How Residential Solar Saves You Money

You probably know that solar energy is an environmentally friendly alternative to other common fossil fuel options such as coal, and you have heard that getting solar panels installed on your home can help save you money every month on your power bill. What many people don’t know, though, is just how much you are saving. To calculate that, you need to understand the cost and use of kilowatt-hours.


A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a unit of measurement that describes how much energy is needed to power 1000 watts for one hour. For example, if you have a lightbulb that is 100 watts that you leave on for one hour, that uses 100 watt hours. If you have 10 lightbulbs, all 100 watts, and you leave them all on for one hour, that is 10 x 100 = 1000 watts per hour, or 1 kWh.

The average household in the U.S. uses a little over 900 kWh each month, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), but that varies widely. Your power bill shows you the average number of kilowatt-hours that you are using each month so you can figure out your usage over the course of a year by going back and looking at 12 months of bills. You can take your monthly kWh usage and divide it by 30 to get average usage per day. If you are close to the national average, you would be around 30 kWh per day.

Residential Solar Panels and kWh

Your residential solar panels collect energy from the sun during daylight hours, and you can use that as it is collected, then store excess energy (if you have an off-grid battery backup system) or transfer unused energy to the local power company (if you have a grid-tied system). When you first meet with a solar installation expert, they can help you calculate exactly how many panels you need to create enough energy to power your average day, adjusting for things like location, sunlight hours, and obstructions that limit sunlight to the panels.

Typically the cost to produce a kWh of solar energy from a residential Intermountain Wind and Solar system is around 6 cents. That number is calculated using your total investment in the system, divided by the number of kilowatt-hours of energy that the system produces each day.

When you compare that to the average cost of a kilowatt-hour of energy from local power companies in the Intermountain West, which range from 9.88 cents to 12.16 cents depending on where you live (not including taxes), the savings are significant.

*Solar costs calculated at $0.06/kWh; all costs estimated using U.S. average of 10,972 kWh per year. Actual costs and savings will vary based on individual usage and what your power company charges per kilowatt-hour.

Start Saving Today

If you are tired of paying a premium to your local power company, and ready to have more energy independence, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar to get an estimate today.

(based on this video from YouTube channel:

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