The general economic and environmental advantages of home solar are widely known. Before you can determine precisely how much benefit a home solar system will provide you with, however, you need to know some specific figures. If you’re getting home solar, make sure you know these numbers so that you can accurately understand how the system will benefit you.
Your Month-by-Month Electricity Usage
First, check your past year’s electric bills to see how much electricity you’ve used each month. At this stage, you need to know how much electricity was consumed in each individual month — and you especially need to know consumption in the highest month.
You can use these numbers to determine how much electricity your new home solar system needs to generate.
Assuming you want the system to replace your full energy usage, it should be capable of generating the same number of kilowatt-hours as were used in the highest month. If you get a system that can only produce your monthly average, you’ll need to purchase electricity from a utility company during peak months and won’t be entirely self-sufficient.
Your Monthly Electricity Costs
Second, also see what you’re currently paying each month for electricity. Start by checking what you pay per kilowatt-hour, and also look up your average monthly usage if you haven’t already come across that figure.
To find out how much you pay for the actual electricity used, multiply your per-kilowatt-hour cost by your average monthly kilowatt-hour consumption.
In all likelihood, your total won’t be exactly what you pay each month because most utility companies charge additional fees. Contact your utility provider and go over each additional charge on your bill to find out which ones you won’t have to pay once home solar is installed.
To determine how much a home solar system will save you in electric costs each year, add the charges you won’t pay to your monthly costs for kilowatt-hours. Then, multiply this figure by 12 to get an annual amount that you won’t have to pay.
This amount is the annual savings you can expect from your home solar system.
Your Utility Provider’s Buyback Rate
Third, ask your utility provider what they pay homeowners who sell excess solar electricity back into the grid. Most utility companies offer compensation for excess electricity that can be directed to other homes, but the rates they pay differ just as the rates they charge do.
To find out how much you’ll ultimately get for selling electricity back, you’ll need to know your month-by-month consumption and what your system will produce. Then, you need to do a little math:
- Subtract each monthly consumption from your system’s projected production to find out how many kilowatt-hours will be left over in each individual month.
- Add each individual month’s excess kilowatt-hours up to obtain an annual excess amount.
- Multiply the annual excess amount by your utility provider’s payment rate for a yearly total that you can expect to receive.
This amount is money that you’ll receive throughout the year and another direct economic benefit to you.
Your Home’s Value
Finally, find out what your home’s current fair-market value is. If it’s been a while since you purchased the house, you may want to ask a real estate agent for an estimate. If you bought the house recently, you can just use your purchase price.
Know your home’s value to predict how much a home solar system will increase your home’s worth by. Most systems increase property value by 3 to 4 percent. For a conservative estimate of how much your house’s price will go up, multiply your home’s value by 3 percent.
If you’d like a home solar system, contact Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating & Cooling LLC.