You Can Calculate How Much Power A Home Solar System Would Produce Without Spending A Dime All You Need Is An Internet Connection Your Home Address And A Few Simple Measurements
Photo © Heshphoto, inc., excerpted from Install Your Own Solar Panels
If you have a couple of minutes literally two minutes you can get a rough estimate of how much solar power you can produce at your house. If you have 10 minutes , you can get a much more accurate estimate of your propertys power potential. What magical source can tell me this? you may wonder. Its called PVWatts. And its not magic. Its weather data.
PVWatts is a free online calculator tool created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, or NREL . The tool uses historical weather data for your area to estimate how much power solar panels would produce for you on an average annual basis. And theres more to it than just weather. PVWatts also takes into consideration multiple site factors, such as the slope of your roof and its position in relation to the path of the sun.
In all, there are nine factors you can enter to fine-tune your PVWatts calculation, but for first-timers, all you need is your homes address and a few simple measurements to get a pretty darned good estimate of your homes solar potential.
Try the two-minute estimate just to get started:
Considering Getting Solar Panels Here Are The Right Questions To Ask
Solar panels are no longer just for hippies. If youre just as interested in saving money as you are in saving the planet, solar panels can help you do that. Their price has come down, their effectiveness has gone up, and Congress extended a 30 percent federal tax credit for installing them until the end of 2019. All of this means solar panels can now pay for themselves in as little as five years, depending where you live. But are they right for your particular home? Thats a question that raises more questions. Ask yourself these things before making a decision.
Consider All Of The Costs
Solar panels will almost certainly save you money in the long run, and the longer you stick with the renewable energy source, the more you will end up saving as you watch your utility bill shrink. However, there are costs that need to be considered.There is the initial up-front cost of the panels, which can be quite expensive. You will want to consider if it is possible to pay for this expense outright or if you will need to finance the purchase. Make sure you account for the interest rate and how it will accrue over time. You can also rent solar panels.The installation process itself will likely require hiring a contractor, and you’ll have to account for the costs associated with that including any modifications needed around your home to accommodate the solar panels. Permits may also come with a one-time fee. Finally, consider the potential maintenance that will be required over the lifespan of the panels.
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How Much Will You Save With Solar
The first question youre probably wondering if youre considering going solar is: how much money will you save? And for good reason! Afterall, solar is an investment so youll want to understand your payback period before making any decisions. Most property owners will break even on their solar investment in seven to eight years but as you start exploring your solar options, there are a few key questions you should ask to approximate your personal return on investment:
Choosing A Solar Panel Company
Alberta Solar Installers
There are lots of Alberta solar contractors to choose from and picking the right one might seem like picking a needle out of a haystack.
Obviously we would greatly appreciate your business and are happy to provide a free solar power quote. If you are looking other solar companies to compare quotes, review Solar Albertas guide on how to choose a solar provider.
Here you can view a complete list of Alberta solar companies and their specific qualifications.
What to expect from an Alberta solar company
Your solar company should impress you and want to earn your business. How this is achieved will vary. Different people have different desires and values when it comes to preferred contractors.
One may prefer the lowest cost solar power system while another may value working with a local business with superb service. At Kuby Energy we strive to deliver both.
Typically, a quick phone conversation which will answer many of the general questions such as:
· How do solar panels stand up to hail?
· What is the product warranty?
· Are there any Alberta solar power grants?
These are just a few of the common questions, you may have more specific ones relating to solar panels on your roof. You can find the answers to each of the questions in the link if you want to research the basics
Your solar installer should be able to confidently answer any and all your questions .
An average home solar panel system will cost around $12,000 to $25,000.
What to ask for
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Your Electricity Costs Are Already Low
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 96% of homeowners have installed solar, or are considering doing so, to save money on utility bills.
This makes perfect sense. Many American households spend hundreds of dollars every month on their power bills and solar panels are often the most effective way to slash that amount. Financial modeling by SolarReviews shows 25-year bill savings in the amount of $62,803 for solar panels installed in San Francisco in 2021, for instance.
However, some homeowners dont spend very much on electricity. This could be because of one or more of the following factors:
- You have a small home
- You have a small household size
- Your home and appliances are energy efficient
- You enjoy low electric rates from your local utility
If thats you, and you pay $50 or less a month for electricity, then installing solar probably isnt worth the time and effort.
Help Me Decide If Solar/battery Is Right For Me
Hey everyone, I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask these questions, I didn’t see a general help sticky at the top or anything so please just redirect me if this is wrong.
I live in central florida and have been considering Solar for quite some time. When I computed the financials it never really seemed to make sense but I took another look a few weeks ago and had a slightly different line of thinking. Previously I was focused on being economically profitable or at least a smarter decision but someone gave me some different advice and I’m not sure if it’s good or not they said if I could finance a solar system for the same cost as my electric bill I’d be dumb not to do it, since you’re paying the money anyway why not get solar.
Right now I’m paying somewhere in the neighborhood of 225-250/month in the heat of summer. I’m not really sure exactly what our power bill is because COVID has reduced the driving of my electric car to zero and we’re also home a lot more during the day and keeping the house more comfortable. I’ve attached a picture of project sunroof’s capture below as I thought that’d be the easiest way to relay my setup. For perspective the house is a single story 2300sqft. I think about 20degree pitch
For those not in the florida area, a power outage following a hurricane can wreck a home due to the heat and humidity, it’s not uncommon to have mold issues if you don’t have some sort of generator and cooling mitigation
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How Much Of The Solar Energy You Generate Is Directly Consumed And How Much Surplus Is Sold To The Grid
The amount you get for selling power back to the grid is usually less than the amount you pay for electricity you use from the grid. So ideally you want to consume all the power your solar system generates and not buy anything from the grid. However this is not practical.
A good performing 6kW solar system in Adelaide will generate on average around 24 kWh per day. In one year, that equates to 8,760 kWh. If 50% of the 8,760 kWh is consumed and 50% sold to the grid, then the savings can be something like:
50% of 8,760 = 4,380 kWh consumed at 40c/kWh = a saving of $1,752
50% of 8,760 = 4,380 kWh exported at 15c/kWh = a saving of $657
Total amount saved is $2,409
Now lets say that you manage to consume 65% of your energy . The numbers look like this:
65% of 8,760 = 5,694 kWh consumed at 40c/kWh = a saving of $2,278
35% of 8,760 = 3,066 kWh exported at 15c/kWh = a saving of $460
Total amount saved is $2,738
What About Net Metering
Net metering is one of the most important solar policies and incentives in the residential solar industry. Essentially, it allows you to store any excess energy produced by your solar system in the electrical grid for use at a later time. With net metering, you wont receive a monthly payment: instead, you will receive utility bill credits for the electricity produced by your solar panels. Its important to note that not all states offer net metering, so youll want to check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency , which tracks net metering and other policies.
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Do You Pay Federal Taxes
If you pay federal taxes, youll be able to take advantage of a huge solar incentive: the solar investment tax credit from the federal government. Through 2022, this incentive returns 26% of your solar systems cost through a reduction in your owed taxes. What happens in 2023? The tax credit steps back to 22%. In 2024 and beyond, it will exist as a 10% credit for businesses only.
If youre a business, youll also be able to take advantage of accelerated depreciation, which allows you to push all of the solar systems depreciation savings to the first year.
If you can take advantage of one of or both of these incentives, solar can be a great investment with a high return. But if you dont pay federal taxes, installation costs will shrink that ROI and increase your payback time.
How Many Solar Panels Do We Need To Install For The Lighting Purpose Of The Building
The number of solar panels that need to be installed for the functioning purpose generally varies as per the lighting requirement of the building. Always make sure that you have adopted a rooftop with sufficient space to provide the required number of solar panel cells. The presence of obstacles in front of the solar panel cells can decrease its efficiency. Always make sure there is no obstacle to block the sunâs rays from reaching the solar panels. The presence of dust can also minimize the functioning of the apparatus. Hence it is recommended to check solar panel cells so that it is kept dustproof to maintain maximum efficiency.
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Do I Qualify For Credits Or Incentives
Most homeowners who have purchased their solar panels qualify for solar tax credits, which you can apply to your annual taxes. This credit is 26% of the cost of installation through the end of 2020, and after this year this number will decrease slightly. We encourage all who are interested in solar power to make the switch now while this deal is still available!
On top of federal tax credits, you may qualify for local rebates too. These vary depending on state and county, so we encourage you to ask us for help finding the ones that you qualify for.
Michigan Solar Solutions Designs And Installs Commercial Residential Municipal Non
We are one of the few companies that have a full-time service department, monitoring our customers solar arrays via the internet. We were founded by Mark Hagerty in 2007 and have grown to multiple offices, serving the entire lower peninsula of Michigan, with hundreds of installations from Grand Rapids to Alpena to Detroit. The staff includes general contractors, master electricians, sales staff, professional engineers and factory-trained solar installers. Michigan Solar Solutions maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has more positive online reviews for Michigan Customers than all of our competitors, combined.
- wb_sunny Locally owned Michigan business since 2007
- wb_sunny Thousands of panels installed
- wb_sunny American-made products with 25 year warranty
- wb_sunny Factory-trained technicians
Can You Take Advantage Of Other Incentives
In addition to the federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation, you may be able to take advantage of other incentives that bring the price of solar way down. Some states and even some utilities offer incentives for going solar. If youre a farm or a rural business, you might also qualify for the USDA REAP Grant.
Check out our guide for state solar incentives to view a list of incentives in the mid-Atlantic states we serve.
Your Current Green Status
Many home listings these days indicate the energy efficiency of the home. If your efficiency scale is in the reds, it might be worth installing solar panels, or other solar equipment, like solar-powered gate openers. However, if its in the greens, the panels may not yield as many savings as you expected.
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Comparing The Costs Of Solar
If solar is getting cheaper, and the technology is improving all the time, does that make it a better investment than other options? To answer that, its not enough to compare the cost of solar against historical benchmarks. We have to look at how clean energy stacks up against alternative methods of delivering power to your home because solar panels are really only worth the investment if they can outperform the other options on the market.
For grid-tied systems, the math is pretty simple: you compare the cost of solar against the cost of buying power from the utility company to estimate the grid-tied rebates payback period.
These calculations can also be applied to evaluate off-grid systems. instead of utility power, though, youll need to compare solar to the costs of running a power line to your property or look at alternative power sources, like wind, hydro, or a trusty generator. Sometimes a combination of methods may be the smartest option.
The Basics Of Grid Connect Solar
Solar panels generate electricity when the sun shines on them and they produce DC electricity. This is converted into 240 V AC power by an inverter so it can be used in your home.
The conversion of DC to AC electricity is the job of the inverter.
When the sun is shining, the solar electricity generated by your solar system is used to power appliances in your home or business.
At night time or on cloudy days, your power comes from the main electricity grid.
When you generate more solar power than you are consuming, the excess power is fed back to the grid and you are paid for that power.
A solar meter records how much electricity you import and export.
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What Solar Incentives Are Available Right Now
The above question can be heard frequently from people interested in buying solar panel cells to meet the lighting purposes of home and office in Denver. Today, the central government and state government is providing a wide range of discount offers to customers for the installation service. You can check various discount offers provided by the central government with the help of reliable websites at present. For satisfactory results, make sure that you had selected a certified service that owns experienced members for the installation purpose of solar panels.
Can You Install Backyard Panels
Your roof might be facing the wrong direction, or it is too small. So what do you do? This is where backyard panels come into play. These are more expensive than roof panels, but sometimes you dont have a choice.
Backyard panels can be mounted on a pole, or a simple frame. Regardless of which you choose, make sure your backyard is:
- Big enough or you wont produce much power anyway
- Doesnt have obstructions such as trees or bushes
- Out of harms way. Backyard panels are more likely to get damaged by stray baseballs or children poking around. Make sure your backyard is well away from any hazards.
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Maurie Backman has been writing about personal finance for years. A firm believer in educating readers without boring them, she Learn More