Whats The Biggest Electricity Consumer In Your House
If your home is typical, your biggest electricity usage is probably for heating, cooling, or both. Because this is climate-dependant, the average household electricity usage depends largely on the region of the country.
However 4,000 sqft and larger homes are quite a bit bigger than the typical house, so this rule of thumb might not apply. Such a large home might have some big-ticket electricity consumers that average homes dont have, such as pool heating or a hot tub. Plus, it takes more electricity to heat and cool that much square footage.
How Many Watts Is A 1500 Sq Ft House
Budget solar panels can save you money, but will generate less electricity per panel. The lowest efficiency panels youll find on the market have a rating around 250 watts. That average 1,500 sqft home using 977 kWh per month would need between 25 and 38 budget solar panels to supply all of its electricity needs.
Solaria Sonal Panels Price
Solaria solar panels cost $2.80 a watt. This translates to $14,820 to $18,780 for a 6kW system fully installed. Several factors influence your final installation costs, including location, roof pitch, and inverter type. Solaria specializes in panels that are all black in color, which improves their appearance and aesthetics on your roof. Their panels are also highly efficient and designed to work in many circumstances.
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Leasing Vs Buying Solar Panels
Solar leasing has become relatively popular as more people hope to save on their energy bills without having to pay a huge amount of money to purchase a solar panel system. However, leasing and buying both have pros and cons. You often pay more over time for solar leasing, with costs of between $50 and $250 a month. This makes the most sense if you have higher-than-average energy bills. This could be due to higher electricity costs in your area or because you use a lot of electric-based appliances, such as an HVAC system.
With leasing, monitoring and maintenance are included. This may give you peace of mind. With owning, you get a full return on your investment within 10 years. This can actually save you more money long-term than it would have with leasing.
How Many Panels Do I Need For A 3000 Sq Ft Home
The rule of thumb is 30 watts per square foot. For a 3000 sq ft home, you would need 12000-18600 solar panels. Thats between $144,000 to $216,000 worth of equipment! However that doesnt take into account the cost savings and tax credits you will receive by installing solar energy systems in your area.
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Additional Solar Panel System Costs
There are a few things youll want to add to your solar energy systems total cost to get the most accurate price estimate. Here are a few additional factors that will impact how much your solar panels will cost:
- Labor costs Local labor costs for solar installation will change depending on your area and the average costs solar installers charge in your area.
- Installing solar mounts The costs to install the racks that hold your residential solar panels will effect cost as well. There are a few options for solar mounting.
- Installing solar inverters A solar inverter will need to be installed to transform direct current power from the panels into the alternating current you can use in your home
- Other costs: There may also be costs for any local permit fees, inspection fees, and taxes on the solar panels.
With the fall in solar panel prices, these soft solar panel costs now constitute the bulk of what you pay when you install solar for your home.
Fortunately, as more people adopt solar power, soft costs have fallen as a resulta trend thats very likely to continue in the future. An analysis by the federal governments National Renewable Energy Laboratory discovered that installed prices have fallen at an average annual rate of 13% to 18%.
Always make sure to speak with a local solar professional to get a more accurate estimate of what your installation will cost.
Make An Informed Decision
Well show you how to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the best energy company plan for your home.
Is your electricity bill too high? If youre confused with all the different energy companies and electricity plans in Texas, youre not alone.
Knowledge is power. Blindly deciding on your energy company without first knowing how to shop for the best electricity plan can end up costing you and your family a lot more money.
Next, well show you step-by-step how to shop for the best plan so you can put your hard-earned money to better use than giving it away to an energy company that sold you the wrong plan for your needs.
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Solar Panel Requirements By Us Region
Solar panel production depends on how much sunlight your city receives. A 1000 sq ft house in Phoenix, Arizona will need fewer solar panels than a 1000 sq ft house in Seattle, Washington. The southwestern United States are sunny while the northwest is cloudy, which affects solar panel performance.
The following is the average monthly energy consumption by US region. This is not just for 1000 sq ft homes, but all homes.
|Gulf Coast & South Atlantic||1160|
This does not mean you cannot use solar power in the northwest or other cold regions. It simply means you have to make adjustments to your calculations. All the factors mentioned above need to be considered, and if you have a lot of solar powered appliances, get more power than what your calculation requirements show.
Factors That Determine How Many Solar Panels You Need
You may think that the size of your house determines how many solar panels you need, but it doesnt! To really understand how many solar panels your solar energy system needs, you need to determine the following:
- Your energy usage: The more electricity you use, the more solar panels you need to cover your electricity costs
- Sunlight in your area: Homes in areas that receive less sunlight will need more solar panels to eliminate their electricity bills than those in sunnier states. As a rule of thumb, the southwestern United States gets the most sun in the country, while the northeast gets the least
- Panel wattage: The wattage of the solar panels you choose, also called the power rating, determines how much energy the panels will produce and most solar panels installed today have a power rating of about 320 watts per panel fewer panels are needed when you install panels with high wattage ratings
Below, solar expert Will White breaks down everything you need to know to figure out how many solar panels you need to power your home.
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Solar Panel Installation Cost By Type Of Mounting System
Another component you may not give much thought to in your solar installation is the . This is what your solar panels attach to. If you have a roof installation, the mounting system type is dependent on your roof material. If you cannot penetrate the roof to install it, then a ballast method must be used. However, nearly all residential roof installations are known as a fixed mount. If you have a commercial installation, you need a tilt mount or an adjustable mount. If you have a ground installation, you have even more options. Costs will not impact your total installation very much because the racking only makes up roughly 10% of your total costs. However, the solar mount type you choose can impact how it looks and works.
|$500 – $1,000|
Diy Vs Hiring A Professional Solar Installer
DIY kits fall around $1 to $2 per kilowatt. Considering that having the entire process handled by a professional contractor averages around $2.50-3.50 per kilowatt, you may not be looking at a lot of savings.
|$25,000 – $35,000|
*Pre-tax credit cost.
Going with a professional has many benefits and the price difference is often insignificant. A professional will be able to help you with design, will be able to get higher quality products and materials at a lower rate, and will also be useful in acquiring permits and tax credits.
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Adjust Your Energy Consumption Habits
Whether its something as simple as turning the lights off when you leave a room or running fewer loads of laundry, adjusting energy-wasting habits can help reduce your average home power usage. If you use streaming services or game consoles, thats a great place to start. You may not know it, but the energy consumption of streaming services can be substantial. Additionally, gaming console energy consumption can add up over time and affect your overall home power usage.
The more youre able to limit the use of these services and devices, the more energy you can save.
How Installation Affects Solar Panel Production
Solar panel production is affected by where and how it is installed. For the best results, solar panels should be installed on rooftops facing true south. Ground mount installation and a different orientation may lead to lower output.
Once you figure out many solar panels you need, for example a 5kw solar system, you have to determine if you can place them all on the roof. Two houses with the same square footage may not have the same roof space. One house may have a slanted roof, another may be flat.
These and other factors determine how many solar panels you can install. You may have to install a solar panel on your pergola if your house roof is too small. The type of roof could affect how solar panels are set up and its efficiency. If you cannot orient the panels to true south, this might hamper performance. It does not mean you will not get solar energy, only that it will not be as efficient as it could be.
Fortunately a lot of these will be done by your solar panel installer. Following their assessment, you will be informed about what solar panel set up works best for your home.
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Why Such A Big Range
With both these budget and premium examples, we give a pretty big range in the number of solar panels needed. Why is that?
The main reason is that the amount of electricity that solar panels will generate depends heavily on the amount of sunshine you get in your city. It helps to be further south, but local climate is just as important. There are many dry climates in the northern United States that have higher solar radiation than cloudier cities that are further south. Map of solar radiation in the United States
The ranges we give – between 19 and 30 premium solar panels to generate enough electricity for an average 3,000 square foot house – were calculated based on houses located in the cloudy northwest and the very sunny southwest . These two cities are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to incoming solar radiation, measured as Direct Normal Irradiance.
Most cities in the continental United States lie between these two extremes and receive an average amount of sunlight, making them perfectly viable for home solar. Check out the map above.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Power My House
We estimate that a typical home needs between 20 and 25 solar panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity usage. The actual number youll need to install depends on factors including geographic location, panel efficiency, panel rated power, and your personal energy consumption habits. Importantly, the number of solar panels you need for your home directly impacts the price you pay for solar.
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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For A 3 Bedroom House
The average size of a US home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms is 1300 square feet. I previously worked out that solar requirements with average irradiance of 5.3 peak sun hours per day is 3.17 watts per square foot.
Solar calculation 3 bed home:
1300 square foot x 3.17 = 4121 solar watts
If 300 watt solar panels are installed, the number of panels required is found by:
4121 watts / 300 watts = 14 solar panels
How Much Solar Power Will You Need
To find out your average energy usage, check your past utility bills. More precisely the last 12 months of your bills . Look for the total number of killowatt-hours you consumed every month.
Sum the numbers up and divide them by 12 to get the average. An easier way to determine your total energy consumption for the past year is to simply call your utility company and ask them to provide you the details.
Based on the data available from the U.S Energy Information Administration, in 2013 the average family home in the United States consumed about 900 Kwh of electricity per month. Thats 30kWh per day.
Obviously your household can consume more or less electricity depending on how big your house is, how many family members live in it, the appliances you have and how energy efficient you are.
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Theres More To The Solar Cost Story
Its great that weve arrived at the average cost of a solar system installation but as you may have guessed, there are many different factors that influence what the cost of solar would be for you.
Size of Your Solar System
5kW is the average size of a solar system, but many people choose to install bigger systems. A bigger system means more energy production and more energy savings over time. Some popular sizes are 6kW, 10kW and 15kW. Of course, it really depends on what your energy needs are. If you have 1500 square foot house and few appliances, your energy needs will be much different than someone who has a 3,000 square foot house with a hot tub!
The best thing you can do is run a simple analysis on your energy bill. How much energy do you use? Take that and you can easily decide what the size of your residential solar system should be.
Where You Live
The cost of solar installations varies from state to state, however the price of solar is actually fairly steady across the board. Almost all states tend to fall within 50 cents of the $2.96/watt average we discussed earlier.
Where you live certainly affects your solar savings but that is a topic for our aforementioned solar savings page.
Energy Sage also has a great breakdown of state by state solar installation costs!
How Net Metering Works
Let us assume that you are gone in a vacation with your family. The solar system still generates energy when youre gone but since you are not using it, its being automatically sent back to the grid and you get credits for it. As a result, your electricity bill will decrease according to how many credits you have.
Knowing the answers to the above questions will give you a good understanding of the number of panels needed to achieve your daily energy production goals and will allow to calculate in a realistic range solar panels needed for your home.
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Cost Of Solar Panel Mounts
Solar panel mounts cost anywhere from $10 to $3,000 each, depending on if its fixed, adjustable or a motorized tracking mount. Similar to the panel types, the least expensive option is the least efficient and the more expensive options are more effective.
- Fixed: $10-$15 each. These are completely stationary and cannot be adjusted to capture more or less sunlight depending on weather and season. They are the least expensive type of mount. Installing this mount is optimal in regions where continuous sunlight can be expected, as adjustments wouldn’t be as necessary in order to maximize on energy production.
- Adjustable: $50 each. These can be tilted depending on the intensity of the sun or the season. They are more expensive than the fixed mounts but will have more energy efficiency. Adjusting the panels to soak up more sun in varying seasons will equate to greater energy production. These adjustments can also be useful when the weather turns, as you can lay them flat to avoid damage from wind.
- Tracking: $500-$3,000+ each. Follows the arch of the sun and provides maximum efficiency. The amount of energy you will be able to generate depends not only on panel construction and mounting, but your location. Though the initial cost for tracking is higher than other mounts, these can often get you the highest return on investment, as they make the most of every ray of sunlight. Track mounting may add 45% energy production.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home
Its no use installing just one solar panelyoull need more than that to reap the financial benefits of a solar panel system. While the answer isnt always so simple, weve put together some example cases to help you understand, at a high level, how many solar panels you need to install an effective solar array.
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Cost Of Solar Panels For A 4
The cost range for installing solar panels for a 4-bedroom home averages $15,000 to $50,000. 4-bedroom homes in the U.S. have a wider range of sizes. The average falls between 2,000 and 2,400 sq.ft. Assuming occupancy of 2 to 5 people, this puts your total energy costs between homes of 2,000 and 2,500 sq.ft. Your costs can be higher or lower, depending on your total energy usage. The more occupants and the more energy you use, the higher your total costs.