Solar 101: Steps to Save Money on Utility Bills
The increasing demand for energy consumption brought by lifestyle and productivity needs is getting more challenging because of our current climate issue. This difficulty is what sparked the drive to find alternative and more eco-friendly power sources. One of the best technologies developed to answer this need is solar power technology. So here we will talk about how you can save money on utility bills.
What You Need to Know First
Unlike practically every other energy source, solar energy is a fuel you may generate on your own, right on your property. Every kilowatt you produce with your roof-mounted solar panels is one you won’t have to pay for through the local electricity grid, and those kilowatts soon add up.
Here are benefits if you consider having solar installation:
- Building-mounted solar panels have a minor environmental impact.
- Solar energy is the most abundant source of energy on the planet.
- Solar energy does not emit any pollutants or carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
- Solar panels, once installed, require minimal to no upkeep.
- Solar panels require an initial investment, but they will save you money on utility bills in the long run.
Steps to Lower Costs
#1. Know the Energy You Produce from Solar Panels
The more panels you have, the more energy it produces. Knowing how much power your system produces will make you aware of the overall output. You can then factor in your energy consumption and deduct it from the total energy produced by your solar panels. It can output power for 25 years after its installation.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average home uses 887 kWh per month and spends roughly US$115. A panel with a surface area of 2 square meters can provide up to 45 kWh of AC electricity every month. So, to meet the monthly average demand of 887 kWh per household, 20 panels with a total output of 900kWh 45 per month are required.
With every panel generating 400 watts per hour, the total output for all 20 panels is 8,000 watts per hour. If this seems excessive, keep in mind that you can profit from the surplus power your system generates and gives back to the grid. It is because solar panels make use of the sun, which is a renewable energy source.
#2. Know Which Appliances Consume Most of the Power
Certain appliances in the building require a lot of energy. You can replace some with energy-saving options, while others may be fine if you keep track of how much electricity they utilize. This way, you may be more conscious of your usage and potentially save money on utility bills. Here are some of those appliances:
Incandescent Light Bulb:
A room with four 100-watt bulbs may consume 400 watt-hours in a single day, and that’s only one room. In comparison, an LED light requires only 10 watts, ten times less than a typical bulb. Think again if you feel this amount is trivial and switch to more preferable energy-saving alternatives.
A refrigerator is vital to keep groceries and produce fresh at home, but it consumes a lot of electricity because it is on all the time. A 16-cubic-foot refrigerator uses about 1,200 watt-hours per day on average. Please choose a size appropriate for your family’s needs (not too big or too tiny) and distance it a few inches away from the wall for adequate ventilation.
While it’s a necessity during the summer, it’s also one of the most often abused appliances. A higher power bill depends on the sort of air conditioner you have, the size of the space you’re cooling, and how long it’s running. If at all possible, use timers to keep track of your usage.
Warm baths are soothing, but if you prefer long showers, keep in mind that a water heater can use up to 4,500 watt-hours each day. While it’s OK to treat yourself now and then, being conscious of your shower time could help you save money on your electric, water, and other utility bills.
Another helpful device to keep on hand is a clothes drier, which is especially beneficial during wet or colder seasons. The only disadvantage is that it consumes around 3,000 watt-hours every day. If at all feasible, use the warmth of the sun to dry your garments. You won’t have to use it all year round this way.
#3. Know the Other Factors Affecting Your Electrical Consumption
These are the factors that can also alter the energy consumption of your building. It impacts the highs and lows of your bill. To conserve more energy and increase savings, you must become aware of these variables. It will help with planning and other decisions you may make.
The ways you use electricity will change as the weather changes. In general, you will use more fans or air conditioners to keep cool at home during the summer or hotter months. This possibility may even imply having them running 24 hours a day, which would influence your monthly bill.
There’s also the flipside. During the chilly months, you may prefer to use your building’s heating system instead, but this means it will be left open throughout the day to keep your home warm. There are also months when you may not need to use your cooling or heating systems, which allows you to reserve money on electricity.
Do any members of your family work from home? How prolonged does it take for someone to shower regularly? Is it a family thing to have a movie night once a week? These related questions are to your lifestyle and can have an impact on your energy consumption.
The more electricity you use at home to complete jobs, de-stress, and so on, the higher your bill will be, especially during these times when most of us are working from home.
Number of People:
A family of three will almost certainly use less energy every month than a family of seven. The higher your facility’s power requirements are, the more rooms you have and the more individuals consuming electricity to do different tasks simultaneously.
The maintenance of your building will also affect its cost. For example, if all of the windows in your room are open, it will cool or warm up faster since no air will exit or enter. There is also less space for your appliances to cool or heat in a single-story building.
An old building may also have less insulation, making it less effective at trapping heat. If, for instance, you have a tree growing over your property, it likely provides shade and additional cooling during the summer. These factors may appear insignificant, but they can have a significant impact on how you consume electricity.
The setting and tilt of your solar panels will affect how much money you save by using them because the sun’s position in the sky fluctuates throughout the year. The easiest way to maximize the amount of money you may retain with solar panels is to install them on a south-facing roof.
The best tilt angle for year-round production is around 37 degrees. A variable tilt angle, on the other hand, has no significant impact on overall power production. The reason is that you can generate solar energy regardless of the slope of your roof.
If you need to adjust the panels on your roof, seek the best access doors best sellers available in the market. They can provide you with the convenience and safety you need when you access the roof area of your buildings for either installations or maintenance. Your maintenance crew will indeed thank you.
#4. Have a Plan
Planning is part of everything that requires a decision. Going in without one is asking for things to be complicated. Set a plan on how you can drive your energy consumption low by first getting all of the needed variables. The variables are already above, and you can reread them to review.
#5. Research About Other Advantages
There are other advantages when you have solar panels installed on your property. For example, some states in the US encourage those who want to install solar panels. An example of the most significant incentive is the Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC), which covers 26% of the cost.
There are other advantages, but the discussion deserves an article on its own. The highlights of these additional benefits must have justice, and to discuss it here might not give it enough emphasis.
It is exciting to consider what technology will give us a decade or two from now. There is much hope that future developments and progress in energy generation will certainly change more of our lifestyle in a better way. However, if you still need more options or information regarding the topic, make sure to ask a professional. They can give you more details and updates if you ever decide to get a solar panel of your own.
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