximum cost-savings and energy savings. You can learn more about how home solar and storage can save you money at cpuc.ca.gov/nem. Battery storage allows you to store energy generated during off-peak time-of-use periods and use it later in the evening to avoid grid usage during on peak periods.
Multifamily properties can also install solar power systems that serve apartments and common areas, like community rooms, on-site laundry, parking areas, etc. Property owners can set up “virtual net energy metering” with your electric utility to have bill credits from on-site solar production split between tenants and the property owner. No matter the home type, Californians can install solar power to help reduce monthly energy costs.
Beyond the benefit to your wallet, installing solar and storage means you can generate power that can help cover your energy usage, reduce your carbon footprint, and help California eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 2045.
How They Work
Solar power systems work by harnessing the power of the sun’s rays and turning it into electricity or hot water. In solar electricity, particles of sunlight, called photons, are captured by the solar panels and turned into electrons, or direct current (DC). The electrons are then routed through an inverter to convert the DC power into alternating current (AC) power, which is the type of power found in your wall outlet. In solar water heating, a pump circulates a heat transfer liquid to the roof and solar collectors absorb the sun’s thermal energy and heat the transfer liquid. The transfer liquid enters a heat exchanger, warming the tank; hot water then flows from the storage tank to your existing water heater to provide backup heating when needed.
Programs for Solar and Batteries
To help with access to solar and batteries, programs are typically available to support introduction of new technologies, expand low-income access, and increase climate resiliency. Learn more about current offerings at https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/consumer-support/consumer-programs-and-services.