Cutting-edge technology, like solar panels, can provide a consistent and renewable energy source for a home. However, they’re rarely the first piece of automation technology that a home or business owner decides to implement. Solar panels are usually used as part of an overall automation system designed to decrease the carbon footprint of a building. They’re a very useful and ultimately cost effective solution to this end, and fit in well with modern automation technologies.

A successful approach to using a solar panel involves some calculation of solar panel energy storage versus current automation settings. The energy output of the solar panel should be compared with peak building energy usage times and actual energy needs in order to get the most out of automation services; otherwise, energy generated by a solar panel will simply be wasted.

For example, if a home has several 123 watt solar panels that collect the most energy from 2:00-3:00 every day, a home automation system should be set to decrease energy during that time period if at all possible. This allows more energy to be stored by the panels, allowing greater energy efficiency in the home. Larger panels can handle and store more energy, so with a 160 watt panel, automation could be less strict.

The amount of resources being directed toward the furtherance of solar energy speaks loudly to the fact that it will be the next significant power source on our planet. In the state of California, the state government has enacted a rebate plan through the California Solar Initiative. Among other rebates, any home that has solar systems that “are thermally isolated from living space or any other area where the energy is used” is eligible for a property tax exemption up to the full value of the solar system. Federally, and through 2016, solar system owners are eligible for a 30% tax credit.

What this means for homeowners is that wiring in a solar generation or capture system to an existing home automation system can not only cut down on power costs, but lead to state and federal tax reductions as well. Solar generation systems can now be easily tied into existing whole-home or A/V systems, allowing consumers both control of this cutting-edge technology and a way to help contribute to a greener planet while still saving money.