Not every home in the Midwest is optimal for solar panels. How do you determine if yours is?
Solar panels should be installed to maximize the sun’s potential energy. They must be installed in the right direction and angled to capture the sun’s rays for the longest period of time during the day. The panels should be installed away from shading, like trees, hills, buildings, etc., especially those that cast long shadows during fall and winter months.
This region of the Midwest often has long winter months with fewer hours of sunshine and more days of cloud cover. This is a big issue since more electricity is used during the winter months to combat the cold nights and dark mornings and evenings when solar is producing little to no energy.
Homeowners often don’t see the full potential of solar power because their energy usage does not align with solar. Most people use energy in the morning and evening hours, not during the middle of the day when solar may be at its peak performance.
The solar production curve is bell-shaped, peaking during the middle of the day. Usage cannot be offset at night without battery storage.
Batteries can increase the savings from your solar system by moving usage to times when the sun is not shining. But batteries can also double to triple the cost of the system, which then reduces the overall savings potential to the point that makes it uneconomical.
Energy efficiency is still the best investment for the greatest savings in our area. Installing a solar energy system before you upgrade your home’s energy efficiency will reduce your solar savings in the future. The best strategy is to complete all your energy efficiency upgrades, and then size your solar energy system based on the new usage for optimal savings potential.
If you have questions about energy efficiency or how to integrate solar panels into your home energy usage, contact Daviess – Martin County REMC at (812)-295-4200 for an informed decision.
Daviess-Martin County REMC will buy excess power
That’s right, Daviess-Martin County REMC will purchase any excess power your system generates that you don’t use, as long as you have signed an Interconnection Agreement. However, it is not a one-for-one offset. We will purchase excess power at current wholesale power rates, not current retail rates.
Solar Energy Requires Special Meters
If you have solar installed, we ask that you please notify us. Solar energy requires a special Bi-Directional meter to read correctly. If your system is not set up on a Bi-Directional meter the incorrect reading could result in an overcharge for our usage.