The federal government allows you to deduct 30% of your solar power system costs off your federal taxes through an investment tax credit (ITC). These solar tax credits were created in 2008 by the federal government to encourage both residential and commercial solar prospects to switch to renewable energy. Now is the time to go solar!


When your panels produce more energy than you use, it gets fed back into the electric grid, running your meter backwards. This process, called net metering, means that you’ll have a credit on your energy bill for those days when you need to use more energy than you’re producing.


The science behind this technology is fairly complex, but the idea is actually quite simple. Solar power is produced by a group of solar units (panels), called an array, that are installed on your roof or ground-mounted. When sunlight shines on the solar panels, a DC electrical current is generated instantaneously. The DC electricity is fed into an inverter that changes it to standard AC electricity – the same kind your home already uses.


Solar panels are installed on your roof or adjacent structure. These solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into DC power.

  • Photons bombard and penetrate the cell.
  • They activate electrons, knocking them loose in both silicon layers.
  • Some electrons in the bottom layer sling-shot to the top of the cell.
  • These electrons flow into metal contacts as electricity, moving into a circuit throughout a 60-cell module.
  • Electrons flow back into the cell via a solid contact layer at the bottom, creating a closed loop or circuit.


The DC power from the photovoltaic cells is sent to an inverter, where it is converted into AC power, or standard household electricity.

A solar inverter, or PV inverter, converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that can be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network.

It is a critical component in a photovoltaic system, allowing the use of ordinary commercial appliances. Solar inverters have special functions adapted for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.


The AC power travels from the inverter to the electrical panel, or breaker box. This power is then available to service all of your electrical needs. The utility meter continually measures your electrical supply; when your solar system produces more power than you need, the meter spins backwards, racking up your credits with the utility company.

The utility grid remains in place to supply you with electricity when you need more power than your system has produced; this can happen at night.