Solar Energy Systems: How They Work. If you want a more eco-friendly home, a “green” step is to purchase a solar energy system. After all, the sun’s energy has been shining down on us in Longview for millions of years. Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. carries the Lennox® SunSource® Energy System to help you create a more efficient home that doesn’t heavily rely on oil and gas. So 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. Then, the electricity can be used to power appliances, lights and other electrical devices in your home – from your HVAC systems to your TV. Grid-tied PV systems If you live in Longview, 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 allows you to use solar energy from your system when the PVs are collecting energy and use electricity from the grid at times when the system isn’t gathering energy. Grid-tied systems also allow your system to feed surplus energy back into the grid, at which time your meter will spin backwards. This process is called net-metering. The backward spin lets you save on utility expenses that are decided based on how far forward your meter has spun. You should 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 tied to the utility grid and are nice options when your home is in a remote location, or too far a distance from a utility service or power lines. Ben Maines Air Conditioning, Inc. in Longview is ready to help with your solar energy system questions. Give us a shout at 903-758-0701 or book an appointment online.