Will Solar Power Provide Me With
All of the Energy I Need?
Homeowners often wonder if they will keep getting energy bills even after going solar. To answer this question, there are two important pieces of information that should be understood.
In the majority of cases, solar panels, in conjunction with net-metering or energy storage, provide all the energy needed by a home, as long as the roof-space is in proportion to the home¡¯s energy consumption.
Even for homes with insufficient roof space, solar power offsets a significant portion of the power bills.
The key takeaway from both these facts is that buying solar makes complete sense, whether it fully eliminates your energy bills or not. Let us take a more detailed look at the above statements.
When Do Solar Panels Provide 100% of Required Energy?
Solar panels can comfortably power an entire home as long as it has a large enough, shadow-free roof. The best way to understand this is with an example. An average home in the U.S. consumes 10,649 kWh of electricity each year. Considering the country¡¯s average sunshine intensity, a 6-7 kW system should be sufficient to supply this amount of energy.
Depending on the efficiency of the panels used, a 7 kW system would need roughly 550-700 sq. ft. of shade-free roof-space. Most homes in the U.S. have over 1000 sq. ft. of clear roofs available. This means that if properly designed and installed, solar panels (with net-metering or energy storage) can provide 100% of their energy needs.
When Do Solar Panels Provide Only a Part of Required Energy?
Homes that have more than one or two stories generally have higher energy consumption. The same is true for homes with a large number of electrical appliances or even a large number of residents. Some roofs might have enough space but would still not be ideal. For example, a roof that mostly faces north receives the least direct sunlight. Similarly, a roof shaded by trees or nearby buildings is not fully usable.
In such cases, installers must look at options where only part of the roof is utilized. Depending on the space utilized and the building¡¯s consumption, most of these installations can still power 40-80% of a home¡¯s needs, although this can vary. The result of such an installation would be an equivalent decrease in the monthly electricity bills. For instance, a system that satisfies 70% of energy requirements can reduce the energy usage charges in the bill by a comparable amount.
How to Utilize the Available Roof Space to Maximize Solar Power Production
A question that arises while discussing roof-space limitations is ¡°Can we do something about it?¡± And the first thing coming to mind may be ¡°Increasing the roof size¡±. This solution, however, is either impossible or impractical in nearly all cases. So how do we extract more power from the same square footage at our disposal?
One way to do this is to use high-efficiency solar panels. Module efficiency is nothing but the relation between power generation and available space – the higher the efficiency, the smaller the required panel. LG Solar modules are a classic example of high-efficiency panels. While some panels only provide around 250 watts of power for a typical size (60-cell), LG solar panels often generate 365 watts or more in similar sizes, meaning the roof space needed for solar panels is reduced. This way, you can ensure that all or most of your power requirement has been satisfied, even with a smaller roof.
Similarly, consulting a trustworthy and experienced installer, such as an LG PRO installer, also helps to avoid over-designing or under-designing of a system. An experienced and reliable installer will focus on a detailed roof survey that studies the space, layout, and orientation of the roof, coupled with a systematic shading analysis.
What If Solar Does Not Offset My Complete Energy Bill?
If your roof does not allow a 100% offsetting system to be put up, should you still go solar? Absolutely! If you cannot produce enough to offset the entire amount of the bill, it does not mean you shouldn’t save whatever you can. Even by offsetting as small as 50% of your bill, you achieve freedom from that 50% for a staggering 25 years or as long as the system lasts after that. Even though it may look like just a few hundred dollars over a year, in the end, it adds up to a significant amount. And it is because of this fact, that solar installations have seen such a remarkable rise, in the country as well as worldwide.
As mentioned before, choose a brand that is strongly dedicated to higher efficiencies, such as LG Solar. By doing so, you may be able to install a larger system in a smaller space, for example, installing a 6-7 kW system in the roof space required for a 5 kW system. This will help you offset a larger portion of the bill, helping you save a larger amount of money. Getting your system designed and installed by an LG PRO installer also means you can be sure that the experience and knowledge of that installer will help you make the most of solar. So whatever your roof size, go solar today and start saving now.