Making Watts while the Sun shines
Solar energy is the cleanest, most abundant, renewable energy source available. The energy from the sun that hits the surface of the earth can be harvested into electrical energy, with great social and economic benefits. Solar electricity is generated when photons (sunlight) land on the photovoltaic cells within a solar module. Photovoltaic cells can be used in a variety of applications ranging from single small cells that charge calculator or watch batteries, to systems using arrays of multi cell modules that power single homes, to large power plants covering many acres. For the average consumer, the idea of generating energy into their home by adding a photovoltaic array to their roof is very appealing. These systems can offset the costs of electricity from the utility or export any excess energy back onto the grid (see Net Metering below).
The fastest growing use for solar electricity is the Net Metering program for residential and commercial customers. Net Metering is a program whereby eligible home owners can reduce their net energy demand by supplying their home with solar electricity which exports surplus generated energy back onto grid for credit against the energy the home consumes from the grid.
First, contact your local utility (See Below) and apply for their Net Metering program. By contracting an installer to add solar modules to your building and by connecting the modules to the existing electrical system through an inverter, it is easy to start producing your own energy.
For a list of solar power companies in BC, visit our Sustainable Energy Directory!