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Solar Panels and Your Electric Bill: What to Expect

Reducing your monthly electricity bill may seem like an unattainable dream, but what if there was a solution right above your head? Ethical Energy Solar, backed by years of expertise in renewable energy solutions, unveils the game-changer: solar panels. 

A question often asked is, “do you still have an electric bill with solar panels?” The answer is yes, but it’s drastically reduced. As you navigate the maze of utility costs, our article sheds light on how integrating solar technology can shrink your expenses by up to 62%.

Read on and explore the symbiotic relationship between solar panels and your electric bill.

Will I Still Have an Electric Bill After I Go Solar?

Even with solar panels, you might still have an electric bill, but it’ll likely shrink drastically. When you install them, solar panels generate electricity, cutting down your reliance on the grid. 

When the sun’s really shining, your solar panels might make more power than you need. That extra juice can go back into the grid, and you’ll earn credits through net metering program.

Your electric bill will include a few things:

Grid connection

This is your lifeline to continuous electricity. You’ll stay connected to the grid electricity for power at night or when your panels aren’t producing enough.

Minimal usage charges

Sometimes, your solar panels might not cover all your power needs. That’s where these charges sneak in, reminding you of the extra power you used from the grid.

Service fees

The small fees? They’re like maintenance dues for the grid, ensuring it’s in top shape for whenever you need that extra jolt of electricity.

However, with the right-sized solar system and energy-efficient practices, your bill might even disappear or become negligible. Plus, net metering credits do not expire until used or carried forward. This credit rollover allows you to offset future electricity bills and maximize your savings over time.

What Will My Electricity Bill Look Like With Solar Panels

When you switch to solar panels, your electricity bill can change by an unbelievable margin. Let’s break it down. Your new bill will depend on your panel size, energy usage, and local rates. Overall, the average monthly electric bill with solar panels drops dramatically.

For instance, imagine your previous bill was $150 per month. After going solar, it might shrink to around $20 to $30. Why? Your panels produce power during the day, offsetting what you’d usually buy from the grid. Sometimes, you might even produce more than you use and earn credits.

Let’s say your solar system costs $15,000, and you save $100 a month. In around 12.5 years, you’ll break even ($15,000 ÷ $100 = 150 months). But remember, solar panels last 25+ years, so you’re looking at a decade or more of practically free power after that. 

Keep in mind, these figures vary based on your location, panel efficiency, and usage patterns. It’s smart to get quotes and estimate your savings to get a clearer picture of your future bills. But one thing’s for sure: your wallet will likely thank you for making the solar switch. 

When Does My Utility Company Change Out the Meter After Solar Power Installation?

After installing solar panels, your utility company might swap out your meter to track your energy usage and production accurately. The timing varies—some companies do it right after installation, while others wait a bit. 

They need to ensure the meter aligns with your solar panel system, accurately measuring what you use from the grid and what you send back.

Mostly, they’ll let you know before making the switch, and it’s a quick, routine change that pros handle. Newer meters can track both directions of electricity flow, so they’re like the Most Valuable Players for solar setups. 

If you’re curious about the timing, give your utility company a shout. Sometimes, they might do it remotely or swing by for a quick visit. Either way, it’s all about ensuring your bills reflect your solar power contributions Once that new meter’s in place, your solar savings journey kicks into high gear.

How Do I Find the Solar Net Metering Credits on My Bill?

Net metering credits are in the billing section labeled “Usage” or “Electricity Charges.” Look for a line mentioning “Net Metering Credit (NET MTR CRDT).” or “Excess Generation.” This is where the magic happens.

The credits represent the surplus energy your solar panels pumped into the grid. They offset your future electricity costs, like a coupon for free power. Sometimes, these credits roll over from month to month, so if you’ve been a solar superstar, those credits keep piling up.

But remember, each utility company structures its bills differently. If you’re not sure where to look, don’t hesitate to call your utility’s customer service. They’ll guide you to those credits and might even explain how they calculate them.

When your solar panels produce more power than you’re using at any given moment, excess electricity flows back into the grid. Your utility company measures this excess energy in kilowatt-hours (kWh). 

They credit your account for each kWh of surplus energy produced. This credit is typically equal to the retail rate of electricity, which is the same rate you’d pay for the electricity you consume from the grid.

So, if your solar panels generate 100 kWh more than you use in a month and your retail rate is $0.12 per kWh, you’d earn a credit of $12 on your bill.

You may not believe what you see.  Those credits reduce what you owe or might even turn your bill into a pleasant surprise—a zero! Keep an eye out each month to watch those credits grow and revel in the rewards of your solar-powered generosity.

Will My Electric Bill Change Depending on the Season?

During summer and winter, when you crank up the AC or heating, your energy usage often spikes. But with solar panels, this dance changes a bit.

In hot summers or chilly winters, you might use more electricity to stay comfy, which could bump up your bill. However, if your solar panels are churning out power, and you have a solar battery storage system, they’ll offset some of that extra usage. This means your average electric bill with solar panel system might not skyrocket as it used to during these seasons.

The beauty of solar is its ability to harness sunlight year-round. Even in winter, panels can generate electricity, just a bit less than in summer. So, while your bill might fluctuate a bit seasonally, the impact might be way less noticeable with solar power in the mix.

Bottom Line

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So, do you still have an electric bill with solar panels? It might not vanish, but it’s bound to take a nosedive. Thanks to net metering and the power of the sun, you’ll likely see a significant drop in those monthly charges. 

Contact us at Ethical Energy Solar for expert guidance on how much electricity you can harness from solar. We will help you to embrace clean energy, cut those bills, and let the sun do the talking.