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Components of home solar power systems


Solar modules (solar panels)

A home solar array is made up of one or more solar modules connected and installed where sunlight can be easily absorbed. Usually, on the roof of a home or upon an unobstructed area on the ground. Sunlight hits the solar array to create direct current electricity.



The direct current (DC) produced by sunlight hitting the solar array moves in only one direction. Because nearly all appliances in a home require AC or alternating current, an inverter is used to change DC from the sun into AC for use in the home.


Electrical panel

An electrical panel is a metal box located within the home that divides the main power entering a home into different circuits. Circuits are protected by fuses or circuit breakers which are triggered if there is over-current during the distribution of power.


Bi-directional meter

A bi-directional meter connects to the home’s inverter and the utility company’s grid. This meter is installed by the wire services provider in the area—free of charge to the customer for the ordinary and reasonable costs of interconnection—as part of a residential solar installation. The bi-directional meter is responsible for measuring:

  • The amount of energy delivered to the grid when excess solar power is generated.
  • The amount of energy drawn from the grid when solar power does not meet a household’s energy needs


Electricity usage

Electricity entering the home—via the grid or from the solar array—is used for many things including powering home appliances and electronics and, increasingly, charging electric vehicles.

Learn about ENMAX Power’s smart charging pilot Charge Up


Excess solar energy and micro​-generation

Micro-generation refers to small-scale energy generation by households, small businesses and communities, such as solar modules installed on a home’s roof to produce power. Under the provincial Micro-generation Regulation, there are two types of micro-generators: small-scale (under 150 kilowatts) and large-scale (between 150 kilowatts and 5 megawatts).

When a home solar power system generates more power than is used by a household, that excess power is sent or “sold” to the grid and appears as a micro-generation credit on a utility bill, at the homeowner’s current electricity rate.​​​​​​

Ready to add solar to your home?

The below resources can help if you’re ready to take the next step.

Am I a candidate
for solar?

Review our FAQs

Check available solar grants and
​ inc​​entives

Looking for ways to help offset the cost of adding solar to your home?​

See available solar grants

Connect with a verified solar provider

Check the Alberta solar directory for a solar provider in your area that meets your needs.

Visit SolarAlberta.ca​​​​​​​​​

Solar contacts

General solar system, micro-generation credit and billing questions:

Phone: 310-2010 or 1-877-571-7111 (Outside Alberta)

Current ENMAX solar lease customers:


ENMAX Power micro-​generation applications:


ENMAX Power meter exchanges or general metering inquiries:


For solar installers looking to work with ENMAX Power, visit our Distributed Generation page​​

Customers are free to purchase natural gas services or electricity services from a retailer of their choice. For a list of retailers, visit ucahelps.alberta.ca or call 310-4822 (toll free in Alberta).