The amount that you save from your solar power system will depend on a number of factors. But in most cases, solar panels will save you money, both in the short and long term. Here are a few key items to look for as you begin to consider which solar power system is right for you:
What is a max power rating?
Every solar panel product offering has a ‘max power’ rating, which is equal to the amount of power that unit will provide during peak conditions. This calculated according to the time of day when sun exposure is at its highest (often around noon), or at 1000 watts of sunlight per square meter of surface.
The average solar panel will produce around 200 watts of power. More efficient panels are effective for small roofs, but are also more expensive. A solar installation professional will be able to provide an estimate on the efficiency needs your home has, based on your power usage and the square footage you have available on your roof.
The amount of sun exposure (and thus energy received from solar panels) depends on the amount of shade around your home, the time of day, the season, and the current weather. For this reason, you will not always receive maximal power output, in the same way that you will not get top gas mileage when driving in town instead of on the highway. Our solar calculator can help you better understand these variables. Keep in mind that an estimate from a solar installation professional will still be your best resource for an accurate sense of cost and power
How much power do I need?
The answer to this question is, again, variable, depending on how many people are in your home, what kind of devices they have, and how often they use them. An air conditioner will take up significantly more energy than other sources. On average, American homes use between 950-1000 kilowatts per month.