Solar power is a form of energy that absorbs sunlight to convert it to electricity. This natural energy may power lights and various other electrical devices in a home or business. With the push toward green energy and the fact that solar panels are dropping in price, solar panels are more accessible than ever better. Plus, besides being eco-friendly, harnessing the sun’s solar energy will help save money on your energy expenses, which may lead you to question how much you could save with solar energy. This solar power calculator guide will help you figure it out.
Discover Energy Audits with Solar Energy and ONIT Home
Try our Free Energy Audit to make sure your home is performing at optimum energy efficiency. We’ll inspect every nook and cranny of your home to make sure it’s best serving your needs. We’ll also give you tips on lowering your energy bills, conserving energy, and creating a more efficient space. To learn more about how we can help you maintain a top performing home, visit us online to get started!
General Information About Solar Energy
A solar panel system in 2010 cost an average of $40,000 to install. The price today is usually less than $20,000, which is a difference of over 50%. The real savings on solar panels started in 2014, though. Since then, the price of a residential system has decreased by close to 70%. This trend is fairly static throughout the United States. Prices are competitive with solar energy in many states.
Shockingly, solar power is a powerful source of energy. With only 22,000 square miles of panels, which is around the size of Lake Michigan, the entire United States could have electricity from a renewable source.
Plus, since installers may place the panels on top of roofs, a solar panel system has no impact on the land. Unlike fossil fuels which emit harmful pollutants into the air, solar energy doesn’t release any type of gas. Solar power also reduces our reliance on non-renewable resources.
In terms of a direct effect on you, solar power can reduce your need to use traditional energy sources. Therefore, in the long run, you’ll save yourself money by having solar panels in addition to the electricity that already comes into your home.
Solar panels increase the value of your home as well, typically by around 3%, depending on the number of panels you have installed.
What Affects the Impact Solar Power Has on Your Home
For one, your location plays a role in how much energy you can save. People who live in sunnier areas have a greater potential for savings than someone who lives in a not-so-sunny area.
Additionally, the amount of roofing space plays a role. If you have a larger amount of roofing space to situate panels, you’ll be able to have more panels. Ultimately, this means you’ll save even more energy.
The percentage you can save on your energy expenditure also depends on how much you currently spend on electricity. You may be able to meet a majority of your energy expenses if you don’t consume much electricity to begin with. On the other hand, you’ll find with a solar power calculator that you’ll meet less of your energy expenses if you use a higher amount of energy.
The amount you can invest initially with solar panels will affect how much you can save. You’ll have a greater potential to save when you have a larger number of solar panels. However, that costs money. On average, you’ll need 25 to 35 panels to achieve energy independence. If you install fewer panels, you’ll only cut into your energy expenses rather than achieve energy independence.
Keep in mind that the cost you need to pay for panels varies from state to state. Therefore, if you’re in a state, such as Massachusetts, where the cost for panels is higher, you may only be able to afford to have a portion of the panels you require.
Examples of Solar Power Savings
These examples will give you an estimate of much you could potentially save, in particular, based on your location. Keep in mind that different parts of each state get different amounts of sunlight. If your home is mostly shaded, you won’t get as much out of your solar panels, either. You’d need to cut down trees, so your panels have more uninterrupted access to sunlight.
Let’s say you live in a home where you have an adequate amount of roof to position enough solar panels to become energy independent from your current electric provider. You’ll save an average of $13,000 over 20 years in Texas if your average electric bill is $150 per month. On the other hand, if you typically spend $200 a month on electricity, you can save around $18,000 in 20 years with solar panels.
Let’s say you have a home in Pennsylvania. If you have a rooftop that has 690 square feet of space with direct access to sunlight, you meet 100 percent of your energy expenses. If you typically spend $100 a month on your energy expenses, you may save $5,600 on your energy expenses over 20 years, as noted by a solar power calculator. On the other hand, if you usually spend $200 per month on electric, you could save up to $11,000 over 20 years if you have 1,400 square feet of space for solar panels.
Boston, Massachusetts ranks as a city that gets a moderately high amount of sunlight each year. If you get a system that meets 100 percent of your energy needs, you could save $24,000 in 20 years if you’re average electricity bill is $100 per month. If you typically pay $200 a month on electricity, you could save $41,000 over 20 years if your solar energy system meets all of your demands.
If you install enough panels to take care of all of your energy needs, you could save yourself $13,000 in 20 years in Tampa, FL, if you have an average electric bill of $150 per month. If your average electricity bill is $200, you could find yourself saving $18,000 over a 20-year timeframe.
Southern California is known for getting a high amount of sunlight. Therefore, a resident who has an average electric bill of $150 per month in the state who has enough solar panels to give him or her energy independence could save $36,000 over 20 years. Let’s say you spend $200 a month on your electricity bills at the same CA residence. You could save around $49,000 in 20 years.
How to Figure Out Savings With a Solar Power Calculator
The aforementioned examples are generalized and are all from homes that meet their complete energy needs, which means there aren’t trees obstructing the way, and the homes can install enough solar panels. However, not everyone can meet the goal of being energy independent. Here’s how you can create your own solar power calculator and determine how much savings you could have.
Calculating How Many Panels You Can Have
Firstly, determine how many solar panels you can have. Often, you can find calculators online that use an online map to generate information about your exact location and determine the amount of sun you get and everything else for that matter. You may need to contact a solar panel installer and give the representative the measurements of your roof for a more accurate estimate. When you do this, you should ask how energy independent the panels could make you in terms of a percentage.
Figuring Out Price for Solar Energy Monthly
You may need to pay a fee for solar energy each month through your energy supplier. In the event of this, you should contact your energy supplier and ask specifically how you’ll have to pay. You should also factor in the cost if you plan to lease or make payments on your solar energy panels.
Determining How Much Energy You Use
Look at your last energy bill. Keep in mind that your electricity bill changes based on the season and how you heat or cool your home. Use the amount of your last energy bill, or use an average your energy provider gives you one, of how much electricity you use.
You’ll also want to figure out how much your energy provider charges you per kilowatt of energy you use.
Assess the Costs of Solar and Standard for the Amount of Energy You Use
When you’re using your solar power calculator, you should multiply the amount you pay per kilowatt by the average number of kilowatts you use of energy. Do this for both the amount you’d pay for solar power and the amount your electricity company charges you.
Incorporate If Solar Energy Won’t Meet Your Demands
If you were told that solar energy will only meet 50 percent of your energy demands, you need to include this into your figure for both your electricity provider and your solar power. You would multiply the average kilowatts you use monthly by .5.
Then, you’d multiply this number by how much you pay per kilowatt through your normal energy provider. Next, you’d also multiply it by how much you’d pay for energy for your solar power. Add the two figures, which would be the average you’d pay each month.
Compare Average to Your Estimate
Finally, you’d use the typical energy expense that you’re paying for now minus the estimate you came up with for solar energy, even if your estimate only took into consideration if you could be completely energy independent. You could then find out how much you’d save.
Feel free to use this number and figure out how much you’d save yearly, every decade, or even over 20 years. You can probably find solar power calculators online that can give you a roundabout of how much you can save with solar energy. Or, you can use the aforementioned steps to give yourself an idea of how much you could save.
Have Solar Panels Installed in Two Weeks with ONIT Home
Skip the long process of waiting for panels and have ONIT Home professionally install yours in two weeks. If you want to learn more about our solar services, visit us online! We can provide you with a free quote for solar services and information regarding the transition to renewable energy.
ONIT Home is your one-stop shop to create a space for families to enjoy. Bundle your purchases together for a $1,500 voucher to be used with our water filtration, security systems, or solar panels. Or, receive a $2,000 security system for $1,000 with a purchase of a water filtration system. Ready to go solar? Every solar panel system comes with a free home security and water filtration system! Learn more about our bundling deals today by calling us at 1-833-433-0331. Whatever you need, we’re ONIT!