One of the main benefits of solar panels is the long-term energy savings they provide. Solar panels dramatically reduce your monthly electric bills, sometimes as much as 50% or more per month. All the money you save on your utility bills will help you recoup the amount you spend to install the panels. And after the initial payback period, everything you save goes directly into your pocket.
So, how much can you expect your energy bills to be each month? We wish we could tell you the answer here. Unfortunately, we can’t give you an accurate estimate without considering the following factors:
- Your solar panels’ energy output
- Your local electricity rate
- Your utility company’s net metering policy
- Your household’s energy consumption
In this article, we’ll explain how each of these factors will determine your monthly electric bill and how a solar panel expert can provide an accurate estimate.
Want to know how much you can expect to save with solar panels?
Contact Photon Brothers at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California). Our solar engineers are standing by, ready to provide expert guidance to all of your solar questions. We even offer FREE in-home energy assessments complete with upfront prices on custom designs designed to save you as much as possible.
Your Solar Panels’ Energy Output
Some homeowners choose to install a few solar panels to reduce the electricity they pull from the grid. Others install more panels to cover all (or most of) their monthly electrical usage. The more you rely on solar energy to power your home, the lower your electric bills will be.
If you want to get an accurate estimate of your monthly electrical costs, you’ll need to calculate the total energy output of your solar panels. This calculation can be complicated, so we recommend consulting with a solar panel expert. A solar panel expert will consider factors specific to your home and city, such as:
The number of panels you have and the wattage rating of each panel
Just as some cars get better gas mileage than others, some solar panels produce more electricity with the same amount of sunlight. Purchasing high-efficiency solar panels will cost more upfront, but they will reduce your monthly energy costs.
Individual solar panels can produce anywhere from 100 to 400 watts per hour. A professional will add up the wattage of each panel in your solar energy system and convert that number to monthly kilowatt-hours (kWh) since that’s the measurement utility companies use to bill consumers. This figure will tell you how much energy your panels can produce under ideal circumstances.
Of course, not all areas and homes receive the perfect amount of sunlight every day, so the actual energy output of your panels will also depend on the factors below.
The pitch of your roof
Most residential solar panels are installed on the roof to receive maximum sunlight. That said, the pitch (angle) of your roof determines how much sunlight hits the panels, which affects the overall energy output of the panels.
Your solar panel expert will account for your roof’s pitch when they calculate the total energy output of your panels.
The sunlight in your area
Some areas naturally receive more sunlight than others, depending on weather patterns and climate. More sunlight means more power, which reduces the amount of electricity your home needs to pull from the grid.
Solar panel experts will look at the number of sunny days per year in your area, plus the peak sun hours per day to determine the energy output of your solar panels.
For more information about solar panel energy output, refer to our blog: “How Much Energy Do Solar Panels Produce?”
Your Local Electricity Rate
Even if you live in a very sunny climate, you still have a few overcast or rainy days every year. On cloudy days, your solar panels won’t produce as much energy because of the limited sunlight. Your home will then pull power from the grid to keep your appliances running during these overcast days.
Electricity rates vary from state to state and even city to city. If you live in an area with high electric rates, your bills will be higher. You can look at your last electric bill or contact your utility provider for information about the rates in your area.
One way to reduce the amount of electricity you pull from the grid is to install a solar battery. A solar battery stores excess energy produced by your panels. On overcast days or at night, energy from the battery will power your home, reducing or eliminating the need to pull electricity from the grid.
Your Utility Company’s Net Metering Policy
Some utility companies offer a net metering policy to homeowners with solar panels. A net metering policy allows you to receive credits for the extra power your panels produce. You can redeem these credits when you need to pull power from the grid, which will ultimately lower your electric bills.
If your utility company offers a net metering policy, they will send you a bill at the end of each month or year with the net amount of electricity you put onto the grid and took from the grid. The more electricity your panels send back to the grid, the lower your electric bill will be.
A solar panel expert will help you calculate how much excess electricity your panels will produce, which can help you estimate your potential net metering savings.
Your Household’s Energy Consumption
If your household typically uses a lot of electricity, you may have to pull more power from the grid, even with a robust solar panel system. As a result, you’ll likely have higher energy bills.
You can get an idea of how much electricity you currently consume by looking at past utility bills. On the bill, the utility provider will show you how many kWh your home consumes per month. A solar expert will use this information to help you determine how many panels you need for your home.
Want To Know How Much Your Electric Bill Will Be With Solar Panels? Call Photon Brothers Today!
Our solar engineers can provide you with an accurate estimate based on the factors above. Contact us at (720) 370‑3344 (Colorado) or (805) 351‑3371 (California) or schedule an appointment online below. When you work with Photon Brothers for your solar panel installation, you can count on high-quality engineering, reliable warranties, and 5‑star customer service.