How to save on energy bills with solar panels
Solar savings are a big reason why homeowners love buying solar panels for their home. It’s clear that home solar panels are a good long-term investment when it comes to saving money. In fact, the International Energy Agency declared that solar power is “cheapest electricity in history.” Currently, there are many incentives that help homeowners like you go solar and save in the process. That means when you switch to solar, you’ll experience significant savings over the lifetime of your panels.
Why purchase solar panels?
There are plenty of reasons to purchase solar panels. We are going to go through a few of the most important reasons people are switching to home solar energy: growth, decreased prices, savings and sustainability.
Solar panels have significantly grown in popularity in the last decade. In fact, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42% in the U.S., according to SEIA.
And in 2020 alone, solar power experienced a 37% growth.
Solar has also dropped in price over the last decade, and according to SEIA, by more than 70% over the last decade, leading the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide
One of the major reasons for the massive growth of solar in the last decade is over concern for our planet’s resources. Fossil fuel energy is running out and the climate is getting worse. Government environmental policies have adopted a 100% clean renewable energy by 2035 in which solar energy is a large part of meeting this goal.
On top of all these benefits, homeowners who own a solar system can see massive savings in their energy costs. How much can you save by having solar panels installed on your home? We’re about to go through that now.
How do solar panels save you money?
One of the first questions first-time solar homeowners ask is, “How much do solar panels save?” For starters, solar power offers protection from high energy rates and steadily rising electricity costs. When you have your free consultation, a Solar Energy Specialist will give you a specific solar savings estimate based on your ideal solar power system size, monthly energy usage, appliance electricity usage and the kilowatt-hours (kw or kWh) you’ll want to produce.
Between your excess power and property value, there are a number of areas where you will see the solar savings make an impact on your bottom line. Not only do solar panels save you money on your energy bills, but solar incentives like the solar federal tax credit, net metering programs and federal, local and utility rebates make the initial decision to go solar easy and affordable.
How much do solar panels save the average homeowner?
However, for a point of reference, we’re going to go through an average situation for a homeowner in the U.S.
How to calculate solar power savings
In terms of savings on solar panels, you can estimate how much your savings will be by understanding how much in energy costs you currently are paying. In the U.S., the average electricity rate is 13.19 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) (as of February 2021). (1) According to the EIA, the average yearly electricity consumption for homeowners is 10,649 kilowatt hours (kWh), or an average of about 877 kWh per month.
If you do the math, that adds up to around $1384 in electricity bills each year. Which means if you have a solar system installed that covers the amount of electricity your home consumes and added a solar battery for energy storage, you could avoid paying for energy for the entire life of your solar energy system.
How to determine how many panels you need
The number of solar panels you need for your home depends on a number of factors
#1 How much sunshine does your home get?
Find out how much sunshine your home at peak hours gets with a handy tool from Google called Project Sunroof. To understand an estimate of how many watts per hour your home will need to produce each hour using solar panels, multiply your hourly usage by 1,000. For a standard home, it’s about 1,250 watts per hour.
#2 What are your home energy goals?
Another factor determining how many solar panels your home needs is what your home energy goals are. For example, if your goal is to completely cover your home energy use with solar energy, you’ll need more solar panels as well as battery storage to hold the excess power for the night. If you’re looking to cover only a partial amount of your home energy use, you’ll be able to have a smaller system installed.
#3 Determining the quality of your solar panels
The other major factor in how many solar panels you’ll need has to do with the type of solar panels you choose. The quality of a solar panel, the materials used and the brand makes a huge difference on how much energy your panels produce.
#4 How much electricity does your home use?
One big factor in determining how many solar panels you’ll need is how much electricity your home uses. The more solar panels you have, the more electricity they will be able to capture for your home use. You can determine how much electricity your home typicallly uses by looking through your past utility bills and finding your home’s hourly energy needs.
If you need help with these calculations, be sure to set up an appointment with a Solar Energy Specialist. Find the ‘kilowatt hours used’ number and get an estimate by dividing the number of days or hours within that time period. For example, if it shows a 30 day time period, divide it by 30 to get the daily usage and then by 24 to get your hourly kilowatt hour (kWh) usage.For reference, in 2019 the average homeowner consumed about 877 kWh per month. This is around 30 kWh per day and 1.2 kWh per hour.
Get Your Free Customized Solar Estimate
At Volt Solar Systems, we understand that every home or business is unique, which is why we offer free customized solar estimates to help you determine the right solar panel system for your specific needs. Our team of experienced technicians will evaluate your energy consumption, roof space, and other factors to design a system that is tailored to meet your energy goals and budget.