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How Photovoltaic Systems Work
Individual solar cells, made of thin layers of silicon, are grouped together to form photovoltaic (PV) solar modules which, when installed as a component of a complete solar system, generate electricity.¹
When sunlight strikes the PV solar module cells installed on the roof of your home, a chemical reaction releases electrons that generate an electric current.
Photovoltaic solar electricity benefits:¹
- Lower your monthly electric bills
- Save money on your system purchase with State of Hawaii and federal tax credits
- Utilize free energy from the sun to reduce the effect of utility rate increases
- Enjoy energy independence by becoming your own power producer
- Protect the environment by using clean, renewable energy
- Lessen Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil²
For up-to-date information on federal, state, and local incentives, consult the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Solar Power and Net Metering Programs Reduce Your Utility Bills
During 2014, average U.S. residential electricity prices increased at the highest rate since 2008.3 By generating your own electricity and taking advantage of net metering programs on Oahu and Maui, you can hedge against future rate hikes and increase your utility savings.
An electric meter will track your home’s net power usage, spinning forward when you use electricity from the utility and backward when your system is generating more electricity than you household is consuming. Excess energy produced by your PV system can be exported back to Hawaiian Electric at full retail value and used as a credit toward your bill over a 12-month period.²
Alternate Energy has helped Hawaii residents offset their utility bills by approximately $118,000,000 annually. Read our customer success stories to learn more and see how much you can save.
- Hawaii Tax Credits and Incentives
- Net Metering, Hawaiian Electric
- Short-term Energy Outlook, U.S. Energy Information Association
¹ Based on California home with average home energy use of 7,000kWh/yr. Sources: Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration. National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PVWATTS 10 Californian cities' estimated AC energy production. OnGrid Solar.
² Hawaiian Electric
3 U.S. Energy Information Administration