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    How does solar energy work?

    How does solar energy work?

    Featured Image

    Sunlight is a natural source of energy. Solar technology converts sunlight into electricity that can power your home. Although you’re still connected to the electric grid, solar power is pollution-free and reduces your dependence on power generated from other sources, such as coal. But how does solar really work?

    A simple look at solar farms

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    1

    During the day, light from the sun hits solar panels at a solar farm. The panels contain photovoltaic cells, which convert photons from sunlight into electricity.

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    Electricity is sent from the solar farm to the grid.

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    Electricity is sent from the grid to your home. No rooftop solar panels or special technologies are required on your end.

    Solar panels on your home

    How rooftop solar works illustration

    1

    During the day, light from the sun hits solar panels on your roof. The panels contain photovoltaic cells, which convert photons from sunlight into electricity.

     

    2

    Direct current (DC) electricity flows from the panels to an inverter, which converts DC power into alternating current (AC) power, which you can use in your home.

     

    3

    A dual-register meter keeps track of the power your system produces, as well as the power you use from the grid.

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    What happens when the sun goes down?

    Whether on a solar farm or your rooftop, solar panels don’t do much at night. But remember, your home is always connected to the electric grid. So as long as the grid is up, you’re powered 24/7.

    When it comes to going solar, Reliant has options — with or without the panels.
    Compare our offers here ›

    Choose any qualifying plan and Make It Solar for just $9.99 per month1

    Make It Solar
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    100% of your electricity usage will support renewable energy resources in Texas and beyond

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    You’ll be doing your part for the planet, without the need for rooftop panels and with no changes to your electricity plan

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    Since no panels are required, you can live in a house or apartment and still Make It Solar

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    You’re still connected to the electric grid as always, so you’ll be powered day and night, rain or shine

     

    Learn more about Make It Solar

    Honored with the Innovation Leader 2021 Impact Award Learn more ›

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    Reliant supports solar energy without rooftop panels.

    The Reliant 100% Solar plan matches 100% of your energy usage with solar renewable energy certificates (RECs).

    These certificates signify that renewable energy equal to your usage has been generated and sent to the electric grid — so you’re not required to install solar panels on your roof. Plus, you’ll be able to track your impact through your online account.2

    Get more details about the Reliant 100% Solar plan ›

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    Already own solar panels? Make the most of their power.

    The Reliant Solar Payback Plus plan is a great way to make your solar panels work harder for you.

    Enroll today and start receiving bill credits for excess energy generated by your solar panels and returned to the grid.3 Plus, secure a fixed electricity price for the length of your term.

    Get more details about the Reliant Solar Payback Plus plan ›

    Terms, conditions and other restrictions

    1 Qualifying Plans do not include electricity plans with renewable content greater than the statewide average for renewable content (content information is available in the plan’s Electricity Facts Label).

    Reliant purchases solar renewable energy credits sufficient to match the electricity consumption of our customers who purchase solar plans.

    See Electricity Facts Label or contact Reliant for details on solar production credit amount. Credit value differs from the per kWh energy rate we charge for the electricity plan. It may take up to 3 billing cycles after receiving Permission to Operate (PTO) from your utility to begin receiving credits. To receive bill credits, customer must have solar panels at the utility service address and an active interconnection agreement with the utility (or TDSP). Customer must have a meter installed and configured by their TDSP that measures the inflow and outflow of electricity to and from their home.