Solar Energy Systems: How They Work. If you want a more environmentally friendly home, a “green” step is to install a solar energy system. After all, the sun’s energy has been provided to us in Santa Barbara County for hundreds of years. Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning sells the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a home that relies more on natural energy and less on oil and gas. Just how does this system work? In a sentence: the system uses solar modules, made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, to take in energy from the sun and convert it to electricity. Afterwards, the electricity can power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your phone charger. Grid-tied PV systems If you’re located in or around Buellton, you will want a grid-tied PV system. These are the most affordable solar energy systems, and they’re tied to your utility company’s power grid – hence the name grid-tied. This lets you use solar energy from your system when the PVs are collecting energy and use electricity from the grid at night, or when the system isn’t gathering energy. Grid-tied systems also let your system feed surplus energy back into the grid, which will make your meter spin backwards. We call this process net-metering. The backward spin lets you save on utility expenses that are determined by how far forward your meter has spun. It’s important to note that most solar rebates and incentives are only available if your system is grid-tied. The second option is a stand-alone PV system, which is more expensive. Stand-alone systems are not linked to the utility grid and are nice options when your home is in a remote location, not near a utility service or power lines. Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning in Buellton is happy to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a shout at 805-242-9638 or set up an appointment online.