If you have a solar system, do you still get an electricity bill with solar panels? This is a common question we at Atlasta Solar Center get asked. To answer this question, let’s explore how solar and electricity are similar and how they are different.
Solar Power vs. Electricity
Solar power and electricity are both forms of energy we use to power our homes and businesses. However, each source and generate power in different ways.
Solar energy is generated using sunlight. This is made possible with photovoltaic panels, better known as PV panels, which capture sunlight and create electricity. The output, or amount of electricity generated, depends on the region where PV panels are installed, type of PV panels, and how well maintained they are.
Sunlight is a renewable energy source. This means this energy is replenished at a higher rate than is consumed. Fossil fuels, however, are a non-renewable energy source, meaning this energy source will eventually run out.
The electricity we use to power appliance and light our homes is generated at power plants. This energy then flows through transmission wires, substations, and to distribution lines that power businesses, homes, schools, and more. To produce this energy in the first place, fossil fuels are used.
Utility electric is easy to use, as it already set up. You don’t have to worry about upfront costs, or about installation.
Will I Have An Electricity Bill With Solar Panels?
The short answer: yes, you will have an electricity bill with solar panels. But how is this possible? A common misconception with solar panels is that they eliminate electricity bills completely. For example, many people believe that if you have a solar system that produces more electricity than your household consumes, then you will not have an electric bill. However, this is not the case, due to how electricity works.
Several Reasons You Still Have An Electric Bill With Solar Panels
There are several reasons why you’ll still receive an electricity bill with solar panels:
Most solar systems are still grid-tired, or connected to the grid. This allows your home to still draw power from the grid on days that your solar panels aren’t producing enough power.
Solar panels only generate energy when the sun is out. So, at nighttime your panels do not produce any power.
Cloudy weather affects how much sunlight your panels absorb. Unless you plan to never use any electricity during bad weather and/or nighttime, you will need the electric grid for electricity.
Solar Battery Storage
Your solar system will have days it will produce more energy than your house needs in that moment. Rather than letting that energy go to waste, you can store that extra energy in solar batteries. Then you can use that energy at nighttime.
If you do not have enough solar battery storage, you will certainly need to rely on the grid. Also, having enough solar battery storage can be very expensive.
Is There A Way To Eliminate Electricity Bills with A Solar System?
Yes, it is possible to not have an electric bill with a solar system. To achieve this, your home will have to be completely off the grid.
But What Does Off the Grid Mean?
This means your home or business is not connected with any electric utility, in any way. In other words, there are no wires from power lines leading into your home. When you go off the grid, this means you are dependent on generating all the electricity that your home needs.
Going off the grid is not easy. It can also be very expensive. First, you need to disconnect from the grid. This may or may not be illegal depending on where you live. Second, you will need an off-grid system that provides electricity, such as a solar system. Third, it may take some time to adapt to this new system. For example, you’ll need to make sure your panels have generated enough energy for electricity at night. In other words, in you’re charge of just how much and when you use electricity when off the grid.
How Do Solar Panels Affect My Electricity Bill?
Now you know you will have electric bill with solar panels unless your home goes completely off grid. So, how do solar panels affect electric bills? After all, many people choose solar panels to reduce their energy bills.
Lower Your Bill
Using solar power can help lower your electric bill. The output of your solar panel system affects how much of your electricity bill is reduced. The more electricity produced by your solar system, the more you offset the amount of electricity you will have to pay, overall.
Different Electricity Rates
Solar systems can affect electricity rate structures. These plans vary depednign where you live and on the utility company.
Fixed Rate Plans
You pay the same fixed rate per unit of energy, no matter how much or when electricity is consumed.
Utility companies compensate homeowners who produce solar energy and store excess energy in the grid. This stored energy results in a credit issued by the utility company, which is then applied to homeowner’s future energy bills.
The more energy you, the more energy rate increases in set tiers.
Time of Use Plan
Energy rates differ depending on the time of day, day of the week, and season.
What If My Electricity Bill is Still High After Solar Panels?
If your energy bill is still high even after having solar panels installed, check with your utility company to make sure you’re on the correct rate plan. Also check on your overall energy consumption and reduce consumption where needed.
Atlasta Solar Center: Here For Your Solar Energy Needs
Whether you have solar system now or plan to have one installed in the future, Atlasta Solar Center is here to help you better understand solar energy systems. Since 1979, we have provided innovative energy solutions, and can find the best solar energy solution for you. For a complimentary solar site analysis, contact us at 970-248-0057.