When you live in the “Sunshine State,” solar power just seems like the natural choice as your home’s energy source. Solar energy is clean, renewable and increasingly becoming more affordable as the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels, the key component in generating electricity from sunlight, continues to fall.
Still, a rooftop solar energy system is a large investment and is not for every home or business owner. The following are valuable resources you should use in determining if installing a PV system is right for you:
- Use these resources to help you find out if you’re a good candidate for solar energy: Google Project Sunroof, Department of Energy, FSEC Energy Research Center, and the NREL’s PVWatts® Calculator. To receive accurate information on Google Project Sunroof, you’ll need to know the average amount of the electric portion of your utility bill.
Google Project Sunroof examples:
- Request a free OUC residential or commercial energy audit, or call 407-423-9018 to schedule an appointment. An audit is a great way to determine if there are opportunities for energy savings, available rebates and OUC programs. By cutting back on your energy usage, you would reduce the size of PV system you would need for your home.
- Visit www.ouc.com/solar to learn about OUCollective Solar and OUCommunity Solar. These two programs offer affordable options for installing rooftop PV systems or hooking up to solar energy.
- Calculate the kilowatt size of rooftop PV system you would need. To do this, log into myOUC account or request your consumption history from Customer Service. Divide the total kilowatt hours (kWh) of the most recent 12 months by 1,350 kWh. (Rule of thumb: 1 kW system in Orlando is expected to produce an average of 1,350 kWh a year, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory – PVWatts.) For example, if you consumed a total of 12,825 kWh over the past 12 months, you would need approximately a 9.5 kW solar PV system to be net-zero energy for the year.
Here’s an example of an OUC bill showing monthly kWh usage:
- Obtain at least four quotes from solar PV system installers. Start your search by using our list of Preferred Contractors and ask for warranty information and references.
- Add a battery to a residential PV system and get an OUC rebate. OUC offers rebates of up to $2,000 to customers who supplement their solar photovoltaic systems with a battery. The incentive is available only to OUC residential solar PV customers, including those with OUCollective Solar, and it applies to batteries with at least 8 kilowatt hours of capacity and a 10-year defect warranty. Click here for more information on the rebate and to apply for it.
If you have questions, please call 407-434-2256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.