A limitation of a grid-tied system is that when the grid is down or power is lost, the solar energy system cannot be used, since any electricity running through the system can be dangerous to the technicians working on the lines. Redman says that more and more homeowners are showing an interest in hybrid solar energy systems. These systems can be grid-tied and also operate to provide energy if the grid is down since they include a battery back-up component that allows for excess energy storage.
Thanks to Google Earth, solar installers usually know if a property has the right conditions; avoiding the fee for an onsite inspection. Houses with a southern orientation within 40 degrees of direct southern exposure are golden. Those with flat roofs work well because the panels can be tilted for maximum effect. Adjustable panels can also be adapted to the best angle per season. Panels can’t be in shade for a significant part of the day.
Donald Redman, President of US Energy Solutions, says there has never been a better time, financially, for consumers in South Carolina to turn to solar energy. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit allows homeowners and businesses to receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their tax liability equaling 30 percent of the installed cost from their federal taxes, and South Carolina’s Solar Energy Tax Credit lets residents claim a state tax credit of 25 percent of the entire installed cost of a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system.