Thinking about solar? Talk to us first!
STEMC is committed to helping our members learn more about renewable energy sources like solar. The information found below can assist members in making the best decisions for their needs
There are a lot of great reasons to “go solar.” First and foremost, by doing so, you are helping to protect the environment by supporting clean, renewable energy. And it’s certainly true that participating in solar generation can result in savings on your electric bill. However, some solar contractors reach out to STEMC residential members with misleading (and sometimes downright false) information about how solar generation works—specifically, the financial benefits of installing a small-scale solar system.
In most cases, the savings are relatively modest. The amount depends on things like the size of your system and how many hours of sunlight your property receives. (Which, in turn, is based on the time of year, the weather—cloud cover, specifically—and even air temperatures.) Additional factors like the orientation/tilt of your solar panels; their size, wattage, and technology; the amount of shading on your property; and the quality of your “inverter”—the piece of equipment that allows the sun’s rays to be converted to usable electric energy—also play a role in the efficiency of your system.
In other words, installing solar panels is a decision that requires serious consideration and preparation! The good news is, we are here to help. Before you sign anything or make a payment of any kind to a solar contractor, talk to us first! Don’t fall victim to dishonest or ill-informed solar contractors. If their sales pitch sounds too good to be true, that’s probably the case! Avoid being taken advantage of by turning to STEMC, your trusted energy advisor. We can provide you will all the information you need to make sure you’re not investing your money in a system with unrealistic “returns” that are based on inaccurate claims.
It varies from season to season, but power is typically generated from around 8 am to 6 pm—with the greatest output occurring between noon and 1 pm, when the sun’s rays are at their peak. Although they produce a small amount of electricity even when it’s cloudy out, their output is greatly diminished.