How you get electricity now: Electrical power from your utility flows from the electric grid into your home or business through a meter. The meter measures how much electricity you consume for billing purposes.
Solar panels produce electricity
Electricity is produced from sunlight using what are known as photovoltaic cells. These cells are built into thin glass-like panels of silicon material that produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. (They're similar in size to skylights.) The more intense the light and the more frequent, the more power you create. Even under cloudy conditions electricity can be produced although in lesser quantities. Solar panel systems are extremely reliable with no moving parts and typically last 30+ years with little to no maintenance.
The electricity that the solar panels produce can either be directly used in your home building/structure, sent back to the utility for credit, or placed into storage batteries for later use. To accomplish this, the power coming off the panels goes through a device called an inverter (a box the size of a small cabinet mounted near your electric panel.) The inverter monitors the solar power system, conditions the power, keeps track of how much electricity is produced and then feeds the power to the appropriate place.
Using the solar electricity you have generated
As you need electricity, it is drawn first from the solar power system. If you need more electricity than the system is generating, it is seamlessly supplemented with power from the utility connection. If you have a battery backup feature on your solar system, it will kick in during a power outage.
Your meter turns backwards & saves you money
When you are producing more solar electricity than you need, the power flows out of your property back to the utility and your electric meter turns backwards! You get credit from the utility for each Kilowatt Hour of power you send to them.