How And What Can One Save By Installing Solar Panels?
With solar power becoming a crucial part of the present world, we need to understand the vast impact of using solar panels and the benefits that people experience after installing them in their houses. They will do a lot more than reducing your carbon footprint and alleviating the burden on our precious environment. You can save a lot on your utility bills with the solar panel system by taking every step attentively and knowing the long-term effects of the product from the very beginning.
We often consider the promise of savings to be too good to be true when acquainting ourselves about the new technology that arrives in the market. But it’s time to stay updated with the real advantages and be aware of all the facets of a solar panel system before drawing inferences.
Can Solar Panels Really Help Us Save Big?
If we take the current statistics into consideration and compile the research, the answer to the above question turns out to be “yes”. One can definitely save after installing solar panels in our houses. But the next question that arises is: “How much can we save?” The answer to this won’t be as simple as the former one as this would require plenty of aspects to be inspected and combined.
For example, it is vital to note the duration of direct sunlight along with the angle and size of the roof of the building to find out the approximate savings. In addition to this, the electricity rates in your area have a major contribution to make while determining the savings through solar panels.
The captivating claims involving saving huge and loads of money might put you in a dubious state of mind about the product but it’s better to research and stay informed by the experts before making any decision. Solar panels are one of those upgrading products with various pros but you must know all the factors that will take you towards the savings part of this remodeling.
The Reality Of Savings On Electricity Bills With Solar Panels
Savings is a sealed deal with solar panels but everyone wants to know the amount that would stay in their pockets after incorporating solar power into their routines. For estimating the savings, you need to have a record of your current electricity spending every year.
Let’s understand this with an example – On average, an American household utilizes 10,649 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity on an annual basis. Considering the national average electricity rate as of October 2020 ($0.1360 per kWh) and multiplying this value with the usage, we find that a U.S. family is paying almost $1,450 every year for attaining constant access to electricity.
Since the rates of electricity are never constant and witness unpredictable changes (mostly on the upward side), we need to keep those trends in mind and calculate accordingly. While making a comparison between the prices of home solar power and utility electricity, you should take into account the escalating rates of electricity every year. According to the statistics, the electricity rates of the country have risen at a rate of 2.2% (approximately) per year.
The inflation in the utility rates is an inducement to go solar as with a rooftop PV (photovoltaic) system that gives you the power to generate your own energy, you will be dealing with a stable rate of energy. Hence, offering you freedom from the fluctuating utility costs.
As solar offers an up-front investment, you will only be paying for the installation. For a case when the solar panels are unable to make up for your entire electricity utilization, you may have to handle the electricity costs for that period. To ensure that the solar panel system balances your electricity requirements, you must have an accurate idea of the sizing of the PV system that is being installed. It becomes essential to have a proper calculation of the number of solar panels that will offset the electricity needs completely.
Do Electricity Bills And Solar Panels Go Hand-in-Hand?
One fallacy that many believe is that the electric bill becomes a total thing of the past after the installation of the solar panels. Here’s the truth – you will still have to collect the electricity bill sent by your utility despite the installed PV system that is capable of delivering to your electric demands. The bill will always be a part of your home if your property stays grid-connected. However, you can’t conclude that you will still be paying and there is a reason to back this statement:
With a billing mechanism known as net metering that has been incorporated in various states, the whole process of electricity bills and solar power is made less complicated. This allows the energy that is not instantly utilized but is produced by your solar panels to be added to the grid. In return, you earn credits on your electricity bill.
This whole policy is favorable to the people in the way that they can consume the grid’s energy at night when the sun is not present to shine on the solar panels without paying additional dollars. This is applicable if you are extracting the same or less amount of energy that you offered the grid initially. Your monthly electricity bill will reflect the net metering credits that you consumed in that particular month and you will not have to pay for that amount of power.
You will only see the charges for the additional electricity that you drew from the grid that wasn’t counterbalanced by the net metering credits and had not been produced and utilized instantly at your house.
So, we can conclude that the electric bill won’t vanish from your life with the installation of solar panels. The bill may just arrive without asking for any payment and will only inform you about your utilization. It will state the balancing of your usage with the net metering credits for that specific month. If your supply to the grid was greater than the electricity that you drew from it, then the utility has the power to transfer those extra bill credits to the next month. So, you are at an advantage!
Also, once you have solar panels installed, you will witness a decrease in the monthly electric bill and you won’t have to alter your budget every time the electricity rates move upwards. You may even receive a monthly electricity bill with a null amount at times when solar panels generate enough power according to your requirements in the house.
Impact Of Solar Panels On Carbon Footprint
While saving on the utility bill is one of the major reasons for bringing solar panels to your home but there’s another huge advantage that has nothing to do with the financial benefits. When you go solar, you are contributing hugely to helping our environment breathe by decreasing the emissions of greenhouse gases to a significant extent.
So, while you save money on your electricity bills, you are saving the environment too as there would be lesser carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
Going solar will lead to a positive impact on the Earth as the amount of carbon dioxide making its way into the atmosphere will be reduced. Let’s understand it with a valid and practical comparison: An automobile is responsible for 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere every year. According to the calculations by the Environmental Protection Agency, a 6 kW solar panel system reduces 6.3 metric tons of carbon emissions. So, this implies that such solar panel offsets the carbon dioxide emissions by one typical vehicle running on fossil fuels. Turns out, a solar panel is equivalent to keeping a car away from running on the roads.
Inference: Big Savings By Going Solar
After various calculations, research and studies, it can be concluded that solar panels offer huge savings, in terms of both, finances and the environment. Your utility bills will reduce and the carbon emissions will experience a decline too. According to thorough calculations, with a 6 kilowatts solar panel system being installed and considering the inflation in the utility rates to be 2.2%, 20-year electricity savings are quite impressive. The 20-year savings through solar start from $10k and can reach $30k when the demand for electricity is taken as 10,649 kilowatt-hours per year as the national average.
The actual value saved will depend on the true cost of electricity in your area as it varies from region to region. However, practically, it’s observed that in the states that have middle-level or upper-level utility rates, solar will become a fitting investment without any risks offering great returns.
The amount of emissions depends on the size of the solar panel system. The larger solar panel will mean that the carbon dioxide reductions in the environment will increase. So, solar panels are definitely a green move and a perfectly eco-friendly investment.
If you wish to go solar and want the best quotes for the panels in your region, you can visit here to make your process convenient and affordable.