You’ve done your research and know when it comes to state-of-the-art solar panel technology, Icon Solar has the latest and greatest. You also know there is a lot involved in how those money-saving panels work (and work for you). These five need-to-know words will send you on your way to massive solar savings.

WandaSidebarTemplate1. Tax Credit
Simply put, a tax credit is a credit on your taxes. The credit amount is taken directly off your payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income. It is a credit that only offsets tax you would otherwise have to pay.

Right now, there is a 30 percent solar investment tax credit. That means you can claim your new home solar system on your taxes and receive 30 percent of the cost of your system in addition to any other refund you’re owed. This can be up to $10,000. Yep, you read that right.

2. Grid
When “grid” is mentioned in terms of solar power, we’re talking about the utility grid (don’t worry, we’re not talking about some elaborate mathematical graph!). Your home is hooked up to your community’s utility grid through power lines that give you electricity you use and pay for from the utility company.

The most common home solar system is grid-tied. With this system, your solar panels are still connected to the utility grid. While your solar panels will provide much of the electricity you need, remaining connected to the grid allows you to get electricity from it at night (when your panels aren’t producing power), or if you simply use more power than your panels can produce.

Additionally, grid-tied systems allow you to send surpluses from your own solar panels to the power company. When that happens, you get a credit with the power company. This credit allows you to pull that surplus amount of power your panels generated and you didn’t use from the grid at no cost. Your system will switch seamlessly to pull from the grid when you need it.

There are also grid-tied with battery and off-grid home solar systems.

3. Array
You most often see “array” in terms of a solar array or photovoltaic (fancy word for solar) array. Essentially, an array is your unique home solar system. When multiple solar panels are connected, and installed together, they are called an “array.”

At Icon Solar, we work with you to design, produce and install an array that is custom to your energy and aesthetic needs.

4. Inverter
An inverter is where the magic happens. To understand what an inverter does, first you have to know what DC and AC Power are. DC power, also known as “Direct Current,” is generated from your solar panels as the materials inside them are activated by the sun to create an electric current. AC power, also known as “Alternating Current,” is the electricity that you pull from the grid and use to power your home.

The inverter is the middle-man that transforms DC power into AC power. Each individual solar panel is connected to an inverter and to the other solar panels in your array. Together these inverters form a chain of power that travels into your circuit breaker on your electric panel to power your home.

5. Home Battery
A home battery is your home solar system’s right hand man. A home battery stores energy your home solar system overproduces so you can use it around the clock. It can also serve as a backup power source in power outages. By storing your solar energy, you’ll see even more electric bill savings and you can power critical appliances and devices in your home even when the grid is down. Home batteries mean less reliance on the grid, less fossil fuels and a lower carbon footprint.

Icon Solar is a certified installer of Tesla Powerwall, a complete home energy solution. Interested? Give us a call and learn more.

Now that you know how solar harnesses the free, abundant power of the sun (isn’t it awesome?!), you may be wondering how you get started on your home solar system. Lucky for you, Icon Solar has a total turnkey solution, which is a fancy way to say we’ll walk you through every step of your solar process.

Have questions or comments for us on this blog? Talk to us here.