How Do Solar Panels Lower Electricity Bills?

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The scourge of any homeowner.

Bills are just one of those things that we all seem have and we all seem to hate. You work like crazy to be rid of them, and even when you do manage to get rid of one, another one sneaks its way back into the picture – demanding that you forfeit some of your hard earned cash.

But fortunately, there are certain things that can be purchased that actively work on your behalf to save you money… and solar panels are one of those things.

Solar panels lower your electricity bills by producing electricity for free, rather than you having to purchase electricity from somewhere else.

Granted there is a initial purchase cost involved, but the ROI (Return On Investment) for solar panels has proven to be most beneficial for home owners, as the panels tend to provide significantly more in savings, over their lifetime, than their original purchase price.

Solar Panels Save Money Via Low Maintenance Costs

One of the biggest advantages that solar panels have over other investments is the fact that there is very little in the way of maintenance involved in order to maintain them.

In dusty or high pollen environments, solar panels will need to be cleaned in order for them to perform at their maximum potential. But the absence of any moving parts translates as less opportunity for component failure.

Consequently, once your solar panels are installed, they should be primarily ‘hands-off’ for the lifetime of your array – which can be decades.

Ask yourself, how many things related to your home will operate for 20 years without maintenance?

This is one area where solar panels truly excel.

Solar Panels Save Money By Not Consuming

It’s a well known fact that everything that has an output requires some sort of input.

For example, your vehicle will need some sort of fuel (gas or electricity) to move it. When it comes to appliances, I am hard pressed to think of a single one that does not require some sort of consumable. Some of us need coffee in the morning and even your decorative plants require watering.

Solar panels are very unique in this regard as what they require to produce is provided everyday by the sun. In short, they do not consume as much as they react to the sunlight that strikes them. (For an in-depth look at this read the definition of photovoltaic effect).

And unlike any battery or gas tank, the output produced by your solar panels will never deplete the input.

Simply put, your panels will never ‘run the tank dry’ no matter how much they produce. Again, this is because they are reacting to the presence of sunlight rather than drawing upon a fuel source.

Solar Panels Vs. Rising Utility Costs

As mentioned above, solar panels have a fairly long operating life, quite often extending past 20 years.

For those of you who are old enough, think back 20 years to the cost of a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, or a gallon of gas. The cost of living is one of those things that is virtually guaranteed to rise. And because of this, so will the cost of electricity purchased from your local utility.

So it bears to mention that the solar array you purchase today will be purchased at today’s price – and not the inflated price of 20 years from now.

More importantly, the electricity produced by your solar panels in twenty years will still be free, while the cost of electricity from your local utility is almost certain to have risen.

Grid-Tied Sell-Back

For solar panels that are connected to the grid, there is an additional way for you lower your electric bills. This is by selling any extra electricity, that your panels have produced, to the utility.

To understand this, let’s say, hypothetically, that your home uses 30kW of electricity over the course of the day. However, your panels managed to produce 35kW of electricity.

So if your house didn’t use it, where did the extra 5kW go?

The extra 5kW back-fed through the power lines and went to the utility provider. This was then sold to another customer for them to use.

In this situation, you would most likely be credited for your contribution. These credits can be later redeemed on those cloudy days where your house uses more electricity than your panels can produce.

Think of it as banking extra electricity, so that you don’t have to purchase it later.

This is how the majority of Net Zero Homes work.

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