One of the most common questions we get pertains to the cost associated with integrating a solar power system on a residential building. Some of the electricity consumption pricing variables can be a little confusing, so we’re using this week’s post to shed some light on an otherwise unclear subject.
For homes in the United States, a generally-accepted fact is that the average home consumes electricity (either from the grid or from a solar system) at a 1-kW-per-hour (kWh) rate. Because there are roughly 730 hours in any given month, and because the going price of a kWh of grid-based electricity is about ten cents, a median monthly electricity bill would be around $73. That may seem low to you, which is because the cost to power a home can vary greatly according to geography and seasonality.
This is especially the case if you have items like a hot tub, a power-hungry hobby or some other draw on your power. In today’s age of technology, high-power plasma TV sets and gaming rigs add even more consumption. All this being said, electricity costs vary between seven and 24 cents per kWh, and to get a good picture of your unique situation, you’ll have to adjust these guidelines accordingly.
One way to gauge the production of a solar power system is to assume a generating capacity of 10 watts per square foot, assuming a panel conversion efficiency factor of about 12%, which is common. This translates into 100 square feet of panels needed for every kW in new electricity generation. So take a second and think about your roof…while you may not know exactly how much square footage is usable for a solar panel installation, these figures should help you arrive at an estimate.
To really get a firm idea, however, you’ll want to contact us for a free energy assessment. Go to the contact page and let’s start the conversation.