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Solar energy is an exciting and valuable development; however, many people are still in the dark about the benefits of private commercial and residential solar equipment and how it interfaces with the New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) power grid. These facts are designed to shed some light on getting the most out of solar energy in the NBU service area.

Solar Energy Facts

• Photovoltaic (PV) systems are sized according to their power production capacity in terms of kilowatts (kW).

• Photovoltaic systems produce energy over time, and NBU customers are billed for energy in units of kilowatt-hours (kWh).

• Most PV panels produce direct current (DC) energy which is converted to alternating current (AC) energy by an inverter.

• Panels have different ratings. The most common are Standard Test Conditions (STC), Photovoltaics for Utility Scale Applications Test Conditions (PTC), and Nominal Operating Conditions (NOC). New Braunfels Utilities rates systems using NOC because it most closely matches normal conditions.

• Photovoltaic panels produce energy best when ambient temperatures are low and there is adequate sunlight available. When the panels get hot, or when they don’t get direct sunlight, energy production capacity decreases.

• Leased generation systems and generation acquired through power purchase agreements are prohibited by law within the NBU service area.

• All PV systems and the energy produced must be owned by the customer.

• Panel orientation impairs production characteristics:
– North-facing panels produce roughly 50 to 60 percent of the energy when compared to panels facing other directions.

– Production of east-facing panels peak in the morning.

– Production of south-facing panels peak mid-day, and these typically produce the most annual energy.

– Production of west-facing panels peak in the afternoon.

It is important to note that NBU does not endorse ANY Solar vendors. New Braunfels Utilities offers FREE evaluations for residential solar proposals.

Solar Energy FAQ’s
Billing Questions
Metering Questions
Process Questions
Miscellaneous Questions
For more information on Solar: