Residential Solar Panels

You must appreciate the importance of reliable electric energy in your house. However, depending on electricity can be expensive and sometimes unreliable during power outages and natural disasters. Installing a residential solar panel system is the way to go; it offers many advantages that this article discusses below. The benefits will show you that generating clean energy is a worthwhile investment. However, to maximize the investment, you should hire a trustworthy and reliable service provider to handle system maintenance and installation.

Orange County Home Remodeling is a leading solar firm skilled in the most advanced systems that cater to homes of any size. We offer customized solutions to suit your needs and maximize the power our system generates. Our technicians can work with you to ensure optimal performance and a hassle-free solar panel installation.

How Residential Solar Panels Work

A residential panel converts the sun’s light energy into electricity using arrays of photovoltaic cells that convert protons into electricity. Photovoltaic cells, or solar cells, are arranged in grid-like patterns on the panel’s surface to produce given wattages of electricity. Typically, your installation company will arrange multiple panels in arrays before installing the panel.

Residential solar panels are made of gallium arsenide and crystalline silicon. More effective solar panels are assembled by depositing amorphous silicon in a roll-on-roll process. These cells are known as amorphous silicon cells. These panels are more efficient and durable than crystalline panels.

The free electrons flow via the solar cells into a junction box and down wires along the panel's edge as direct current. Then the current travels to an inverter, which converts it to an alternative current (AC) that powers your home.

How Much Power Do Residential Solar Panels Produce?

Before going solar, you should consider whether the investment is worth it. It comes from determining the amount of power your roof-installed solar panels can generate and determining if the energy will meet your home's long-term needs, especially if you rely on a different type of energy.

The solar panels’ power rating is in watts, a unit that measures power production. Currently, the best and most contemporary solar panels produce between 250 and 400 watts of electricity. Although a one-kilowatt system can generate between 750 and 850 kilowatt hours annually, bigger homes should have more kilowatt systems.

A typical household in Orange County would require approximately ten thousand kilowatts per hour annually. In other words, a twenty- to thirty-year system should generate adequate energy to cover yearly needs. However, every household is unique, and the same holds for solar panel systems that will meet your needs.

Power output depends on environmental factors, including the following:

  • Your roof condition and size.
  • The total number of solar panels in your system.
  • Hours of peak sunlight exposure.

Manufacturers have also determined the solar power outputs for their products. Therefore, homeowners should closely read the labels and research which solar panel is ideal for their house based on their energy consumption and outdoor space. 

What Happens If Your Solar Panel Generates More Power Than You Need

An efficient solar panel produces more power than your household needs. Generating more power is a good problem that will benefit your home and pocketbook.

You have three options when your panel generates excess power.

Sending Excess Energy to a Grid

If a homeowner has connected the property to power lines, they can send the excess power to the grid. It permits them to store the excess power and draw it from the grid whenever required.

Storing your excess energy on the grid is known as net metering, and here is how it works: 

The panel will likely generate more solar energy than you need during the summer. When this occurs, the meter sends excess energy to the electric grid. You will receive monthly credits from the utility company based on your net kilowatt-hour. In California, net metering credits are retail rate bill credits, making them economical for residents.

During the winter, your residential solar panel might need more energy to power your appliances. Once you connect your home to the electric grid, you will receive power using your accumulated credits. If the solar system produces less power than you need in a specific month, you might need to purchase electricity from the utility. In this case, you will pay for your electricity consumption minus the panels' excess power on the energy grid.

Storing Your Extra Power in a Backup Battery 

A homeowner can also store excess solar power in a backup solar battery. There are two types of backup batteries:

  • Grid-tied battery backup — If your home is connected to the electric grid, you can use hybrid backup batteries to power your appliances and offer a solution during power outages. The hybrid backup battery uses an inverter that can send energy to the grid, the backup batteries, or your home.
  • Off-grid battery backups — If your property is not connected to the electric grid, you can install an off-grid battery to power your home at night. Since this system does not tap into the grid, you require more substantial and efficient battery storage. Your installation company should help you determine the ideal size you need. 

Shifting Your Electrical Loads

If your solar panel generates more energy than your battery can store, you can modify your home appliance usage during the day, maximizing the extra energy. The process is known as load shifting.

Some of the appliances you can use include the following:

  • Air conditioner.
  • Heating system.
  • Dishwasher.
  • Pool pump.
  • Clothes washer.

Your solar energy professional can set timers on the equipment to operate during the day.

Why Go Solar? Pros of Installing a Solar System

Between gas, housing, food, and cellphone bills, among other expenses, most Americans spend approximately $164.55 daily.

Consumers order things from Amazon, shop at grocery stores, purchase coffee, pay a plumber to fix their sink, go to the mall, and spend money on many other daily decisions.

With many buying decisions to make, you have probably developed your justification system and asked rhetorical questions like, Is going solar necessary? Does installing a residential solar system fit my budget? Will it reduce my energy costs?

This section seeks to clear the air about solar energy by discussing the different benefits of going solar, so you can make an informed decision.

You Can Receive Federal Solar Energy Tax Credits after Installing a Solar System 

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income tax amount you would otherwise owe.

Solar systems installed between 2020 and 2021 qualify for a 26% tax credit. In 2022, Congress passed an extension of the investment tax credit (ITC), raising it to 30% for installations between 2022 and 2032. Systems installed before and on December 31, 2019, are also eligible for the 30% tax credit.

Solar Energy Lowers the Carbon Footprint

Generating electricity from fossil fuels results in greenhouse gas emissions, including nitrous oxide, fluorinated gasses, carbon dioxide, and methane. On the other hand, solar power systems cut a big slice of the greenhouse gas emissions pie and replace it with clean and environmentally friendly energy. That means installing a solar system in your home will reduce your carbon footprint.

Solar Systems Will Reduce Your Energy Bills

Although installing panels is an investment, the system will pay for itself and save you money on electricity bills in the long run. Solar power that the panels generate from the sun can reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills, especially with grid energy becoming more costly.

Also, a solar panel can last up to thirty years. Avoiding rising electricity costs for decades is appealing, particularly with monthly savings increasing over time as power becomes more expensive.

You Will Get Paid for Selling Extra Solar Energy to the Grid

You can reduce the strain on the grid by adding power when required to prevent blackouts. California offers the net metering option. Your utility firm will compensate you if your panel generates more power than your household needs at that point. You can be paid in the form of bill credits.

Increased Home Value

A solar panel can increase your home’s value, allowing you to borrow more through refinancing options or boosting your profits during a resale. How much your system increases your home’s value depends significantly on the panel’s size. However, some experts claim that the value increases by twenty dollars for every dollar saved in annual utility bills.

Potential Cons of a Residential Solar System

It is not all daisies and butterflies, and drawbacks might prevent you from installing the solar system.

High Upfront Cost

Notwithstanding the tax benefits, homeowners should still pay the upfront installation cost. The cost can be up to $25,000, depending on the panel’s complexity and size.

While you can consider leasing your solar system to reduce your upfront cost, you will not use the tax benefits.

Solar Panel Maintenance

While most panels can last more than twenty years without a reduction in efficiency, there are maintenance items you should consider. For example, your system will need regular cleaning to preserve its functionality. 

Installing Your Solar Panel System

There are many factors to consider regarding residential solar power. If you are contemplating going solar, consider hiring a solar energy expert. They will offer you the information you need to inform you about your project.

Here is what to expect with the installation process:

  1. An Engineer will Make a Site Survey

After contacting your solar installation firm and signing a contract, an engineer will visit your property to check your electrical system and ensure it is compatible with your solar system design. 

The engineer can be an independent contractor or a worker for a solar firm. If your electrical system is outdated and old, your engineer will recommend that you replace or upgrade it. It means the solar power system requires more amps than your electrical system can accommodate.

Additionally, your engineer will inspect the roof to ensure it can support the solar panel’s weight and is structurally okay. The expert will recommend a specialized mounting system if your roof is flat. 

  1. Secure the Appropriate Permits

Before the panel installation, you should acquire all the necessary documentation and permits to ensure the installation is lawful and meets zoning and local safety requirements.

Much paperwork is linked to installing the solar system, making this step sound intimidating. Luckily, your skilled solar company can handle most of it, and you only have to sign the paperwork occasionally. Some of the paperwork the installer will bring includes the following:

  • Local building and electrical permits.
  • Interconnection agreement with a local utility.
  • Applying for federal and state incentive programs that lower the upfront solar panels cost.
  • Completing your paperwork allows you to secure financial help like tax credits and rebates to reduce installation costs. 
  1. Order the Installation Equipment

Your solar panel installer will order the equipment after you have the relevant paperwork and permits. 

Whether you want an affordable and the best solar panel, solar batteries, or inverter, your installer should help you choose the equipment that will assist you in realizing your solar power goals. After ordering your equipment, the installer will add your name to their queue.

  1. Installing Your Solar Panel

Your solar system installer will start by preparing the roof by ensuring all shingles and tiles are well-attached. Then they will install the wiring that connects the electrical system to your solar system. Next, the installer will place ranks to hold your panels. Your solar panel is placed on racks while your inverter is connected to your panel.

The installer can also set up your battery bank.

  1. Get the Solar System Approved and Connected

A municipal government representative will assess your solar system before approving it and issuing you permission to operate (PTO). The safety precaution ensures that new sets of eyes validate the electrical and wiring work.

You should also expect a local utility firm representative to interconnect your system. 

Finally, your installer will turn on your solar energy.

Contact an Experienced Solar System Installer Near Me

With a solar panel system, you can generate your own power, giving you peace with increased electricity costs. The system also offers a backup power solution during outages and natural disasters, a value beyond money.

Orange County Home Remodeling ensures you have the best solar panel to optimize your power production. We have the experience and resources and can guide you through the maintenance and installation. Our systems are also designed for your lifestyle, financial, energy, and home structure goals. Please contact us at 657-660-3481 for a free estimate for an affordable, efficient, and reliable residential solar energy system.


Orange County Home Remodeling has a team of skilled contractors focused on one goal: providing superior designs, outstanding workmanship, and individualized customer service for the most outstanding home remodeling and renovation projects in the Orange County region. We are insured, licensed, and bonded, and with combined years of experience, you can trust us to do the job right the first time. Call us today at 657-660-3481 to get started on your home remodel project.

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