How Solar Energy Works

Shining The Light On Solar

Since our caveman days, we humans have been burning things like wood and coal to provide the power we need to “keep the lights on,” so to speak. This whole time the ultimate power generator was literally hanging just above our heads.

Today, solar power systems are leading us into a cleaner and more renewable future. Solar panels convert the free and abundant energy of the sun into electricity that can keep refrigerators humming, air conditioners chilling, washing machines whirling, and homes alive with power.

How Solar Energy Works

1 – Solar Panels

Turn sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity.


2 – Bi-directional Meter

The bi­directional meter simply allows for you to use electricity from the utility grid when needed (at night time for instance), and send power to the utility company as credits when your solar system is producing more power than you are consuming.

3 – The Performance Monitor

The performance monitoring system measures and monitors all energy generated by solar electric system and provides alerts about system performance


4 –AC Disconnect

AC disconnect is a manual safety switch that can be used to separate the home’s electrical system from the solar electricity system if necessary.


5 – Utility Power

Utility power is still automatically provided from the grid at night or during days when your demand exceeds your solar energy production.


6 –Inverter

The inverter converts solar­-generated DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, the form of energy used by most standard household appliances. If your system utilizes micro-inverters, they are located on the roof, under the panels and may not be visible.

Sun Science – A Deeper Look Into Solar Power For The Home

Want to dig a little deeper into how solar energy works? Excellent! We think science is cool too, especially when it results in a lower utility bill at the end of the month. Let’s start with a question.

What happens if you leave a handful of crayons outside on a sunny day in July? An hour later, you’ll have some colorful puddles of wax to clean up. As with most materials, the energy of the sun turns into heat. This heat causes the electrons inside the crayons to get excited and do a little dance in place. This movement is what turns your solid coloring tool into a useless puddle.

In certain specific materials, the energy of the sun causes the electrons in the material’s atoms to actually “jump”, creating an electrical current, which can be harnessed. This type of material is used to create a photovoltaic cell (photo = light and voltaic = voltage). One of the most popular materials used to make photovoltaic cells is crystalline silicon. This is what the majority of solar panels are made of.

Crystalline silicon is often used to generate solar power for the home due to its:

  • High efficiency: Silicon can convert up to 22% of sunlight’s energy into electricity
  • Durability: Silicon solar panels can last up to 50 years
  • Minimal care required: Silicon panels are nearly self-sustaining


Your Energy Ecosystem

When it comes to solar power for the home, placement is a big deal. Solar panels work best when they get as much uninterrupted sunlight as possible each day. In the United States, this means placing the panels as close to true south as possible and inclined at an angle close to the area’s latitude. The more sunlight, the more energy the panels can produce.

What happens at night when the sun is gone but you still need energy to make dinner, watch your favorite show, and do a load of dishes? This is where the idea of the energy ecosystem comes in. Your solar panels are actually hooked to your home’s energy grid.

During the day, your solar panels may produce more energy than you need, especially if the members of your household are at work or school. This energy doesn’t go to waste. Instead, it goes into the energy grid and your electricity meter actually turns backwards. Yes, it can do that.

At night, when it’s time to turn on some lights, you’ll need to take energy out of the grid (since your panels can’t create energy in the dark). The idea is that the energy you take from the grid at night will roughly even out to the energy your solar panels fed into the grid during the day. Thus, the panels have actually provided you with most or all the energy you needed throughout the day. This is what we mean by an energy ecosystem.

Direct Current to Alternating Current

When the sun shines down upon a solar panel, the sun’s energy is turned into a direct current(DC). Unfortunately, the DC can’t just plug right into your home and start powering your microwave and other electronics. Your home’s electrical system speaks a different language called alternating current (AC). In order to actually enjoy the energy your solar panel array is producing, your system will use a device called an inverter to turn the DC coming from your solar panels to the AC that your home can use to feed your electricity needs.



OneRoof makes going solar simple by offering a variety of plans to fit your needs and budget.


SunDollars Referral Program Agreement

This SunDollars Referral Program Agreement (“Agreement”) is between OneRoof Energy, Inc. (“ORE”), a Delaware corporation at 4445 Eastgate Mall, Suite 240, San Diego, CA 92121 and you (“Referral Source”, together with ORE, the “Parties”), for certain referral fees in connection with residential solar systems.


Referral Source may be in contact with residential homeowners with an interest in residential solar products. ORE is in the business of financing residential solar systems through its financial products. ORE has agreed to offer certain referral fees to the Referral Source in exchange for qualified residential solar system leads.

In consideration of the foregoing, and for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the Parties agree as follows:

  1. Defined Terms.

    Countersigned” means a PPA that has been signed by a Homeowner that constitutes a Qualified Lead in accordance with the requirements of this Agreement, and is subsequently reviewed and signed by an authorized agent of ORE and is not subsequently cancelled or terminated.

    Homeowner” means person(s) who hold legal title to the Residence that is contained in a Lead.

    Interconnection” means the time at which ORE, in its sole and absolute discretion, turns on the System after ORE receives permission to operate the System from the local utility having jurisdiction over such System.

    Lead” means all of the following information of the owner of a Residence who has expressed an interest to the Referral Source in learning more about the installation of a System at such Residence: the full name, phone number, email address, and the street address of such Residence.

    Qualified Jurisdiction” means certain zip codes within states in which ORE offers residential solar financing products (currently, California, Massachusetts and New York) which shall be communicated to the Referral Source from time to time; provided that ORE reserves the right to amend the Qualified Jurisdiction without prior notice to the Referral Source.

    Residence” means a single family residence located in a Qualified Jurisdiction.

    Termination Date” means the one year anniversary of the Effective Date.

  2. Referrals; Qualified Tiers; Qualified Referral Fee.

    (a) From time to time, the Referral Source may choose to transmit Leads to ORE (name, phone number, email address and address of Residence of the Homeowner).

    (b) ORE shall contact the Homeowner to set up an in-person meeting (the “Site Visit”). Subject to the Homeowner’s cooperation, ORE, through its representative shall determine if (i) the Homeowner’s Residence is a single-family, owner-occupied residence, (ii) based on the estimated average monthly electric energy usage provided by the Homeowner as evidenced by recent electric utility bills, the estimated average monthly electric utility bill for such Residence is not less than $125.00, (iii) the Homeowner satisfies ORE’s credit requirements as determined by it in its sole and absolute discretion, and (iv) a System can be installed on the Homeowner’s Residence in accordance with the applicable requirements and guidelines (including those of ORE and/or its installers) in effect from time to time. If a Site Visit occurs and clauses (i) and (iv) are determined to be true, the applicable Lead will be a “Qualified Lead”. ORE shall notify Referral Source if a Lead does or does not constitute a Qualified Lead within 10 calendar days (the “Qualified Lead Notice”).

    (c) ORE shall pay the Referral Source up to $550.00 in the aggregate for each Qualified Lead, dependent upon which Tier (as defined below) the Referral Source belongs to, and subject to the payment milestones (the “Payment Milestones”) below. If Referral Source has previously provided to ORE between 1 and 3 Qualified Leads, he or she shall belong to Tier 1 (“Tier 1”) and if Referral Source has previously provided 4 or more Qualified Leads, he or she shall belong to Tier 2 (“Tier 2”).




    Payment Milestones and associated Qualified Lead Fees
    Site Visit occurs and Lead determined to be a Qualified Lead Countersignature Interconnection
    Tier 1 $0 $250 payable within 15 days following the end of the month upon which Countersignature occurs $250 payable within 15 days following the end of the month upon which Interconnection occurs
    Tier 2 $50 payable within 15 days of the end of the month upon which the Site Visit Occurs and the Lead is determined to be a Qualified Lead $250 payable within 15 days following the end of the month upon which Countersignature occurs $250 payable within 15 days following the end of the month upon which Interconnection occurs

    The amount of the Qualified Lead Fee is subject to change from time to time in the sole discretion of ORE.

    (d) If any information regarding a Lead is reasonably determined by ORE in its sole discretion as having been previously received by ORE from any other source (including from internal ORE sales, marketing or lead generation efforts), ORE shall have no obligation to take any action with respect to such Lead and such Lead will not be deemed to be a Qualified Lead.

  3. Modifications

    ORE reserves the right to amend the Agreement, its prices, and any aspect of the program in its sole and absolute discretion. Amendments shall be effective 7 days of posting on the Company’s official website. Amendments shall not apply retroactively to conduct that occurred prior to the effective date of the amendment. The acceptance of any benefits under the Agreement constitutes acceptance of all amendments.

  4. Term; Termination

    (a)This Agreement begins on the Effective Date and terminates on the Termination Date without further action by either Party.

    (b)Either Party may terminate this Agreement at any time and for any reason or no reason upon written notice to the other Party.

  5. Relationship of Parties; Expenses.

    The Parties shall not be deemed in a relationship of partners or joint venturers by virtue of this Agreement, nor shall any Party be an agent, representative, employee, trustee or fiduciary of the other. Each Party shall be fully responsible for the expenses it incurs during the performance of this Agreement.

    Entire Agreement. This Agreement is subject to ORE’s full terms and conditions and privacy policy available on ORE’s website.