Find Out How Much You Can Save With Solar
Every property and every solar panel system is different: the best way to see how much you can save with solar is to compare multiple options. Sign up on the EnergySage Marketplace to compare multiple custom quotes from pre-screened, local installers. These quotes will include estimates of your electricity bill post-solar, along with 20-year savings estimates.
What If I Want To Move House
There are a couple of considerations before you install solar panels.
One is that some people really dont like the look of them and are concerned it could make their home more difficult to sell. This is a matter of personal preference though and shouldnt stop you installing panels.
Planning permission is something else to think about. You shouldnt need it unless your home is listed or has a flat roof, but its worth doing your research rather than finding out later.
How Do Solar Panels Work
Solar PV cells are nestled between layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on them, electrons are knocked loose, and this creates a flow of electricity.
When solar cells are combined they form solar panels, while multiple solar panels connected together form a solar array.
To ensure solar panels are exposed to as much light as possible it is best to have them installed on a south-facing roof, although east- and west-facing roofs are also suitable.
Solar panels should be pitched at an angle of between 10 and 50 degrees, with the optimum angle sitting between 30 and 40 degrees. You should also ensure there are no buildings or trees close by that could leave the panels in shade.
Most solar panels are installed on rooftops, but it is also possible to have them installed on walls or the ground, or to have solar tiles fitted. Be aware, however, that solar tile systems are less cost-effective and typically cost around twice as much as a panel system.
When solar panels are fitted, an inverter will be installed as well to convert the electricity generated from a direct current to an alternating current , which is used by most home appliances.
You May Like: Can You Clean Solar Panels With A Pressure Washer
Why You Still Get A Bill Even If You Use Zero Grid Electricity
Youâll notice that on my bill, I still have a bill of $18.29, even though my electricity usage for the month is negative 67 kWh. This is because my utility company has a basic service charge of $17 per month, plus taxes. National Grid describes the basic service charge as:
A charge to cover costs for meter reading, billing, equipment and maintenance. This charge is the same regardless of how much energy is used during the billing period.
Most utility companies will have a similar charge, and the cost will vary. But because nearly every company has this charge, donât assume that your electricity bill will be zero, even if youâve sized your solar energy system to generate 100% of usage. Sales people from solar installer companies may gloss over this and tell you that your monthly electricity bill will âgo awayâ, but the minimum charge can add up to be a substantial charge over a year.
How Do Seg Tariffs Work
Energy suppliers can decide the rate they pay, the length of the contract, and whether tariffs are fixed or variable. Fixed SEG tariffs pay a set rate per kilowatt hour of electricity exported over the length of the contract.
A variable tariff will have fluctuating prices depending on market demand . It therefore pays to shop around and compare what is on offer.
Note that you cannot receive both a feed-in tariff and SEG payments, but you can opt out of the feed-in tariff scheme if you would prefer to receive SEG payments.
Reducing Your Bills Through Solar
Are you able to reduce your energy bills through solar power? Absolutely. Reduced energy bills is the primary reason most people switch to solar, and once it’s installed, it requires virtually no work from you.
Not only are you going to be able to save money on your energy bills, but you’ll also be able to sell money off to the grid, or use it yourself later. If you want true energy independence, you can try to produce all your energy needs through your solar system, and invest in a battery to store your excess energy for future use.
The larger and cheaper your solar system is, the better your results but within reason. You still don’t want to sign up for working with a company that is the “cheapest in the business” or that doesn’t produce high quality panels.
Install A Pv Diverter
PV diverters are a low-cost and low maintenance option for increasing your own consumption of solar electricity .
Most of the time your solar PV system either:
Instead of sending surplus electricity to the grid, a PV diverter switch can power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, storing hot water for you to use later. On its own, excess solar energy is unlikely to meet all your hot water needs, but it can help reduce your bills.
A PV diverter switch installation could add around £800 to your installation costs.
If youre interested in using PV diverter, speak with your installer. They might also suggest increasing the number of panels on your roof to provide more electricity for your hot water needs.
You could also export the excess electricity to the grid and consider applying for export payments via a Smart Export Guarantee.
Recommended Reading: What Does Solar Power Do
The Size Of Solar Panel System Affects Your Electricity Bill
The size of your solar panel system and how much electricity usage it offsets is the largest factor in reducing your electricity bill.
On top of producing enough electricity for your home, you can also produce excess electricity that gets pushed onto the energy grid. Again, this is where net-metering is your friend. Excess electricity you push onto the grid can earn you energy credits, which can be used towards future energy consumption.
But remember, even with net-metering and a 100% solar offset of your electricity usage, you will likely still have to pay basic fees and charges for being connected to the energy grid.
Can A Solar System Reduce My Electricity Bill To Zero
A solar system can generally make a substantial dent in a households electricity bill. Savings of many thousands of dollars a year are possible for big residential power users but achieving a zero bill is difficult if not impossible in most Australian states.
In Australia electricity produced though your solar system is either used instantaneously in the home, office or business or exported back to the power company. This exported power will earn you a credit based on the feed-in-tariff the power company are offering. This rate is generally only around one third of the cost you pay for purchased electricity. So to get a zero bill you need to export around three times the number of units you import plus a lot more units to cover the fixed charge part of the bill. In the real world this means investing in a very big solar system and importing very few units day or night from the grid. This is difficult on overcast and short winter days.
Zero dollar bills require an off-grid system with batteries or a very large solar system on your home, again preferably with storage batteries. The upfront investment dollars to achieve this are substantial.
Massive financial savings can be made and very large and risk-free returns on investment achieved by simply buying a large high quality solar system, reducing wasted power use and moving the power use remaining into daylight hours so that it can be supplied by free solar power.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Solar Panels
Read Also: When Does Solar Tax Credit End
Your Home Is Using Too Much Power
What takes up the most power in your home?
If you dont know, youre not the only one. The answer, though, is simple:
If youre running a central air conditioner , heat pump, or clothes washer or dryer frequently, you could be consuming much more energy than you regularly do.
This, in turn, could be eating up your solar savings and making it difficult for you to reap the cost-saving benefits of your system.
Charges And Fees On Your Power Bill
As most people that pay for power know, the fees make up a sizeable portion of a power bill with the actual energy charge accounting for less than half of the total amount due. This is typical across Alberta, so dont feel like you are the getting the short end of the stick.
Lets examine the major components. Bullets 1 and 2 relate to your energy retailer, and bullets 3 and 4 relate to your WSP. The orange numbers on the image correspond the ensuing points:
1. Energy Charge This is the fee for the energy itself, measured in kWh and charged to you per kWh of use . Solar power will directly reduce this charge.
2. Administration Charge This fee covers internal costs for the energy retailer. This is typically charged in $/day.
3. Distribution Charge This charge has 2components, a fixed and a variable charge. The fixed charge is typically billed in $/day, the variable charge is tied to your usage, typically billed n $/kWh. Your power bill will likely not provide a breakdown of the fixed vs variable portion of you distribution charge but it is easy to look up the breakdowns for different WSPs. Solar energy will directly reduce the variable portion of this charge.
4. Transmission Charge Transmission charge is based off your usage as well and billed in $/kWh. Solar energy will directly reduce this charge.
These 4 components will make up 90% to 97%of the average residential power bill.
The remaining charges are not as crucial but lets touch on them anyway:
You May Like: How Do Solar Panels Affect Your Roof
Your System Isnt Working As Well As It Should
This is a rare occurrence, but occasionally a system doesnt work the way it should. While the grand majority of residential solar arrays in and around California are installed properly and running correctly, mistakes do happen.
The easiest way to prevent problems with your system is to have your solar installer walk you through the process of operating the system. This allows you to bypass any potential issues and understand how to read your systems output.
If you feel like it, you could even ask the installation team which tell-tale signs you can look for to ensure your system is working correctly. If you ever discover any problems with your system, contact the team who installed it immediately.
Solar Panels Produce Electricity For You
They do so practically for free after your initial investment. As stated above, solar panels acquire energy from the sun, which is an energy source that is free of charge. When the panels generate electricity and are connected to your electrical wiring, the house will then use this electricity instead of the one provided by the utility company.
So you will certainly save up on your electricity bills because the meter will not be running. The catch to this is that solar panels only work whenever the sun is out, so usually from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. During that time, however, it will still help you to save in another way
Read Also: Is It Possible To Make Your Own Solar Panels
How Much Is Your Electric Bill After Going Solar
One of the most common misconceptions about solar is that people who install panels no longer receive an electricity bill from their utility company. This isnt true in most cases: the majority of solar panel systems in the U.S. are grid-tied, allowing customers to draw electricity from the grid when their solar panels arent producing enough electricity.
If you choose to install a grid-tied solar panel system, you will continue to receive a monthly electric bill from your utility company but how much will that bill be? In this piece, well go over the primary factors that determine how much youll need to pay your utility company after installing a solar panel system, including solar electricity production, net metering policies, and fixed utility charges.
Local Weather Conditions And Seasonality
The amount of energy your solar system produces depends on the weather condition in your area, also known as solar seasonality. For instance, if your location often gets a lot of cloudy days, your solar panel system might not generate enough electricity to meet your homes typical energy consumption needs. As a result, you are likely to rely more on the electricity grid than someone living in a sunnier climate.
Don’t Miss: Can You Put Solar Panels On Metal Roof
Why May Solar Panels Not Work
Youve installed your solar panels but the system just doesnt seem to generate any energy. What can you do?
Unfortunately this problem known as zero power output can be caused by a damaged inverter, faulty charge controller or simply your solar panels not working.
Check if your inverter is up and running. This works as a power adapter and is crucial to converting the energy of the sun into a format home appliances accept.
If it still doesnt work after inspecting the inverter, youll have to contact the company that supplied it. Do the same with your charge controller.
Other reasons include nearby trees casting a shadow on your solar panels when the sun is out and your system overheating this can be fixed by connecting extra modules.
How Are Solar Hours Calculated
Solar hours or peak solar hours are defined as the number of hours in which solar irradiation reaches the intensity of 1000 W/m² per hour. In the morning and the evening, when the intensity of solar radiation is lower, each hour of sunlight is calculated as a fraction of that hour. For example, if the solar irradiance is 400 W/m² in the morning, that hour is counted as only 0.4 hours at 11000 W/m².
Read Also: Where Can I Watch Free Solo
Why Go Solar: Environmental Benefits
The second primary reason people install solar is for the environmental benefits.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency , the electric sector accounts for 27 percent of Americas carbon emissions. Fossil-fuel fired power plants create carbon emissions, as well as contribute to local air pollution in areas close to power plants.
By installing solar, you can reduce your own personal environmental footprint. When you put a solar panel system on your property, you can avoid purchasing carbon-emitting electricity from the grid, pulling directly from your solar panels instead. And even when youre not using the solar electricity directly, youre offsetting the need for carbon-emitting generation by putting your solar energy onto the grid. At the end of the day, a typical residential solar panel system will eliminate three to four tons of carbon emissions each yearthe equivalent of planting over 100 trees annually.
For businesses, going solar can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability, increasing employee morale while also demonstrating sustainable values to potential customers.
Save Money With Solar Panel Systems
Most of the time, solar panels will help you save money on electricity. This is especially true if you are planning to live in the same house to recoup the installation costs by saving on your energy bill.
But how do you save money?
You wont be using as much electricity from the grid.
As you may already know, the cost of electricity is rising, so when you generate your own power, you save money.
Due to the fact that you might not be home to use the power during the day, you can store and use it later.
As mentioned before, if you generate excess energy, you can sell your energy back to the electric grid. So make sure you ask your retailer how to do it, and make sure you choose a plan that suit your needs and maximise your saving.
More market value to your property. When you install a solar panel system in your property, you are adding market value.
For example, if you are selling your property, with a solar panel system, buyers will be willing to pay for a higher price, knowing that they can save on energy in many years to come.
If you are renting out your property, tenants will be willing to pay for a higher rent because with solar panels, they will save on their electricity bills every month.
Double Glaze Your Windows
Much like insulating, double glazing is another effective and energy-efficient way of keeping your home at a constantly comfortable temperature. Luckily, unsightly double glazing is a thing of the past with todays technological advancements in this field, so it is often tough to tell the difference between traditional glass and double-glazed glass.
Youll notice the difference in your power bill when you install double-glazed windows you will save money in the long run and keep your home well insulated.
Solar With Battery Storage
Well, it is simple you could invest in a solar power system with battery storage, like our Redback Smart Hybrid Systemor ourSmart 3 Phase Hybrid System. Instead of the surplus solar energy going back to the network, like in our example above, it goes directly to your battery, and you can use this power at peak times or on a cloudy day! Consequently, you would be importing less power from the grid, and your power bills will reduce.
Research commissioned by the Smart Energy Council suggests that solar batteries have the potential to cut families power bills by 60 to 80 per cent. Several Redback customers are achieving these results right now, with some maintaining an 80% self-sufficiency factor and as a result regularly receiving credit on their electricity bills.
Reducing or in some cases eliminating your power bill is one of the many benefits of battery storage. But, if youre serious about this investment, make sure you chat with one of our Redback approved installers. A Redback approved installer will take the time to understand your situation and help you understand the various factors that need to be considered when designing your system set-up.
Recommended Reading: What Is Kwh In Solar