When you hear the term “net-zero” it refers to a home or building that creates all the energy it needs to operate normally. It is also called “zero-energy”. That means that if you have a solar energy system you’ll reach net-zero status when it creates enough power to cause your electric bill to either be at zero or in a negative balance. Typically, this occurs on a rolling 12-month cycle.
Solar Provides Energy Independence
Any building can reach net-zero. Homes, office buildings, even entire communities make a goal to get as close to it as possible. A zero-energy home can become self-sufficient and boast about the fact that they have no out-of-pocket cost for power each month. In addition to that, they are no longer contributing to the pollution problems that come from traditional sources.
Most homes that have been converted to solar power are still connected to the power grid in their community. That’s because solar panels can only collect enough of the sun’s energy during the day. It is virtually non-existent at night and production drops a great deal on cloudy days. At those times the home will pull from the grid to operate the household. So, how can that still be considered net-zero?
Saving Money With Your System
When your solar energy system is operating at full capacity, it is making more energy than the home needs. The excess electricity has to go somewhere, so it is fed back into the grid causing your meter to “run backwards”. The power company uses that extra energy to power other homes and buildings in the area. When you get your bill you’ll have credit for all of that power that they essentially “bought” from you. That means that when you do have to use electricity from the grid you will dip into those credits. Our goal when designing your system is that over the course of the year all of those ups and downs in your credits will equal zero. You’ll find that you’ve spent no money on power!
There are cases when a home can’t be connected to the grid. This happens in rural areas where the grid can’t reach. In that situation, a family can still reach net-zero status because their system will create enough power to run their home both night and day. But since they can’t rely on power from the grid at night they have to have batteries installed in their home. The excess power during the day will charge the batteries and leave them with enough energy at night to be comfortable.
If you’ve been thinking about converting your home to a solar energy system to help lower the costs of electricity, then Aurora Energy would love to help you. We have been helping people all over California live an energy-independent life for years. Go to our Facebook page and hear from some of our clients about their experiences with us. Then call us and let one of our solar consultants show you how we can help you turn your home into a “net-zero” home!