How Home Solar and Batteries Can Replace a High Utility Bill
Almost everyone has heard of the many advantages of using solar energy by now.
Installing solar panels is widely acknowledged as one of the best decisions a homeowner can make for their home.
It is no longer a question of whether we will reap benefits from installing solar panels and using home batteries.
The questions now are all about how they affect our homes and utility bills.
These are the types of questions more and more people are asking as they jump onto the solar energy train.
After all, one way to maximize the benefits of any investment is to know exactly how it works and how it will benefit us.
Fully understanding the various solar energy advantages is key to getting the most out of not just the alternative energy source but also our government.
Solar Power and the Energy Grid
People often mention how solar energy and installing solar panels can help reduce electricity costs.
Thus, it is only right to dive right into some frequently asked questions about solar power and the power grid.
Will Solar Energy Completely Eliminate Electricity Costs?
Solar energy will not always zero out our electric bill. This will depend on the size and capacity of your solar panel installation and your monthly energy consumption.
Installing a large enough solar system may help guarantee to reduce your electricity bills to zero month after month.
Energy-efficient appliances, smart home systems, and similar strategies also help ensure a low, zero, or even negative electric bill.
Do Solar Panels Replace Electric Bills?
We may receive various solar system benefits but it will not replace electric bills.
Expect to continue receiving electricity bills. This holds true even in months that solar installations generate excess electricity and do not use electricity from the state power grid.
Why Do I Continue to Receive Electric Bills?
Even after installing solar panels on our homes, we are still connected to the state electric grid.
Rather than replace our old source of electricity, solar energy integrates with it.
A grid-tied system allows us to use the energy that solar panels generate to supplement our traditional source of electricity and vice-versa.
So, unless we choose to go completely off-grid, we will continue to receive electric bills.
Moreover, states may subject their citizens to non-bypassable charges. These fees are often charged to help cover other costs, such as energy assistance programs and power station shutdowns.
How Does Solar Power Reduce Power Bills?
The most important among solar panels’ advantages centers around reducing our power bills.
Solar panels can help reduce energy consumption from the power grid by up to half each month.
A home solar installation generates electricity, which is then fed into electrical wiring.
This means our homes will use this solar-generated electricity instead of the electricity from our utility company.
It is only on days that are cloudy, rainy, or otherwise dark that our homes will switch to using electricity from the power grid.
Still, since our days of using energy from the state grid are no longer constant, this will result in a drop in energy costs.
Can We Keep Using Solar Power on Nights or Cloudy Days?
Complementing your solar installations with home solar battery storage systems lets us make the most of solar panels’ advantages.
Such batteries are essential for people living totally off-grid.
A home solar battery stores energy converted and collected during the day.
Once a solar home battery is charged up, we can then use it to power our homes during the night.
Energy demand is often lower during the night.
As such, lower capacity battery systems may be enough.
After using up the batteries’ energy during the evening, the batteries are simply recharged by our solar system the following day.
Solar Power: Pros and Cons
Proponents of photovoltaic (PV) or solar power often tout how it can help reduce our home’s utility bills—and for several good reasons.
● Renewable energy source: Once solar panels are installed, they will continuously generate energy for our home.
● Lower electricity consumption: When fitted properly, the solar power system should integrate with our traditional energy source. The system switches seamlessly between our own generated solar energy and the energy from the state’s power grid. This means that we use less electricity supplied by electric companies.
● Low maintenance costs: Another major solar energy advantage is that solar panels rarely need repairs or maintenance. Less repair fees throughout the year means more savings for other household or family needs.
However, there are still some disadvantages to using solar panels.
Here are some of the cons of solar energy:
● Sunlight-dependent Efficiency: The efficiency of a home solar installation noticeably drops during cloudy, rainy, and sometimes even winter days. Naturally, we are unable to collect solar energy at night as well.
● Costly Initial Investment: Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to investing in solar energy for our home is the high initial cost. Installing solar panels and buying home batteries to store excess solar energy can cost a huge amount of money. In California, the average cost of solar panels falls between $10,000 and almost $13,000.
Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates
Adopting solar power and home batteries not only helps us save money on utility bills but also allows us to earn a small amount of income on the side.
Here are three ways homeowners can earn money using solar energy panels in California.
● Investment Tax Credit: This is a federal solar tax credit that allows us to lower the cost of our solar energy installations by up to 30%. Families who decide to purchase and install solar panels by December 31, 2021, may earn 22% to 30% in tax credits. Similarly, those who purchase and install home solar systems by December 31, 2022, are eligible for a 26% tax credit.
● Self-Generation Incentive Program: This is a financial incentive provided in return for buying and installing solar batteries together with solar roof panels. The rebates vary based on the batteries’ storage capacity and utility.
● Local Utility Company Rebates: Some cities and areas in California offer cash incentives in exchange for installing solar panels. These may vary depending on the utility provider. San Francisco and Sacramento are two cities that offer such incentives.
Solar panels’ advantages can often (and easily) outweigh the disadvantages. Do your due diligence before jumping headfirst into solar energy.
Make sure to thoroughly research the solar panels and home battery you plan on buying.
Consult with friends and acquaintances with solar home systems or who are familiar with solar energy installations.
After finding the best fit for your home, look into other ways you can improve your overall energy efficiency and cost reductions.
More from Solar Sun Surfer
Solar Sun Surfer is one of the leading California solar energy companies providing one of the most promising forms of renewable energy out there.
While we are a relative newcomer to the solar game, we aren’t new to the technology nor inexperienced in the areas that count when it comes to doing quality installations, customer service, repair, and maintenance on all solar power panels, water heaters, and pool heating equipment whether it’s for residential or commercial locations.