Solar Energy Center
Your source for solar energy information.
Rooftop Solar Readiness
Is rooftop solar right for me?
We recommend you consider many factors before installing solar panels at your home.
I’m ready to install rooftop solar.
If you're choosing solar for your home, let us help you get started!
Rooftop solar isn’t a fit for me.
There are clean energy options available when rooftop solar isn't a fit for your home.
I have questions about solar.
View our list of solar FAQs or contact our energy advisors at email@example.com.
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See our renewable energy initiatives and projects.
Solar energy is energy generated from the sun. It may be in the form of passive solar, which involves capturing the heat from the sun, or photovoltaic solar, which uses light from the sun to generate electric energy.
Photovoltaic cells (also known as solar cells) convert light from the sun into electricity. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are made from materials such as silicon and convert photons from the sun’s rays directly into electrons to produce an electric current. The individual solar cells are connected together to form a module, also known as a solar panel. Once the light hits the panels and is absorbed, electricity is generated.
There are three types of solar panels:
- Photovoltaic (PV): Converts light directly to electricity
- Concentrating solar power (CSP): Uses heat from the sun to generate electricity
- Solar thermal systems: Collect thermal energy to provide hot water and air conditioning
- Reliable and needs little maintenance
- Environmentally safe technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity
- Helps ensure our energy future by tapping into an infinite, renewable power supply
- Produced domestically, strengthening our economy
- Modular and flexible in terms of size and applications
- Helps meet the demand and capacity challenges facing many energy service providers
- Can be installed to just about any building type
Photovoltaic systems are fairly simple. They consist primarily of photovoltaic panels, an inverter and the necessary wiring to connect these devices into your home’s electric system.
Solar panels absorb energy from the sun by way of a semiconductor (typically silicon) and generate a direct current electrical source. An inverter is used to convert the source to an alternating current source.
The estimated life span is about 25 years or longer.
The amount of sun available to generate energy in your area will vary, depending on latitude (sun angle), cloud cover and a clear path to the sun. Some of the considerations include: south-facing roof structure, age/condition of your roof and trees or other structures that may cause shading. Georgia averages about four to five hours of sun per day. You will need to consider several factors and consult one of our recommended solar contractors to learn if your home is suitable for a solar installation
Yes. Homeowners should comply with their neighborhood HOA policies and covenants. It is best to check if your HOA allows solar panels before proceeding with an installation.
If you are thinking about getting solar for your home, you can complete the project via leasing or purchasing. With a lease, there is little to no money down upfront, you can typically get approved with lower credit scores, and you still support clean energy. However, be aware that most solar leases place a lien on your home which impacts resale value. You could also end up paying more for the solar panels than you would if you purchased them up front. You are also ineligible for solar tax credits when you lease, as the contractor typically receives this benefit. With a solar purchase, you maintain full ownership of the panels and can reap these benefits. You may purchase them outright or through financing. Cobb EMC and Go Energy Financial offer a fast and economical way to finance solar projects for Cobb EMC members.
It depends. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover your solar panels with no further action required. However, you may choose to increase the value of your coverage to include your new solar system installation as well. This would result in an increase in your insurance premium.
Tax credits may be available for your solar installation. We recommend consulting with your tax professional to find out what credits you may be eligible for. See our solar resources to find more information.
We have received reports that solar scammers are impersonating Cobb EMC employees and going door-to-door selling solar products. Please know, our employees will never sell products or services in your neighborhood, and we will never call you to sell services over the phone.
Cobb EMC allows 10 KW for residential installations and 100 KW for commercial installations.
In addition to any purchase or lease agreements for the solar equipment and installation, an interconnection agreement with Cobb EMC is required to ensure a safe and proper interconnection with the electric distribution system. Once you complete the interconnect agreement, Cobb EMC will set a net meter at your home.
Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a public-utility power grid.
A net meter can spin both forward and backward to measure energy to and from your home. Imagine a bucket of water which you are pouring water into. If the bucket also has a hole at the bottom and you are draining water at the same rate as you are pouring at the same time, the level of the water will essentially remain the same. This is how a net meter works. When your solar panels produce energy and your home consumes energy at the same time, the result is a net amount. When your home produces more power than it consumes, you send power back to the grid and Cobb EMC pays you for the energy you send back.
No. Most likely your solar system will not generate all the energy you need all of the time. To ensure a continuous supply of energy, it’s best to keep your existing electric account with Cobb EMC.
When your solar system is connected to Cobb EMC’s electric grid, you will not have electric power from your solar panels during an outage unless you have also installed a battery storage system.
Solar panels will work on cloudy days but not as efficiently and will only produce a limited amount of electricity. Sunshine is the "fuel" for your solar panels. While we cannot control the weather and cloud cover, placing your solar panels in areas that have direct access to the most sunshine will help your system be more productive.
Battery storage may be ideal for some small scale photovoltaic systems. However, this method requires additional maintenance and can be very costly. Most members remain connected to the grid for access to continuous, reliable electricity at all times.
Solar panels require very little maintenance. Occasionally, panels will need to be cleaned of debris from weather and anything blocking the sun. Some components require regular and professional inspections. This is the case for the inverter, which may need to be replaced more often.
- Solar energy quiz!
- Green Power EMC
- Solar contractors
- Solar Energy Industry Association
- Solar Glossary
Tax credits may be available to homeowners who install a solar system. Credits are subject to limitations and eligibility requirements. Check with your tax advisor to see if you qualify.
Cobb EMC is dedicated to advancing our commitment to renewable energy through our 2030 Clean Energy Goal which includes a significant investment in solar energy. Today, during certain times of the year, 30 percent of the energy that Cobb EMC provides can come from solar. Our focus on affordable, renewable energy options is what helps support rate stability and favorably position our co-op for the environmental needs of the future.