From Light to Electricity: What is Solar Power?

From Light to Electricity: What is Solar Power?

If you’re like many homeowners, you’ve probably heard about solar panels, or even seen them on a handful of houses in your community. You’re likely wondering what all the fuss is about, and if solar power delivers on its promises. What is solar power, and how does it work? Is it cost effective? Is it something you should be looking into for your home or business?

The answer to all of these questions depends on your specific situation, of course, but the basics of solar power are simple. Solar power is merely a process of taking the energy that the sun generates and harnessing that power into a form that can be used in homes and commercial buildings anywhere. This is done with the use of solar panels.

Solar panels are made up of smaller units called photovoltaic cells. Each cell is made up of layers of silicon – an electric semi-conductor – and different elements that create a positive and negative charge within the cell. Together, these cells generate enough of an electric field to be transferred through metal plates and wires into your home or office. Like most sources of electricity, solar power then requires a DC to AC converter, to move it from a battery-like state to something you can plug your appliances into.

Installing enough solar panels to replace a significant portion of other power sources such as water or coal energy can be expensive upfront. However, the process is getting more affordable daily. Thanks to subsidies from the government, installing panels is much less pricy than it used to be. The only fuel required to run solar panels is the sun, which is free for anyone to use. Solar panels also require minimal maintenance and cost almost nothing to operate. All of this means that it is likely that you will see a return on your investment within several years. Over the course of a lifetime, solar panels can actually save you money!

To find out if solar panels might be a good investment for you, you need to evaluate the cost savings over a substantial period of time. Progressive power can help you crunch the numbers, but here’s a place to start. In Utah, an average electrical customer will pay around $.12/kilowatt hour (kwh) for their power usage. A good-sized single family home can likely generate 10,000 kwhs in a year. Therefore, that family would save $1,200 on their power bill in that year. That savings could potentially pay for the cost of a single solar panel – before government subsidies are taken into account. The power estimate we used in this example requires about 20 panels to produce, so that family would have paid for their system in full in 20 years, which is less time than a standard 30-year mortgage! And remember, that is without the help of government subsidies and tax breaks. So the average customer will pay off their system in roughly half of that time. Some people may even realistically generate enough power to begin earning back their investment in as few as six years. It all depends on the size of your home, how much direct sunlight you receive, and the cost of power in your area.

There are fringe benefits beyond cost, as well. Solar power produces no waste, so it has little impact on the environment. Additionally, for the foreseeable future the sun is not likely to “run out.” So investing in solar power today can protect you from the inflation of fossil fuel prices and the possibility that other sources may become unreliable in the future.

No More Price Increases – Solar Panel Utah

Power rate increases are inevitable. In Utah, Rocky Mountain Power recently announced one of the biggest rate increases ever, and it is expected there will be a number of increases to follow over the next ten years, at least. Solar power allows you to lock in your power rates for a guaranteed 25 years (base kilowatts/hour cost) Progressive Power Solutions can help you become energy independent and eliminate the need to rent your energy from the power company at whatever cost they choose to charge you.

No More Black Outs

Enjoy a new standard of security! Maintaining power during a natural disaster, severe storm, or power outage is an essential part of a well-thought-out emergency preparedness plan. Add your own solar power plant, and any worries about keeping your family safe and warm are over. Maintain communications with loved ones by keeping your cell phones charged and available. Read More

Solar Energy Is A Great Alternative. See How!

Solar Power PPS WestIt probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that solar energy is among the fastest growing forms of alternative energy out there. You’ve probably seen solar panels installed on many homes in your area. If you are considering turning to solar power for your energy, you may be surprised to learn that solar is one of the oldest forms of energy but just in the past year or two has it finally become affordable for most people. Solar has truly become more cost effective to install than just continuing to make monthly payments to your power company. Progressive Power Solutions President and C.E.O. Norm Harrison said there are many reasons for this. “Higher sales volumes have driven production costs of solar panels down to an all time low. This combined with rising power costs, tax incentives, and rebates such as the Rocky Mountain Power incentive program, have made it more affordable than ever to purchase a solar power system for your home” Although the initial cost of solar panels can be quite expensive, you need to think in terms of future savings. Once your initial investment is paid off, you will never have to be dependent on another energy company again. This is because you will get all the energy you need from the sun. The best news is that for about $1 per day above your current expenditures for electric power, you can finance a solar system for your home when you work through Progressive Power. The savings can be significant. “Our utility bill is down 70% from what we normally paid” said Fruit Heights resident Wendal Child who purchased solar power for his home in 2011. Progressive Power Solutions also assisted Child in obtaining the Rocky Mountain Power incentive which was a key reason Child moved forward on purchasing a solar power system for his home. Home systems are not the only way you can benefit from Solar Power. If you often travel with your electronic devices and mobile phones, you should consider investing in solar-powered chargers. These chargers include a small solar panel that can generate enough power to charge your cell phone or another electronic devices such as a laptop. There are even small solar chargers designed specifically for tablets. Progressive Power Solutions offers a no pressure, informative in home solar evaluation. You can ask our expert team all the questions you have about solar power and learn about options you have for your home and the expected savings you can achieve by adding solar panels to your home. Just call (801) 367-7282 or fill out the form on the website at

Lock In Power Rates For 25 Years

Imagine if you could have locked in gas prices 4 years ago at only $1.80 per gallon.  Now you can lock in your power rates.  Increases are inevitable and have already been announced by the Utah power companies.  Lock in your rates now before the increases which are coming soon.  Learn more here

Lock In Power Rates For 25 Years

Imagine if you could have locked in gas prices 4 years ago at only $1.80 per gallon.  Now you can lock in your power rates.  Increases are inevitable and have already been announced by the Utah power companies.  Lock in your rates now before the increases which are coming soon.  Learn more here

Advantages of Investing in Alternative Energies

There are many advantages to looking at and investing in alternative energies. Solar allows you to lock in a power rate lower than you are currently paying and avoid power rate hikes. Solar is great for emergency preparedness and having power if the grid were to go down in an outage.  Other benefits include decreasing a person’s carbon footprint, being a “green” home or business, and the peace of mind in producing your own energy. Get a free home or business evaluation and price quote today.  Learn more at

What is Our Solar Potential?

What is Our Solar Potential? Everyone across the planet has one thing in common: access to the sun. Solar energy has the potential to be the great equalizer, bringing power to everyone who needs it and solving many environmental issues along the way. Sure, it’s an investment upfront, but the benefits are outstanding. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the potential of solar energy.
  1. The sun has the capability of providing more energy than the next top ten sources combined.The runners up include things like coal, Uranium, petroleum, natural gas, wind, and water. In fact, solar energy produces more in a year than the world’s entire coal supply. Tapping into the sun can help humanity avoid an energy crisis and stop us from using up resources that can’t be replaced.
  2. Solar energy avoids many of the dangers of coal power. Did you know that the waste produced by coal power isn’t always safe? For example, 1 out of every 10 women is exposed to so much mercury from coal energy that they are unable to bear children. And more than 6 million children currently live within 5 miles of these coal plants, which produce enough waste to fill up 1 million train cars in just a year. The sun, on the other hand, provides kids with a much-needed vitamin D source and creates no toxic waste when used to power homes and businesses.
  3. Solar energy costs don’t rise like other sources. Let’s face it: power in the United States is getting expensive. From 1995-2009, prices went up 27%! And they will only continue to rise, partially because of resource shortages, and partially just because of the huge demand. If we want to continue to meet this demand with mostly coal, as we are doing now, we’ll have to build at least 100 new coal plants in the next 15 years.
  4. The sun is the most stable power source available. Many of the large-scale blackouts that happen in the US could be avoided if we were more reliant on solar power. Think about it. The sun is there every day – even on cloudy days, solar panels can generate some electricity. And while solar panels can and do occasionally get damaged in storms, if they are properly maintained, they are must less susceptible than power lines to the whims of nature. And if the sun disappears, we’ll bigger problems than where our power is coming from.
  5. New energy sources create new jobs. Including solar energy. In fact, for every 6 homes that install a solar system, 1 job is created. These jobs stay within the United States since installation cannot be outsourced.
  6. Solar power is the future. More than 30,000 homes are making the switch to solar energy each year, and this number continues to rise. At least a full quarter of Americans over the age of 35 (and therefore more likely to be homeowners) have looked into getting solar energy. The most common deterrent reported is the initial investment, which can be costly. However, these costs continue to go down as technology is improved and the benefits become clear. The sooner you convert to solar energy, the sooner you will start to see a return on your investment.
With all of the facts laid out, it’s clear that solar energy contains the vast possibility of being the perfect energy solution. Less environmental impact, saved money over time, stability, and a positive impact on the American economy are just a few of the perks that come with harnessing the sun. We’re still tapping into all of the promises of solar power.

Interested In Green Energy? It may be easier than you think

Green Solar Power It’s important for everyone on the planet to help take care of our environment. One way to do this is to adopt a green energy lifestyle, with an eye towards less waste and greater energy efficiency in your home. But how exactly do you do that? Moving towards solar energy is a great place to start. Here are some ideas that will get you thinking about the steps you could be taking. Many electricity providers, like Rocky Mountain Power, offer rebates which help to reduce the initial investment cost of installing solar power at your home or business. Many people think that switching your home to solar power is beyond your financial capabilities, but there are many solutions to this. You can start small by switching just one room, like a bedroom, to solar power. There are also some great financing options available which can help you get a complete solar system installed for about $1 per day above your current utility cost. Other lower cost options are to start with solar-powered outdoor lights. Outdoor lighting elements are a great place to use solar power, since there is easy access to sunlight. There are a wide range of lighting options to fit any decor. Not only does the solar-powered feature save on your energy bill, but it also makes these lights easy to install anywhere on your property. Green energy is very important in the conservation of resources, a cleaner environment, and can help you save money. Progressive Power Solutions has worked hard to line up companies who can help finance the initial cost of solar installation. Ask us how you can get solar installed on your home for about ONE DOLLAR per day, utilizing “investment grade” solar (the highest quality panels and materials) while knowing your system is being installed by the most experienced and knowledgeable team of solar experts in Utah. Progressive offers a free, no obligation, no pressure in home solar evaluation where we will calculate the potentials savings, outline costs, and review options you have based on the direction your home faces, the amount of available roof space and more. Just call (801) 367-7282 today or fill out the request form on the right.