What is solar energy?

Energy from the sun can be harnessed in a variety of ways to provide electricity, hot water and heat for homes, businesses and industries. Electricity is produced when photons (particles of light) strike the surface of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. The sun can heat water and air directly or indirectly for a variety of applications. The sun can also directly heat homes and buildings in the winter through appropriately placed windows and building orientation, a concept known as passive solar design.

Energy efficiency comes first!

From an environmental perspective, a dollar invested in efficiency can be three to ten times more beneficial than a dollar invested in solar energy. Energy is precious; solar energy even more so. Virtually every home, business or institution could benefit from a thorough energy assessment to determine cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades. Only after implementing all cost-effective efficiency upgrades should building owners consider a solar thermal or solar electric system.

Solar Resources

Visit Green Building Services to learn about how we can help you make your building more energy-efficient.

Visit our green home building resources to learn more about ways to make a home more energy-efficient.

Find solar manufacturers, outfitters and installers, or make preliminary evaluations of the costs and benefits of solar energy systems for your particular location and building needs.

View a comprehensive list of incentives in each state for solar installations. Also check with your utility provider for additional incentives.