Saving the planet is probably a secondary reason for you to switch to solar energy. If you are like most people, your primary concern is to save some money. The question of savings on utility bills applies whether you have already installed your solar energy system or are considering an installation.
Answering this question is critical to help you decide whether the investment you put into the system is worth it. How much you pay for power in the national grid after going solar, of course, only applies if the installation doesn’t cover all your domestic energy needs and you have to supplement its output from the grid. Many factors determine how much this will be, and the figures fluctuate from time to time.
The following factors determine the average electric bill with solar panels for your home or business.
The Amount of Power Your System Generates
The amount of power you generate is a central determinant of your power bill afterward. It informs the extent to which your solar energy covers your energy needs. Only after determining how much power, you are generating vis-a-vis your needs can you calculate what you need to pay for. The amount of power your system generates, on the other hand, is determined by some factors as follows.
Size of the System
The number of panels you install determines how much energy you will generate. Domestic solar panels usually generate anything between 50-100KW. A 100KW system generates an average of 1KwH of energy every day, translating to 365 kWh of energy annually. You should ensure you have a proportional storage capacity for your power. Else you will not be able to utilize the power you generate.
Your panel can only generate this amount of power if exposed to sunlight for eight hours a day. It is also vital for you to invest in high-quality panels that concentrate the energy most efficiently. Panels from a reputable manufacturer, high-quality monocrystalline panels are usually the most efficient.
It is also essential for you to test the system to see whether it brings in as much power as it says it will. Ultimately, your average electric bill with solar panels will not be determined by how much power your solar panel says it generates but by how much power it generates.
Duration of Exposure
The longer your panels are exposed to the sun, the more power they will generate. You usually don’t have control over how much exposure your panels will have, as it mostly depends on the climate of your home area.
California and Arizona afford solar panels the most exposure in the United States, thus generating the most energy. While exposure is critical, your hands aren’t ties as far as increasing your power generation is concerned.
You can calculate how many more panels you need to install to get the energy you are aiming for in light of the exposure at your location. This means that getting sufficient power will be cheaper in California and Arizona than in states where solar panels have less exposure.
The level of your solar panels’ exposure may also be reduced by having obstacles between sun rays and the solar panels. You could increase it by pruning any trees in your compound and removing any other barriers to the sun.
Dirt may reduce the efficiency of your solar panels. The panels get dirty with time as debris of different types and dust settle on the solar panels. You will need to clean the panels from time to time to enhance conversion.
These factors that affect how well your solar panels convert sun rays into energy are essential to the question of your average electric bill with solar panels because they determine how much of your domestic energy needs solar energy will cater for.
It is clear from the explanation above that if you don’t factor in the interference of factors that affect exposure, you might be calculating your bills in the erroneous assumptions. You’d be thinking that your panels are performing as per the manufacturer’s specifications while they are not.
Eliminating obstacles ensure that your output is as close to the manufacturer’s specifications as possible.
Your Household Energy Consumption
The average domestic power consumption in the United States is 10,649 kWh per year. Different locations have higher or lower consumption than the average, depending on factors such as the weather. Hawaii has the lowest average domestic energy consumption in the US at 6296kWh per year. This means that it is over 4000kWh below average. The city where people consume the most energy in the US is Louisiana at 14,787 kWh which, is over 4000 kWh above the national annual average. This is a clear indication that your location matters in determining the cost of energy.
The average American family consumes 877kWh of energy every month, which translates to 10,649kWh per year. Figuring out how much energy you consume should be the first step you take before installing your solar power system; only then will you know what you need.
You can hire an energy auditor to determine how much energy you need, a more sophisticated and expensive option. Alternatively, you can look at your utility bills to develop an average energy consumption every year or month, depending on what you are looking to do. You will then determine the average electric bill with solar panels by working out the difference between what your panels give and your total consumption.
Cost of Power in Your Locality
Find the amount of money you are supposed to pay per kWh and use it to calculate the cost of the energy units that your solar power doesn’t cover. The national average is 13.31 kWh, but the price varies from location to location.
Considering all the above factors lets you determine how much you should pay to the utility company when you have installed solar panels. Having all these factors in mind also lets you know when your solar power system has reduced its output which would prompt you to take remedial measures.