Another question I get a lot is ”why is my electric bill so high with solar panels”?. In this post, I am going to answer this question and give you some tips on what can be the cause and what you should do if that is the case.
Why Is My Electric Bill So High With Solar Panels?
There are many reasons that might cause your electric bill to be so high even if you have solar panels, these include, bad system sizing, and change in energy consumption behavior External factors, among others.
Your System Isn’t Working as Well as it Should
When designing a solar panel system there are a lot of factors to consider, the amount of the sun your area is receiving, the average amount of energy you use, the direction of the sun, and if there is a shadow in the environment.
All these factors contribute to how well the solar panel system will be working, if the sizing is wrong or the mistakes were made in sizing, the electricity produced by your solar panels will not be able to cover all your energy consumption.
Your Home is Using Too Much Power
Another reason that you might not see the bill reduction after installing solar panels is that you might be using too much electrical power than was anticipated.
This could be because you bought new electrical appliances, the family is getting bigger, or like in most of my customer’s cases, you thought that having solar panels system installed means you can use your home appliances without any control.
You’re Reading the Meter Wrong
This happens too often, you know, when you install a solar panel system on your house, the utility company will install a net meter on your house.
The net meter is bi-directional means it will read the excess power you are supplying to the utility company grid, and when your house uses more energy than your solar panel produces it will read in the opposite direction.
Most people even technicians make mistakes in reading these meters and it might result in you receiving the wrong electric bill and you will end up paying more than you should.
The solar system is not switched on after solar meter installation
For some reason, some people forget to turn on the solar system after changing the solar meter, here is the issue.
After the local regulations commission your solar panel’s system and give it a go, your utility company will come to install the net meter, in order to do this they will need to turn it off and connect the meter and turn it on again.
Sometimes they just forget to turn the system on and you will be using the electricity from your utility company and you will end up paying as if you did not have solar panels installed.
There are some shade solar energy salesmen out there, they will do anything to make you install the solar panels so that they can make a commission.
I am not totally against salespeople but what pisses me off is that they will do anything to make you buy the product and they will promise things that they know they can not deliver, they will make you believe that after solar panels installation you will never have to pay a dime, this is not true.
My recommendation is only to use trusted solar panel installers in your area and before talking to them make sure that you read reviews online to check if they are trustworthy, another thing you can do is to find someone in your local area who has solar panels on their roof and ask about their experience.
There are external factors that can cause you to pay more for your electric bill, some of them will cause you to use more electric power, such as bad weather and others will make the solar panels produce lower energy than they were designed, for example, cloud days.
External Factors That May Cause a Decrease in Solar Energy Production
There are some external factors that may cause a decrease in solar production, here are some of them.
Having a shadow on top of solar panels will decrease their productivity, this might happen because some trees have grown in the area, or maybe there is a new tall building nearby and it is causing a shadow to your solar panels.
Solar panels convert sun radiation to electricity, if it is a cloudy day, there will be no sun to convert and this will cause a reduction in power production.
Solar panels are dirty
If dust and other things such as bird poops fall on the top of the solar panels, the solar panels will suffer and start producing less electricity.
Most of the time this is not a big issue since if it rains the solar panels will clean themselves but if that is not the case all you can do is to clean solar panels yourself or hire someone to clean them for you.
The increase in temperature will decrease the efficiency of the solar panels, if you leave in an area where temperatures can become extremely high, I will recommend installing solar panels that have a low coefficient.
Will Solar Panels Eliminate My Electric Bills?
Solar panels will not completely eliminate electric bills, the main reason for this is that some utility companies will charge you for using their meter ( this depends on the location and local laws).
Also, utility companies will install the net meter on your solar system, at the end of the month they will tell you how much watts you used and how much watts you send to the utility grid, if you send more power than you consumed they will give you credit and if you consumed more than the solar panels produced you will have to pay them the difference.
Should I compare the electric bill before and after solar panels?
Yes, you should compare the electric bill before and after solar panels, this will provide you with the information you need in order to know if the solar panel system is working as it should.
If the solar installer promised you to lower at least 50% of your electric bill, it should reflect in the new bill, if it does not you will need to contact the solar installer.
do solar panels lower the electric bill?
Yes, solar panels do lower the electric bill, how much? it will depend on the size of the solar panel system installed and your electricity consumption.
The solar installer will analyze your power consumption patterns and will design a solar panel system that will satisfy your goal. Most of them will promise you a reduction on a certain percentage of your current consumption, hence lowering your electric bill.
What I should do if my electric bill is so high with solar panels?
If you installed solar panels system yourself, I will recommend going through the reasons which might be causing high electric bills, figure out which one applies to your situation and take action to rectify it.
If someone or a company installed your solar panel system, do not touch the system, please call them and explain the issue and they should be able to figure out what is the problem and fix it for you.
That is it, is this post we answered the question why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?. If after going through this article and still getting high electric bills, let us know in the comment section below and we will help you to troubleshoot your solar panel system.