From: CleanTechnies Guest Author, Clean Techies, More from this Affiliate
Published August 11, 2011 07:12 AM

10 Common Misconceptions About Residential Solar

Residential solar is a terrific deal in New Jersey, thanks to generous state incentives. But many homeowners are hesitant to move forward due to widespread misconceptions about the systems, the incentives and the financing. Here, we address 10 common misconceptions about residential solar. What happens to my power if my solar system malfunctions?


Many homeowners fear they will lose power if their solar system malfunctions. In fact, however, residential solar systems are tied into the electric grid. When the sun is shining, the system feeds power into the grid; when the sun is not shining, the system draws power from the grid. If the system malfunctions, which is unlikely since they are very reliable, the home would draw power from the grid.

2. If my home is feeding power into the grid, how does the utility keep track of how much power it has generated?

A residential solar system is typically installed with a net meter. When a home is drawing power, the net meter spins forward, and when the solar system is generating power, the net meter spins backward. (Many net meters now take the form of a digital display rather than a dial, but the concept is the same.) At the end of the year, the local utility bills you for the net amount of electricity you have used.

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