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Can Solar Panels Lower My Electricity Bill?

A common misconception about solar panels is that they perform very well under high temperatures. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Solar panels will lower your electricity bill as long as they have been installed properly and have been installed in areas that receive adequate sunlight. You want to avoid shading as much as possible. Make sure you space your panels around your roof obstructions that could potentially cast a shadow on them.

Understanding Solar Components: Microinverters vs. String Inverters

Different solar components react to shading differently. Microinverters do a great job of making sure that every panel is individualized and shading loss will only affect the specific panel and not the neighboring panels. With string inverters, your solar panels are as strong as their weakest link, just like Christmas lights.

Best Temperatures for Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panels are just like humans. They like to operate in cooler temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees weather. The most optimal temperature for panels is 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius, anything above this, solar panels will start to lower inefficiency. Every solar panel lowers at a different rate. This is called the coefficient of a solar panel.

Your most optimal solar panel production will happen during the spring and fall when you have long, cool, sunny days. Like the winter, during the summertime you will still produce a lot of power but only because the lower efficiency is offset by longer days. Your power consumption is also at a peak during the summer because of your cooling system. Something that you could do during these times is using the credits that you have build-up in the spring and fall.

How Solar Panels Insulate Your Home

Adding solar panels to your roof also adds a natural layer of insulation. A lot of times we see that after a solar system has been installed, the attic temperatures under where the mounting planes are a lot more efficient and can drop in temperature around 1 to 3 degrees. This reduces the impact on your HVAC system which makes your HVAC last a lot longer, work less, and lower your electricity bill.

Choosing the Right Solar Panels: Efficiency vs. Surface Area

If you have limited surface area, it’s important to invest in a solar system that has higher efficiency than others. However, if you have plenty of surface space and a pretty efficient home, you don’t need the most efficient solar panels in the market. You can just install a few less efficient panels and save a significant amount of money in the process.

The Importance of Solar Monitoring

Having access to solar monitoring is CRITICAL! A lot of homeowners will invest in a solar system but have no way to track how their system is performing until they get a higher electric bill and start asking questions. Make sure to ask your installer how you will be able to monitor your system, have them walk you through that monitoring software, after the install, so that you can monitor your system daily. In addition to being able to monitor your solar production, a lot of systems also come with a monitor that allows you to see your home’s energy consumption. Some of these allow you to see consumption at the whole home level and others allow you to see it at the individual appliance or breaker level.

Solar panels will absolutely lower your electric bill. In some cases, they will completely eliminate it and drive your bill into the negative, allowing you to build credits.

Fact checked by Jacob Petrosky – 4/25/2024