Considering solar power?
Your questions answered
How does home solar really work?
During daylight hours on low-cloud days, sunlight will shine on your panels. These panels are often called photovoltaic or PV panels because they support the photovoltaic process of absorbing and converting light to electricity.
The newly created electricity must be converted from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is the kind of current used in the United States because it can be “stepped up” to support traveling long distances and “stepped down” to an appropriate voltage for household appliances. The conversion to alternating current occurs in a device called an inverter.
In most cases, the newly formed alternating current runs through your home’s electrical panel and powers some of your home energy needs. If your home needs more energy than the solar panels can provide, you will draw metered power from the grid, just as you would have before installing panels.
Frequently asked questions
I'm interested in home solar. What's the first step I should take?
Your co-op can also provide you with all the information you need about rates and interconnection requirements so you can have an informed discussion with a solar installer. There are more than 100 electric utilities in North Carolina, and sometimes solar installers might miss facts and details specific to your co-op. The installer will need the correct information to provide you with an accurate financial overview.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen instances in our communities where co-op members have been misled and misinformed because of inaccurate information. Your co-op is here to be your energy partner throughout the process, helping you to arrive at a decision right for your home and personal goals.
Another thing we always recommend is to improve the energy efficiency of your home. A more efficient home stretches your energy dollar further, and you’ll recover the expense of your solar investment more quickly.
Ground mounted, rooftop, or community solar?
- Can place the array in an optimal location.
- Easy to clean panels and make any needed repairs.
- Most commonly installed; does not require expansive amounts of land and eliminates risk of tampering.
- Typically, less expensive than ground-mounted arrays.
- Utilizes unused space.
If you rent your home, live in a shaded area or determine that home solar isn’t the right fit for you, consider our community solar program. You can purchase energy output from our local solar site without the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance of home solar installations. Contact us to learn more or subscribe.
If I add home solar, will I save on my electric bill?
Co-op members with home solar are still connected to the grid. Because co-ops are an at-cost, not-for-profit energy provider, standard charges that all members pay to ensure the reliability and safety of the electric grid for all will stay on your bill, no matter how much energy your home may produce. Without this structure, grid costs would unintentionally be shifted to members for whom home solar is out of reach for financial, geographic or other reasons.
Can I calculate my potential savings?
Are there incentives to help me pay for home solar?
Connect with an energy expert
As your local energy partner, we are here to help you reach your energy goals. From increasing energy efficiency to interconnecting home solar panels, our energy experts can help you find the facts you need to make big energy decisions easy.
Our community solar program offers members easy access to local solar energy without the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance of home solar installations. Contact us to learn more or subscribe.
Powering a Brighter Future
Together with our members, BlueRidge Energy is powering a brighter future for the people we serve and communities we share. Our innovation and actions are guided by our local roots, and we are focused on delivering value and expanding services to benefit our members. In this decade and beyond, we will continue our commitment to supporting our communities, and to providing reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost while also advancing the pursuit of responsible sustainability goals.