Solar VS Electricity

We all use electricity to power appliances and provide light, whether in commercial or residential settings. What about solar vs electricity, however? As solar power continues to rise in popularity, you may be wondering about the differences between solar energy and electricity. In fact, a question we at Atlasta Solar Center get asked is, “Do you still have an electric bill with solar panels?” To answer this question, let’s look at how solar energy compares with electricity, as well as the benefits presented by using solar energy.

Solar Vs Electricity
Solar panels have several benefits over utility electric.

The Differences Between Solar vs Electricity

Solar energy and electricity each source and generate power in different ways:

Utility Electric

The electric energy we use is generated at power plants. This power flows through transmission wires to substations, then through distribution lines that power homes, offices, schools, etc. To produce substantial energy and distribute it, fossil fuels (coal, gas, petroleum) are used.

Unlike solar energy, utility electric is already set up in most cases and is easy to use. You do not need to worry about installation, and no upfront money or investment is required.

Solar Energy

Solar power is generated using sunlight. Specifically, photovoltaic (PV) panels are used to capture sunlight and create energy. How efficient solar panels are will vary per region, how they are installed, and how well maintained they are.

Unlike utility electric, which is dependent on fossil fuels, sunlight is a renewable source. This means that this is an energy that is replenished at a higher rate than is consumed. In other words, sunlight is constantly replenished, whereas the supply of fossil fuels is finite and will eventually run out.

Will I Have An Electric Bill With Solar Panels?

The short answer: yes, you will still have an electricity bill with solar panels. But why? One of the key reasons people choose solar panels is to lower their electricity bill. A common misunderstanding is that if your solar array produces more power than is needed for your home, you will not need any electricity from the utility grid, therefore eliminating electric bills entirely. However, this isn’t the case, given how electricity works. The only way to truly eliminate electric bills is to live off the grid, which can be incredibly expensive. Here are several reasons why you will still have an electricity bill with solar panels:

Cloudy Weather and Nighttime

It’s a simple reason: solar panels need sunlight to generate power. Cloudy days will affect how much sunlight actually reaches your solar array, and at night time, your solar array will not produce any energy. So unless you plan to never use electricity during cloudy days or at night, you will need to use the electric grid for electricity.

Lack of Solar Battery Storage

There are times when your solar system may produce more energy than your home needs at the moment (this is especially true during peak sunny hours.) With solar battery storage, you can save this excess energy and use it once the sun sets.

It’s important to note however that having sufficient battery storage to power your residence over long periods of time can be expensive. Therefore, it can be a good idea to remain hooked to the grid. Think of using solar battery power for regular use, with the electric grid as a backup.


Most solar panel systems are still connected to the grid, or “grid-tied.” This means your home can still draw electricity from the grid when your solar panels aren’t producing enough power. By being connected to the utility grid, you will receive electric bills. How much you are billed depends on which electric company your home is powered by. You will be charged per kWh, as well as a monthly fee for being connected to the grid.

Electricity Bill With Solar Panels
Solar panels don’t eliminate energy bills, but they can cut down on energy costs.

Benefits of Solar Over Electricity

Don’t let the fact that you will still have electric bills with solar panels dissuade you from having a solar system installed. Solar power has several advantages over electricity and can still offset energy bill costs.

Green, Renewable Energy

As mentioned before, solar energy is renewable energy, unlike fossil fuels (which power plants use to generate electricity.) As a result of being “green,” solar energy does not produce carbon emissions and does not cause environmental damage associated with mining and drilling.

Cost Savings

After upfront costs for installation, solar panels are energy efficient and can cover the costs of installation and save on energy bills in the long term. Compare that with utility electric, which can cost more than solar on a long-term basis.

Solar Panels Can Help You Save Money On Taxes

Another benefit of having solar panels are solar incentives. For example, the federal government offers a tax credit for homeowners who invest in a solar array. Many states also offer additional solar incentives as well. If your state doesn’t offer state-run solar incentives, check with your utility provider to see if they offer a solar incentive program of their own.

Increased Home Value

More and more people are becoming interested in using green, renewable energy, so a solar system can increase the value of your home. Also factor in how solar energy can save money on electricity costs, and it’s easy to see how solar panels can increase your property’s appeal.

Energy You Own, Not Rent

Solar power is energy you own, whereas with utility electric you pay to “rent” or use their electricity.

How To Optimize Your Solar Panels

To further cut down on energy bills, ensure that your solar array is working efficiently:


Solar panels are relatively easy to maintain. Safely clean your panels when they’re dirty and remove leaves and debris.


Make sure your solar panels have full exposure to the sun. Trim away branches that obstruct your panels.

Have An Expert Install Your Panels

PV panels are best installed by professionals as we can ensure a solar array is installed properly and safely.

Choose Solar Energy To Power Your Home

Solar panels do not eliminate energy bills, but solar power can help decrease electricity costs. After an initial investment, solar panels pay themselves off in the long run and can save you money. In addition, solar panels increase the value of your property by providing your home with renewable energy and can possibly save you money on taxes. Ready to go with solar? Choose Contact Atlasta Solar Center with any questions, we’re happy to help!

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