Solar Panels

 

Solar Panel Savings


There are two factors that influence the amount of money solar panels will save you on your electricity bills: 1) the amount of money you spend on your current electric bill, and 2) the amount of electricity your solar panels will be providing. Using these these factors, you can determine how much solar panels with reduce your electricity bill. For example, if you currently use 1000KWH per month and it costs you $200, installing solar panels that provide 250KWH each month will take $50 off your bill.

The amount of money you save will vary significantly by region for two reasons. First, the cost of electricity varies. For example, electricity is more expensive in LA than it is in Atlanta. Second, the amount of sunlight differs by region. Chicago, Illinois just doesn't get as many rays as Tucson, Arizona. The tables below illustrate how the same solar panel setup will achieve different rates of savings depending on the region. Here, you can see the two factors--cost of electricty and amount of energy provided by the solar panels--at work. All calculations are based on a 4 kW(DC)/3.1 kW (AC) PV system that is grid-tied. Notice how the amount of solar radiation available each month influences the amount of savings?

Boston (Cost of Electricity: 11.7 ¢/kWh)

Month Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day) AC Energy (kWh) Energy Value (savings)
January 3.36 334 $39.08
February 4.36 392 $45.86
March 4.79 459 $53.70
April 4.92 446 $52.18
May 5.33 476 $55.69
June 5.41 451 $52.77
July 5.6 481 $56.28
August 5.65 488 $57.10
September 5.13 441 $51.60
October 4.65 428 $50.08
November 3.14 289 $33.81
December 2.98 289 $33.81
Year   4.61 4975 $582.08

 

Atlanta (Cost of Electricity: 7.7 ¢/kWh)

Month Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day) AC Energy (kWh) Energy Value (savings)
January 3.86 361 $27.80
February 4.67 390 $30.03
March 5.21 471 $36.27
April 6.17 531 $40.89
May 5.95 515 $39.66
June 5.81 478 $36.81
July 5.82 484 $37.27
August 5.83 491 $37.81
September 5.21 433 $33.34
October 5.51 489 $37.65
November 4.42 388 $29.88
December 3.72 349 $26.87
Year   5.18 5381 $414.34

 

Chicago (Cost of Electricity: 8.4 ¢/kWh)

Month Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day) AC Energy (kWh) Energy Value (savings)
January 3.03 302 $25.37
February 3.78 336 $28.22
March 4.34 419 $35.20
April 5.12 455 $38.22
May 5.69 498 $41.83
June 5.67 471 $39.56
July 5.93 498 $41.83
August 5.23 445 $37.38
September 4.94 415 $34.86
October 4.26 389 $32.68
November 2.83 258 $21.67
December 2.27 220 $18.48
Year   4.43 4706 $395.30

 

Tucson (Cost of Electricity: 8.4 ¢/kWh)

Month Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day) AC Energy (kWh) Energy Value (savings)
January 5.7 513 $43.09
February 6.11 485 $40.74
March 7.03 620 $52.08
April 7.5 625 $52.50
May 7.28 605 $50.82
June 7.15 567 $47.63
July 6.44 526 $44.18
August 6.85 564 $47.38
September 7.06 573 $48.13
October 6.72 577 $48.47
November 5.99 515 $43.26
December 5.27 480 $40.32
Year   6.59 6651 $558.68

 

Los Angeles (Cost of Electricity: 12.0 ¢/kWh)

Month Solar Radiation (kWh/m2/day) AC Energy (kWh) Energy Value (savings)
January 4.44 401 $48.12
February 5.35 441 $52.92
March 5.62 506 $60.72
April 6.05 522 $62.64
May 6.19 548 $65.76
June 6.17 526 $63.12
July 6.48 567 $68.04
August 6.68 582 $69.84
September 5.78 487 $58.44
October 5.43 480 $57.60
November 4.84 420 $50.40
December 4.46 398 $47.76
Year   5.63 5879 $705.48

 

To calculate saving in your own city, visit this solar panel calculator.

As you can see, depending on your particular circumstances, it can take many years for the savings generated by solar panels to compensate for the costs--especially if you do not receive government subsidies.

Now let's turn to the second major form of solar panels: solar panels for hot water.

Email Icon Print Icon Print This| Newsletter Icon Free Newsletter| Add to Del.icio.us