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American Sentry Solar By American Sentry Solar • December 21, 2016

Frequently Used Solar Terms You Should Know

 Frequently Used Solar Terms


If you’re beginning your research into going solar you’ll start to notice many acronyms and abbreviations that may slightly confuse you since you’re new to the phrases and terminology. In this post we’ll go over some commonly used acronyms that will help you gain a better grasp on solar terminology.

PV- Photovoltaic

Photovoltaics is the process of converting light into energy. When speaking of Solar, photovoltaics is the process of converting sunlight into usable energy to power your home. Click here to learn more about how solar works.

Solar ITC- Solar Investment Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit is a recently renewed federal policy that provides a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties. The solar ITC is a great incentive for homeowners or business owners looking to own solar for their properties.

* To receive the 30% federal tax credit you must purchase and own your solar system. When you lease solar panels or enter into a power purchase agreement you forfeit the tax credit and hand it over to the solar company.

SREC- Solar Renewable Energy Credit

When you own solar panels for your home you're eligible to receive credits for the amount of energy your solar power system produces. For every 1,000 Kw your solar system produces you'll receive a credit to sell on the SREC market, similar to trading stock. Learn more about SRECs here.

RPS- Renewable Portfolio Standard

The renewable portfolio standard is a regulation that is in place to increase the amount of renewable energy production. Electric companies must have a certain amount of its energy come from renewable sources. For example, the state of Maryland requires that 2% of the state's energy come from solar energy sources.

PPA- Power Purchase Agreement

A power purchase agreement is a type of solar lease agreement where homeowners are locked into a 20 or 25 year contract that where they a pay a certain rate for electricity. PPA's include a rate escalator that increases the amount you pay each year. Homeowner's also forfeit all solar incentives to the PPA company when they sign up for this option. Learn more about why you should avoid PPA's

MEA- Maryland Energy Administration 

The MEA (Maryland Energy Administration) is the State's energy department. MEA's focus is to "promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy that benefit all Marylander's. Our programs and policies help lower energy bills, support business energy upgrades, support a cleaner environment and promote energy independence for Maryland." Learn more about the MEA.

SEIA- Solar Energy Industries Association

"The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is the driving force behind solar energy and is building a strong solar industry to power America through advocacy and education. As the nation trade association in the U.S., we represent all organizations that promote, manufacture, install, and support the development of solar energy." Learn more about SEIA here.

Thanks for your interest in learning more about solar and frequently used solar terms. If your still hungry for more information about solar and interested in owning solar for your home, check out our free online guide below!


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