How much will I have to pay the utility after I get solar?

Posted on: March 28, 2016

energy-by-choice-solar-power-blog-300x224How much will I have to pay the utility after I get solar?

By Stephen Boscarino

There is not one answer to this question. It is mathematical and the numbers involved for each house are unique.

The pertinent numbers are, of course, the amount of electricity you are consuming over the course of a year and the cost of that energy and the amount of energy the solar can produce. You will pay the utility for any additional energy that needs to be supplied after your solar system becomes your primary source of electrical power.

Solar Savings

The amount of electricity a Photo Voltaic (PV) system can produce is impacted by a number of factors including the square footage of available roof, the direction and pitch of the roof and, importantly, shading conditions. The more favorable these characteristics are, the greater the production of electrical power will be.

Keep all of the above stated factors constant, another important factor is the efficiency of the panels being used in the project. Panels are rated in watts and the number of watts that a panel can generate is an indication of its efficiency. The higher the efficiency the panels have, the higher the amount of power they will be generate. The more power created by solar, the less has to be bought off the utility.

An important thing to consider is whether the consumption of the house likely to go up or down in the future or will it stay the same?

For example, a young married couple with a baby on the way and plans for two more children and an electric car in their future can safely assume that the first part of the equation, the total amount of energy needed to run the house will go up. The mid 50 year-old couple whose 3 children will be leaving the house over the next couple of years, on the other hand, can certainly expect their consumption go down. Over time, the specifics of your situation will be a determining factor in how much you will pay the utility each year.

To stay with this thought, besides the fluctuation in the amount of energy a house will require another important factor is the amount of power the panels will continue to make over time. All panels will make less power as they age compared to when they were brand new. Not that you should expect to have to buy new panels any time soon. Solar lasts a long time. The standard warranty period for the energy production of solar is 25 years. The typical warranty will state that you will receive no less than 90% of the starting production in power per year over the first 10 years. After that, the warranty drops in a plateau fashion to 80%, so that your production could be substantially lower in the last 15 years covered by the warranty. Not every warranty works this way but most do.

For a higher level of predictability in the amount of money that will be owed to the utility each year, look for a warranty that does not hsolar savingsave the sudden decline at any point and pay attention to where the production could potentially be over the course of the warranty period before your protection kicks in. For people with a longer term perspective on things it definitely makes sense to seek out the manufacturers with slower, steadier permitted declines in production. The fancy term used in the industry for this is “Rate of Degradation.” The slower the rate of degradation, the less you will pay to the utility over time. The strongest warranties in solar promise that the panels they cover will be producing close to 90% after 25 years.

An ideal solar electric system is one that covers 100% of your electric usage; maximizing roof space and panel production to achieve that goal. In cases such as these, the remaining PSEG bill should average about $11.00 a month.

So it’s all just arithmetic but there are a number of variables involved and those variable are unique to each house. Be certain to take all these things into consideration or make sure you are working with an installer who can guide you through these factors when you are thinking about your solar project.

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  • Victoria Northport

    Energy by Choice was one of our best decisions: Professional, intelligent gentlemen, on time, kept to schedule, neat, proficient, excellent in customer service. The sales, the office, the installers, everyone.. My PSEG bill is $12.00 a month…….yes loans to pay for installation, once that is paid off ….$12.00 a month. We love our solar panels, beautiful, energy efficient, less pollution, better for the environment and my son’s future.

  • Joe West Babylon

    Great Installation, Great Company, Great People. This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with a contractor and the estimate was exactly the same as the proposal !!!. No out of pocket expense. By the way I interviewed 8 companies. Energy by Choice was a pleasure to deal with. No buying pressure. My solar has been installed for 16 months. My electric bill was $350 a month. My connection charges average $12 a month. I’m saving $338 a month!

  • Mike Bethpage

    Very professional. Got They helped set up the financing, the permits and gave me the system that I wanted. After all the incentives I paid $16,000, but my bill is still over $100 cheaper than my budget payment. They also follow up with suggestions on how to get the most from your system. Sail’s the best.

  • Raymond Port Jefferson Station

    I am very pleased with my selection of Energy By Choice. Sail designed a system to virtually eliminate my electric bill. I chose to own the system so I would benefit the most from the savings.

  • Ginny Amityville

    A delightful experience. Delightful, efficient team of installers. Can’t wait to see my savings and the difference in my PSEG bills.

  • Ralph Lindenhurst

    We are extremely happy with our experience so far with Energy By Choice & Sun Power. From the sales dept. to the installation, everything went very well. Steve, Kelly, Sail & Evelyn as well as the install crew are all very knowledgeable and professional. Thank you for getting us “green” & for enabling us in the near future to tell PSE & G to take their highest energy rates in the country & stick it where the “Sun don’t shine

  • Ralph Smithtown

    Energy By Choice did a great job! The job was neat and clean. The guys were great. My panels are awesome! I would recommend Energy By Choice to anyone. I have central air, pool and hot tub, electric stove and dryer. Good bye electric bill!

  • Judy Mineola

    Helpful, honest; enjoyed the experience of the office personnel, (no pressure) from initial phone inquiry to certificate of completion. Getting better than half the cost returned from the State & Federal Gov. helped even more. Only thing left is to reap the rewards of the investment of our home & future. I would recommend Energy By Choice as a preference over the other companies who tried to push & sell their products to us.

  • Arlene Commack

    Our solar panels were installed last week. Now that the entire process is done, if you’re thinking about solar panels, this is the company to call. Professional, prompt, courteous and a clean job. Thanks again to Sail and his team of experts. We love our solar panels and, even more so, we love watching the meter run backwards!

  • Kalli Port Washington

    I had solar panels installed by Energy by Choice three years ago. I was pleased with the installation. The crew was professional, polite and knowledgeable. Ongoing support for questions and minor items that needed attention is prompt. I really like seeing no electric bill and credits to my account if I produce more electricity than I use. I would recommend them to others

  • Kalli Port Washington

    I had solar panels installed by Energy by Choice three years ago. The crew was professional, polite and knowledgeable. Ongoing support for questions and minor items that needed attention is prompt. I really like seeing no electric bill. I would recommend them to others.

  • Sue New Hyde Park

    Energy By Choice installed my solar several years ago and have yet to pay more than the mandatory few cents a day service fee by the electric company. While I have had no problems with my system, I have had questions and Sail Van Nostrand is always attentive to me and responds to my inquiries quickly and professionally. I whole heartedly recommend Energy By Choice to anyone looking for a solar contractor.

  • Ruth Ridge

    I’m happy would be an understatement. I’m ECSTATIC!

  • Mike Ronkonkoma

    Received my bill today. It was only $11 dollars and change. Not bad

  • Suzanne Huntington

    Great company! Very professional and pleasant to work with. Everyone I dealt with was friendly, knowledgeable and informative. I LOVE my solar panels and especially my non-existent electricity bill! I only wish I had done this sooner! I highly recommend this company!

  • Gene Brentwood

    Very glad I chose Energy By Choice as the people to install my solar system, every thing went smoothly and thanks to their system 3/4 of my electric for the first year is being supplied by the sun. And their monitoring of the system works like a charm. Would recommend them to anyone!

  • Mike Remsenburg

    Awesome-Producing more than what was estimated-SWEET!

  • Chris Farmingdale

    I’m still loving my panels! Now that I’ve retired, the LOW energy bills are MOST welcome! What other investment can you make that can produce savings like that? I’M HAPPY!

  • Anthony Mattituck

    It was a great thrill to see our electric meter running in reverse after the installation of our system. We look forward to many years of gaining some energy independence from the high cost of electric on Long Island.

  • Mike Long Beach

    I wish to reduce my energy usage and dependence and to show my children that they can be part of this too. Today my newly installed Solar Electric system produced 36.22 KwH of electricity from our SUN! That is enough electricity to light 362 – 100 watt light bulbs for one full hour. We could not be happier.

  • Christine Farmingdale

    Still the best thing is $5 and $10 electric bills! How I love it How about saving approximately $1500 per year! I’m so glad I put up my panels.

  • Jerry Baiting Hollow

    From the start your approach was professional, and every step of the way you clearly and accurately represented the parameters of the project. The only surprises that we had were positive ones: the neatness of the work was exceptional and the effect of the solar cells on our electric bill exceeded our expectations. Hopefully solar energy will become a more common option on Long Island for both electric and for hot water. It provides an opportunity to help the environment, contribute to our country’s energy independence and to benefit from the financial savings over time.