The use of solar power is on the rise. In fact, residential solar installations have been growing at an average 51 percent rate annually for the last five years, according to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. If you are contemplating the move to solar energy, we can help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to this form of renewable energy.

Myth #1: Solar panels only work in warm climates.

Actually, solar panels are slightly more efficient at producing electricity in cold temperatures. Even in colder climates, you can still get enough sunlight for solar panels to work. For example, Germany, a northern country not generally known for sunny skies, is the world leader in solar photovoltaic energy, producing over 9,000 Megawatts. That’s almost enough to cover the roofs of 2 million U.S. houses!

Myth #2: You still need fossil fuel energy as a backup to solar panels.

As long as you install common grid-tie solar systems, you do not need a fossil-fuel source as a backup. Today, residential solar panels are almost always connected to the electric grid. The electricity generated by the solar panels powers your house, and any extra electricity is fed back into the electric grid. Because your home remains connected to the electrical grid, you can continue to rely on electricity from your local utility at night or on cloudy days when the solar panels are not generating maximum power.

(See our October 13, 2011 post for more facts about solar power.)

If you are considering solar power panels for your home or business, the solar power specialists at Oak Electric Service are happy to answer your questions. We invite you to visit our website at www.oakelectric.com to learn more about us; or give us a call at (800) 964-7070.