Wouldn’t it be great if you never had to pay an electric bill again? Or better yet, have your electric utility company pay YOU each month?!
One of the big promises of going solar is that you can eliminate your electric bill. Or at least pay a lot less on your bill each month.
And while the upfront costs may be high, if you don’t have an electric bill anymore, then the panels will pay for themselves pretty quickly.
But is that the case? Do you still have an electric bill with solar panels?
Here is an overview of what you need to know when it comes to your electric bill after you get solar panels.
Do You Still Have An Electric Bill With Solar Panels?
The short answer to that is yes. In all likelihood you will still have monthly utility bills after you put solar panels on your home.
But the bigger question is how much will you have to pay, if anything, each month to your local electric utility company. There are a few things that will determine the answer to that.
Solar Panels Output and Your Energy Consumption
First, how many solar panels you have and how much energy they produce will be the biggest factor here. Obviously, the more panels you have and the more electricity they make, the lower your electric bill will be.
And, in many cases, your solar panels will produce enough electricity to power your entire home. Even if they don’t cover all your electric needs, they should still make a big dent in your electric bill.
Then there are situations where you may end up producing even more electricity than your home needs. In this case, then the excess energy you produce will then go to the electricity grid. And this can be highly beneficial for you.
This is called net metering. Net metering can earn you credits from your utility company. (Though not all utility companies do net metering.) This means that the utility company will owe you money.
This is the ideal situation many solar panel owners want to get to!
But even with net metering, you will still likely have to pay basic fees to your utility company. This will be to cover your home being connected to the power grid. Because despite having solar panels, there will likely still be times when you’ll still need to rely on them for at least a little electricity.
Off-Grid Solar Installations
How about if you have an off-grid solar installation? Do you still have an electric bill with solar panels in this case?
The answer here is no. Because when homes are truly off-grid, your home will not be connected to the energy grid at all.
Your panels will produce all the power you need (hopefully!). Any excess electricity you create will be stored in batteries to use at night or on peak days if your panels can’t keep up with demand.
These off-grid systems have a much higher upfront cost to them. Mainly due to the battery costs and additional labor necessary to install them. However, if you live in a sunny area and have enough batteries to get you through the nights and cloudy days, this could be a great option.
Solar panels can save you a lot of money (enter your zip code below to get a personalized quote on exactly how much you can save). However, unless you’re 100% off-grid, you will probably not totally eliminate your monthly electric bill.