Today, more and more people and industries are looking at solar energy as an alternative to traditional sources of energy due to solar energy’s sustainable nature. However, is sustainability the only reason to invest in solar energy, or does solar save money also? The truth is that you can also generate solar savings with careful solar system installation and usage.
This article will cover the topic “can solar save money” and help you determine if going solar will help you monetarily in the long run.
Does Solar Save Money?
The straightforward answer to the question, “Does solar save money?” is a resounding yes! That said, the amount of money you save and when your solar savings kick in depend on multiple factors, including:
The daily hours of sunlight consumption
The angle and size of the installed solar panels
Local electricity rates
Your daily or monthly energy consumption
The upfront and maintenance costs of your panels
How Much Do Solar Panels Save Monthly?
So, how much do solar panels save per month? The truth is your monthly savings will primarily depend on the size of your solar system and your household’s energy consumption. If your energy consumption is low and your solar panel system produces more power than you need monthly, you will not only save on your electricity bill but can also sell your solar power to your energy provider.
However, that is an ideal scenario since your monthly savings will be determined by the number of solar panels installed and your energy consumption during that month. To calculate your monthly savings, you can review your previous monthly energy bills and compare them to your bills after your solar system installation.
How to Calculate Solar Savings?
It can be challenging to calculate solar savings over an extended time due to the changing environment and weather that might impact your panels and the changing electricity costs. That said, you can still use specific tools, such as a solar savings estimator, to calculate your expected solar savings. Alternatively, you can make the calculations yourself.
Here are the things you need to consider:
Your daily energy consumption and your monthly electricity bill
The cost of your solar system to determine the cost per kilowatt-hour of each
Solar Panels Costs vs. Savings
Consider the number of kilowatt-hours consumed during the billing period and divide it by the days in the month. Alternatively, you can add your monthly kilowatt-hours consumption for the year and divide that number by 365.
Since most solar systems produce 2 kWh, your solar panel will only generate 12kWh if exposed to sunlight for six hours during the day. In 2020, the annual average electricity consumption for a U.S. home was around 893 kWh each month, which is almost 30 kWh each day. Considering this figure, your panel will only draw about a third of the energy your home needs. So, choose a solar panel system that supports your energy consumption needs.
Choosing an upgraded system that produces more than 2 kWh will result in more upfront costs. Consider the daily output of the system and the cost per kilowatt-hour to estimate the system’s annual output. You can calculate your solar panel system’s lifetime output by multiplying its annual production by 25, the expected lifetime of a solar energy system.
Lastly, divide the lifetime energy output by the upfront cost of your system. Compare the cost per kilowatt-hour of your system with the cost per kilowatt-hour your electricity provider is charging you to calculate how much you will save on electricity bills by going solar. Your solar savings will also depend on how many hours your panels are exposed to sunlight; if the hours are more, your savings will also be more.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Enable Solar Savings?
Based on your savings and cost estimates, you can determine the size of your solar system and how much kWh production you need monthly to enable significant solar savings.
So, if you’re wondering “how many solar panels do I need?”, divide your desired solar system kWh production by the wattage of each domestic-use solar panel, which will depend on the solar panel you choose. For instance, if you choose a solar panel with a wattage of 250 and need a 4 kWh system, divide 4,000 watts or 4 kW by 250 watts. You will need 16 solar panels to fulfill your goal of producing 4 kWh.
The number of solar panels you need will also depend on the size of your house, your energy consumption, and the placement of the panels. Ideally, you need to put the panels where they can absorb maximum sunlight to enable more savings.
How to Maximize Solar Savings?
Now that you know you can go solar and save money on your electricity bills, you need to maximize your solar savings. The first step to get the most out of your savings is to lessen your energy consumption. Don’t leave the lights on unnecessarily as you don’t want to use more electricity than the amount you are producing. Moreover, install enough solar panels to reap the long-term saving benefits.
To get the most out of your panels, install them in an appropriate direction to have maximum sunlight exposure during the day. Ideally, you should install them on your rooftop, away from shadowy areas. Keep the solar panel surface clean and free of pollen, dirt, and dust for maximum energy absorption.
Typically, energy companies charge more for electricity consumption during peak hours. Solar can save money if you use the stored solar energy from your panels during the day. Once the peak hours are over, you can use the electricity from your power grid. Use solar energy to operate energy-intensive appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher. This way, you can maximize your solar savings.
Insulate your home to reduce your total energy consumption. Seal off all HVAC leaks and insulate your attic, crawlspace, walls, and floors. It will significantly reduce your heating and cooling expense and also result in solar savings. Lastly, track your solar power performance, monthly electricity bills, and overall energy usage with a monitoring system. It will help you know when, where, and how you are consuming energy and enable you to save money from solar.
Should You Invest in Solar Panels?
So, are solar panels a good investment? The answer lies in how much energy you consume daily, the upfront costs of solar panels, and if you have a plan to recoup those costs and benefit from solar savings in the long run or not. It can prove to be an excellent option for people who want to switch to solar energy and use it to generate savings. You must invest in top-tier solar panels and discuss your needs with an industry expert to maximize your savings.
Solar Connect is a top rated U.S solar panel installation company. You can discuss your solar panel needs and saving expectations with our specialist, who will guide you toward the system most suited for your objectives. Schedule a FREE Solar Consulation with an Expert
PHONE: (888) 528-4101