Will I still receive an electric bill if I have solar panels?

Aug 14th 23
12:29:45 pm

Many people choose to install solar panels with the primary goal of saving money on their electric bills. And while it is true that switching to solar power can help you save money on your power bills, you might be surprised to know that you will still likely have an electric bill even after you install solar. How is this possible?

Well, it has to do with your daily energy usage habits and the resulting bills from your utility company. It is important to note that a lack of space and other obstructions can limit how much electricity someone can offset with solar. If a homeowner has a small roof or is shaded by trees or nearby buildings, it may not be possible to install enough solar panels to generate all the electricity they need. In such cases, ground-mounted solar panels may be an option. Ground-mounted solar panels are installed on a rack system in the yard, positioned to maximize sunlight exposure.

However, ground-mounted solar panels take up a lot of space, which is why roof-mounted solar panels are more popular for homeowners looking to install solar. Even if someone cannot offset 100% of their electricity bill, installing solar panels can significantly reduce their monthly bills, making solar a smart financial decision for many homeowners.

In this post, we will discuss in detail why you will likely still have to pay an electric bill after installing solar panels in your home and how installing solar can help you save money.

Unfavorable Weather Conditions

weather conditions affecting solar power

Since solar panels need sunlight to generate electricity, your installation will not produce electricity at night. The efficiency of solar panels is also affected by weather conditions such as cloudy days or thunderstorms. Adverse weather conditions lower your solar panel efficiency by up to 75%. During such situations, you may have to depend on the utility grid to power your home, unless you opt for a battery backup system. Solar batteries store the unused power your solar system generates during peak sunshine hours for later use and can help you avoid drawing from the grid and protect you from grid-associated power cuts. When extreme weather hits a populated area, utility companies will often shut down the grid to avoid potential accidents and make repairs when the storm passes.

Unavailability of Solar Battery Storage System

If you are unable to or not interested in investing in solar backup batteries, ensure your solar installation is grid-tied. Once the sun goes down and your solar panels stop producing energy, you can use power from the utility grid. This means you will still have to pay a monthly utility bill but save on your electricity bills by participating in your state’s net metering program. Consider the option of installing solar batteries while staying connected to the grid. By choosing solar power, you can minimize your electricity expenses and offset a significant portion of your energy usage, while retaining the ability to access power from the grid when needed.

System Performance Falling Short of Expectations

One of the reasons you may face high power bills even after the installation of solar panels in your home is that your system might not be working as efficiently as it should. Although it's uncommon, there may be instances where a solar system fails to operate as intended. While the majority of residential solar systems are installed correctly and function optimally, occasional issues can arise. If you suspect that your solar system is not operating as efficiently as expected, it's advisable to reach out to your solar installer or service company to have it inspected.

avoiding solar installation problems

The best way to avoid any issues with your solar system is to have your installer walk you through the process of operating it. This way, you can ask questions and get the hang of reading your system's output before any potential problems arise.

Absence of a Net Metering Program

Net metering is an excellent way to monetize your excess solar power generation! When solar panels generate more electricity than your home requires, the excess energy is sent back to the grid. Your electricity provider will then credit you for that amount of power - a great way to save money on your energy bills.

However, only 41 out of 50 states offer a net metering program. If you happen to reside in one of the 9 states that don’t offer a net metering program, your utility bills are likely to be higher. Nonetheless, a solar installation will lower your current electricity bill considerably and ensure savings for 25+ years.

Let SolarQuote Help You Lower Your Electricity Bill

get solar support with SolarQuote

SolarQuote is committed to helping you every step of the way when it comes to going solar. Solar investment is a big decision with many factors to consider, which is why we offer support through energy consultants who are available to chat or talk on the phone.

Our advisors can help answer questions about financing, selecting the right panels and system size, or anything else you might need. We can arrange for an in-home consultation, whether it is the initial stages of exploring solar power or ready to proceed with the installation, our team is here to assist you in making informed decisions that align with your specific requirements.

If you are interested in buying solar panels, it is important to compare quotes from different providers to get the best deal. Start by using our instant solar quote tool to get an estimate of how many panels you will need for your home based on your location and energy usage, and get the most competitive quote for your solar system.

Take control of your power today by switching to solar energy today.

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