Parker County Today September 2017 - Page 51

THE THREE PATHS TO SOLAR BY RICHARD A. FLOREY Marketing Director EcoVantage Energy, inc. www./ The Big 3 The number three; it seems the universe runs on it. You know, you’ve seen it work its mystical magic whenever you get a traffic ticket. You KNOW two more are just around the corner. In relative short order as well. There’s just no escaping…three. That said … Your Three Reasons If you’ve made the decision to buy solar, be prepared to answer the three questions as to why you are wanting solar to begin with: 1. Are you looking to have solar reduce your existing electric bill? 2. Are you looking to have solar erase your bill through net metering? 3. Are you looking to be completely off-grid? Reduce Your Bill! With as little as ten panels, your electric bill can be reduced by as much as thirty percent! This system is a first step for most new customers in becoming power self-sufficient and is a great introduction to a new lifestyle. In the time leading up to the installation, we urge the customer to change to LED lighting as well as making sure they have sufficient insulation in order to reduce their overall power consumption. This will also get the most efficiency out of your new system and is a vital part of getting to that thirty percent reduction in your bill. Above All No matter which of the three paths you chose, ask a professional to help make sure you get it right. The professionals at EcoVantage Solar will be glad to help. See you next time and, may the sun always shine on you! Net Zero via Net Metering What two of the three systems have in common is they’re what’s known as a, “grid tied” system. A grid tied system runs parallel with your electric utility and is monitored by a special meter that is capable of running backwards. Most times you will see a fee for around $25, which is the rental cost of the meter on your bill. It is also advised that you have a small bank of batteries in order to keep the essentials running during times of black-out due to inclement weather or brown outs. Not nearly as much as you will need going off-grid, but enough to get you through until the power returns. Being Off-Grid In any of the three paths to solar; the bottom line is you’re paying for electricity NOW as opposed to over time. And know that going off-grid is the most expensive of the three ways to go solar. Because the system will run the entire household; you’ll need at least double the solar panels as well as double the batteries you would with net metering. Also keep in mind that you’ll be running on batteries when the sun goes down so it will be up to you to turn off lights, unplug wall chargers, etc., but … 49