With hot summers year after year in Southern California, every resident who pays to cool their home or office dreads awaiting their next power bill. Despite this pattern every year, the cost of “going solar” remains a mystery to most residents, asking themselves, “Will going solar actually save me money?” It’s no wonder the masses of sweltering individuals are confused. It’s hard enough to figure out the square footage eligible for solar panels on the roof, but trying to do the calculations necessary to discover how long it may take to recoup your investment is beyond most folks.
In short, it’s complicated. Although there are online sites where they really try to make it easy, it’s just not a simple equation. When you examine your bill, you’ll discover that charges are tiered and when you use more than 1000 kilowatts, the rates increase. Most single family homes use between 1000 and 2000 kilowatts per billing cycle. This allows the power company to make more money when demands are high.
When you add solar to your power source, you can either give the collected energy to your power company by hooking into the “grid” or storing the energy in a battery system, also known as going “off the grid”. This means that you run your home off the battery as a hybrid, utilizing both solar and grid based power sources when necessary. Much like using a generator, the battery would be used when you want to run the AC or other power hungry appliances. This would allow the home or business owner to have a cool environment and not a small power bill. In short, the return on investment (ROI) depends on what kind of system you choose and how much can be saved on a yearly basis. It’s best to consult a professional to ascertain the best system for your needs and then calculate the potential savings over time.