The first step to determining whether your house is a good candidate for solar panels is to calculate your energy usage. You will need to know how much energy you use annually and whether your roof gets full sun or not. Another important consideration is whether you live in a region with a bad or non-existent net metering policy. You will also need to calculate how many solar central coast panels your home will need.
Calculate yearly energy usage
To determine how many solar panels you need, you should determine your average electricity consumption over a year. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average residential utility customer uses about 10,649 kWh of electricity per year. Divide that amount by 12 months to estimate how much energy you use each day. For example, if you use 877 kWh every day, you’d need about seven panels per month to offset that.
After figuring out how much energy you use, you’ll need to calculate the cost per kWh. Although solar panels will provide consistent power for 20 years or more, you need to take inflation into account. This way, the energy you generate will be cheaper in the long run, even if your usage doesn’t change much. You should also consider the rate hikes in your area over the last few years.
Determine if your roof gets full sun
First, you must determine whether your roof gets full sunlight. Many people mistakenly believe that their roof gets full sun every day, but the truth is that the sun only shines on your roof between nine AM and three PM. If you plan to install solar panels on your roof, you must carefully measure the sun exposure on your roof at different times of the day. Remember that 40% of the solar production occurs during the winter. You may also notice that your roof gets a little less sun during the winter.
The best way to determine if your roof receives full sunlight is to check the condition of your roof. Do you live in a sunny state? If so, you’ll want to choose a southern-facing roof instead of a western-facing one. However, even if the roof is sunny, trees can shade most of the roof. Generally speaking, the more sunlight hitting your roof, the better.
Find out if you live in a region with a poor or non-existent net metering policy
You can use your utility’s net metering policy to get a better deal on solar panels. However, you should be aware that utilities are lobbying hard to remove net metering rights. This is because it helps them pad their monopoly on electricity. Moreover, you may not have access to the best solar incentives if you live in an area with poor net metering.
The main goal of net metering is to encourage the adoption of solar energy throughout the country. Not only will solar panels allow you to save money on your electricity bills, but they will also help the utilities manage peak electricity loads better. As a result, the utility company will be able to balance their bills by using cheaper solar power in the area.
Calculate how many solar panels you’ll need
To calculate how many solar panels you need, find out your current utility bill and multiply it by the peak hours of sunlight in your area. Next, divide the number of panels needed by their wattages. A low-wattage solar panel will generate approximately 11,000 kWh of electricity per year, whereas a high-wattage panel can generate up to 28,000 kWh per year. The number of solar panels you need depends on several factors, including the size of your roof and the amount of sun you get in your area.
Using an online solar panel calculator will allow you to estimate your system’s power requirements. Using the energy bill from your previous year can provide a rough estimate of how many panels you’ll need. For example, a 2,500-square-foot home that uses about 900 kWh of electricity per month would need about 35 solar panels. But, there are other factors to consider as well, such as your square footage.