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How Residential Solar Panels Work

Diagram of how solar panels work, numbered 1-6

Distributed Energy Resource

Any source of power that is owned by the customer. For homeowners, the most popular source is solar panels.



Solar panels, the most common type of distributed energy resource, generate Direct Current (DC) power, while home appliances use Alternating Current (AC) power. An inverter converts DC power to usable AC power, and provides some limited protections for abnormal operating conditions.


Advanced Electric Meter

This is a smart meter we install at your home. It measures how much energy you use when your solar panels aren’t generating enough to support your needs. It also measures the surplus energy your solar panels send back to the electric grid when they produce more than you use.


AC Disconnect Switch

Safely isolates your equipment from our grid. This must be accessible and lockable by our crews at all times.


Breaker Box

Allows you to shut off power to different sections of your home (or all of your home if desired).

Helpful guide for homeowners If you’ve been thinking about installing solar panels on your home, check out our guide.

Solar installation checklist Use our checklist to help with your decision-making.

Do's and don'ts of hiring a contractor Understand your responsibilities before you sign a contract.

Getting started with solar power Transition to a clean energy future.

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