How to Determine Your Solar Cost Savings
If you’re considering the switch to solar, cost savings is probably one of your biggest motivations. But how do you know what your savings might be, over time?
Choosing to install a solar panel system on your home or business is big decision, but one that can provide significant benefits down the road. Energy independence is a big advantage, but the financial benefits are the reason most people adopt renewable energy technologies today.
Determining your solar cost savings takes just a little of your time, but it’s worth it to find out how solar energy can benefit your bottom line.
Identify Your Electricity Needs
Begin by figuring out the amount of electricity you use now.
You can easily find this information on your utility bill, which will show your monthly charges along with a graph that breaks down your monthly energy use throughout the year. Determine how many kilowatt hours you use on a daily basis, monthly basis and annually.
This is also an easy way to determine what time of year you use the most energy.
Look into the Future
As you think about your electricity needs now, also think about the future, to get a complete picture of your possible savings from going solar.
A great way to do this is by looking at your bills and usage for years past, and taking note of how much electricity rates have gone up over time. It’s not an exact formula, but it will allow you to estimate what future cost increases may be.
Here Comes the Sun
Where you live and how much sun reaches your roof is a big factor in determining solar cost savings.
The number of peak sunlight hours you receive will affect how much energy you get from your system, as will the average temperature. The Florida Solar Energy Center performed a study to identify these variables in each area of the entire United States. You can view the results of the study here, and there’s even a handy map.
As you’ll see from the data, the Intermountain West is in the sweet spot!
The Size of the System
Next, you will need to determine the size of the solar panel array that you need.
For most homeowners, a system that generates between 1 and 5 kilowatts per day will usually meet electrical needs. Opting for a grid-tied system also will help to offset some of your anticipated electricity needs, especially at night or during bad weather.
Use Those Rebates!
One of the biggest incentives for installing a new solar power system today is the available rebates.
Many states offer rebates, tax credits and other incentives for solar power system installation. You can see a comprehensive list of state incentives here. The federal government also offers a 30 percent tax credit toward the purchase of a solar system, so take advantage of these savings!
Finally, Run the Numbers
Once you have determined the size of the system you need, the electricity rate in your area, how many kilowatt hours you will generate and the rebates available to you, all you need to know is how much your PV panel system will cost. And that’s where we come in!
Serving businesses and homeowners in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho, Intermountain Wind & Solar can provide you with an accurate cost estimate to provide and install your photovoltaic energy system.
Once you see the bottom line showing you how much you will save over time, you’ll truly understand the immense value available to you through solar cost savings.