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How Solar Panels Work | Energy Monster

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Most people know that solar energy is great for the environment and saves serious money on your energy bills. However, few people understand exactly how the sun’s rays can actually power their home. Solar rays are converted into usable energy in the fairly simple process outlined below.

How It Works.


1. It All Begins with the Sun.

Sunlight falls on your home’s energy panels.  The solar panels convert the sun’s energy into Direct Current electricity which is sent to an inverter.

2. The Energy is Made Usable.

The inverter “conditions” the power by converting the Direct Current into Alternating Current electricity.  Alternating Current energy is what’s used to power your house or return to the energy grid.

3. Excess Energy Charges Batteries and Runs Your Meter Back.

Solar energy systems often produce more electricity than is needed during peak sun hours. When this occurs, the excess energy charges up your homes energy storage system (if equipped with batteries) and is then automatically sent to the utility company, running your meter backwards.

4. Utility power helps demand meet supply.

Utility power is provided at night and during the day when demand exceeds solar production.  Since your meter has run backwards, the energy you use at off-peak hours can keep your net usage at zero.


  • State & Federal tax credits put money back in your pocket
  • Sell your energy back to the utility through the Massachusetts SMART program
  • Accumulate Net Metering credits to offset your electric bill

Learn More About The Benefits of Owning vs Leasing

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  • Are there incentives for solar installations?

    Yes! A 26% federal tax credit and a $1000 state of MA tax credit is available for every solar installation. You may also enroll in the Massachusetts SMART program, which allows you to collect payment for all of the solar energy you produce regardless of if you use it or send it out to the grid (this is separate from net metering). Commercial solar installations are eligible to depreciate their solar installations on top of the tax credits.

  • How long will my solar project take?

    The size of your project will dictate how long it will take. Most residential installations typically take a couple of days.

  • Is there financing available?

    Yes! 100% financing is available subject to credit approval.

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