One of the most frequently asked questions about solar power is whether homes with solar panels still have access to power during major power outages. Due to safety and technical reasons, solar panels will not keep your power on during a blackout. However, this does not make solar energy any less of an investment on your home.

Is it safe to continue using solar energy during a blackout?

Without a battery back-up system, solar energy systems will shut down along with the rest of the electricity sources in the neighborhood. This utility regulation is for the protection of the workers fixing the power outage. Repair crews are directly working on the points of failure across the grid, so to have a local power generator such as a solar source leaking power onto the grid lines would put these linemen and women in jeopardy. Solar energy systems can detect when grid power is down, which automatically shuts the system down. So even though solar panels can continue to generate electricity during power outages, it is shut down to avoid hazardous situations.

What do solar panels have to do with the blackout?

Most solar panels still work through the community’s grid system even though the panels produce their own energy. Since the sun is the direct source of energy that solar panels collect, the amount of energy collected is not regulated to specifically give only what the house needs. Any extra energy generated by the solar panels is sent back into the grid for others to use, which is why your utility credits you on your bill for that power. Since sunlight levels vary, solar energy systems typically are connected to grid systems to ensure that there are constant levels of power when sunlight levels are low.

Are solar panels still a smart investment?

Solar power is still the cleanest energy source that can save you money in the long run. It has the highest environmental benefit of all the energy sources because it reduces carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses, which ultimately improves air pollution. This energy is produced with virtually no environmental impact, unlike fossil fuels.

Homes with solar power receive tax credit for their energy shared through the grid. Owners can deduct 30% of the cost of installation from their federal taxes until the end of 2019. Solar panels also add to the value of your home, with homebuyers willing to pay $15,000 extra on homes with solar panels installed [1].

Solar energy is the way of the future – not only because of its undeniable environmental benefits, but for its financial ones as well. Solar energy is a source of green power that is renewable, clean, sustainable and reduces pollution otherwise caused by fossil fuels. With these currently available technologies, renewable energy is projected to provide 80% of The United States’ electricity by the year 2050 [2].  Federal and state incentives will be decreasing at the end of 2019, making today the best time to invest in solar energy!

If you want to reduce your monthly bills, reduce your annual taxes and help improve the environment then solar energy may be right for you. Visit our website at momentumsolar.com or call 1-888-MOMENTUM for more information.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/realestate/solar-panels-and-home-values.html?_r=0

[2] https://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/smart-energy-solutions/increase-renewables/renewable-energy-80-percent-us-electricity.html