In February 2021, winter storms caused electricity blackouts across the state of Texas. The state’s power grid was woefully unprepared for three such severe storms leaving millions of homes and businesses without power in the cold weather. Over two hundred people (with some estimates over seven hundred) died as a result of the lack of preparedness.
The Texas Power Crisis as well as other incidents and grim projections across the United States have caused the general public to lose confidence in the public power services. Consumers are also growing frustrated with continually increasing rates even as service seems to become more and more unreliable. They are learning that they do have other options available to them, and many are considering making the move to solar power.
How Solar Power Decreases Your Utility Bill Under Time of Use Rates
Until a few years ago, most utility companies used tiered pricing. This means that they charged a set rate per kilowatt-hour for electricity consumption. A baseline amount and charge are set, and the consumer is charged per kilowatt-hour exceeding the baseline. As a reference, the lowest cost in California is $0.23 per kilowatt-hour. Now, many utility providers across the country are introducing new rate structures known as time-of-use rates. Instead of tiered pricing, companies charge a varying per kilowatt-hour rate based on when generating energy is cheaper. In many cases, this means that consumers pay higher rates at “peak hours” such as 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. These are the hours when people are home from work and using lights and appliances. The increased usage causes the cost of generating electricity to increase. Under time-of-use rating systems, this will also cause the consumer’s price to increase.
So how does this affect solar energy system consumers? Solar panels tend to generate the most electricity during peak daylight hours in the afternoon when electricity rates would be lower. If your electricity provider uses time-of-use rates, you can still save money by switching to solar. You will still receive a credit on your electric bill for the unused solar energy generated and still be charged when the solar energy is not enough. A few adjustments when installing your solar panel system can help optimize your system and keep your electricity bills low.
First, determine from which direction the sun shines brightest each day. If possible, during installation, request that your solar panels be angled in that direction to receive the maximum amount of sunlight. It is also recommended that you opt for a larger panel system to optimize energy intake.
Benefits of Solar-Plus Storage
Some solar energy consumers choose to opt for solar-plus-storage with their solar energy system. Solar plus storage involves a lithium-ion battery that stores unused energy to be accessed later when the solar panels are not generating electricity. While it is not necessary to get solar-plus storage when you purchase your system, it can be beneficial if you are under a time-of-use rate system with the electric company.
By saving the energy obtained through the solar panels during high sunlight hours, you can use it later when electricity costs through the utility company are higher and you need the energy more. By conserving your solar energy and strategically installing and using your solar panel system, you can save money while also benefitting the environment.
Save on Your Electricity Bill with Smart Solar Panels at Sable Solar
Solar energy can not only save you up to fifty percent on your electric bill, but it can save your home, family, or business in the event of a blackout emergency. Opting for solar plus storage gives you the added benefit of conserving energy in case of outages and means that you don’t have to rely on the electric company for your home heat and other energy needs. Not only does Sable Solar offer solar-plus-storage, but we have the first all-in-one solar energy system. Our plug-and-play installation cuts back on time and costs and allows our customers to start saving as soon as possible.