If you’re going Star Plus Energy the most significant determinants of your system costs and savings will be where you live, your lifestyle choices, and the amount of power you use. A decent solar system should meet most of your energy needs – any excess will be exported to the grid, providing you with an additional source of income.

The key technology to understand is photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. They contain a semiconductor – usually made from silicon – which absorbs sunlight and knocks electrons loose. The free electrons flow through metal contacts on the top and bottom of each solar panel, creating an electric current.

This current runs through a microinverter on each panel, which locally converts the DC current to AC electricity, suitable for household circuits and appliances. This process is known as re-conversion.

These devices reduce energy bills, decrease emissions and help to mitigate climate change. They can also add value to your home, especially if you are considering selling it in the future.

The biggest barrier to solar energy is the perception of cost, which can be countered through federal tax credits and state rebates. However, the best way to save money on your solar system is to pay for it upfront. This will allow you to recoup your investment and enjoy the financial benefits immediately. Alternatively, you can choose to take advantage of various solar financing options. However, before you decide on a financing solution, make sure to compare the total cost of ownership against your utility rates and other energy-efficiency upgrades.

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