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How To Read Solar Electric Bills

It may be confusing to decipher your solar electric bill as a new or seasoned solar panel owner.

Your bill is likely much lower now, depending on the size of your system. It’s great that you’re saving money and living more sustainably at the same time.

As a result, you might become concerned if your electric bills don’t reflect the amount of energy that you believe your panels produce. It is important to understand how to read your electric bill accurately before you can be able to figure out whether or not there is a problem with your production. 

What’s on Your Electric Bill?

It is important to note that your electric bill will show only the excess electricity your solar panels produce.

The energy that your solar panels generate goes automatically to power your home or business as soon as they are installed. As a result, the electricity does not go to the grid. The reason your electric bill does not show your used electric energy is that the grid does not receive it. 

You will only see solar electricity generation on your bill if there is an excess that the panels are producing over what you need to meet your basic needs. Or, to put it another way, it shows the energy you ended up not using or not needing in the end. 

In many cases, companies such as your electric company will take your excess solar energy in order to distribute it on the grid and list it as “received” or as “credit” on your electric bill as a result. In return for sending energy to the grid, utility companies that offer net metering programs provide solar credits to their customers. 

Once you have installed your solar photovoltaic (PV) system on your home, your local utility company will install a bidirectional meter on that meter once the system has been installed. Whenever you have a bidirectional meter installed, it records and reports two readings to your utility company:

  • How many kilowatt-hours (kWh) go from the grid to your home
  • How many kWh go from your home to the grid

Net Metering And Your Solar Electric Bill

With solar power net metering programs, utilities offer a service where they subtract the amount of energy you send to them from the amount of energy you receive from them – all over the grid.

A given month’s “net consumption” is the result of that subtraction.

It is therefore apparent that if your solar panel system generates more energy than your home or business consumes in the month in question, it will result in a negative result. As a result, if a negative amount is found, it will be applied as a credit toward the electric bill for the following month.

You might be charged a monetary value for the energy you send to and from the grid, depending on your utility. When it charges you for energy, it subtracts any solar energy credits you’ve accumulated (which you received in exchange for sending energy to your utility). 

Earlier in this article, we discussed the importance of understanding that the amount of energy that goes from your home to the grid does not necessarily represent the total amount of renewable energy that your system generates.

There is a common area of confusion in this area. Many solar panel users do not realize that their utility company is not documenting the full output of their solar panel system as a result of this misunderstanding. 

Daily Energy Consumed Vs. Produced

One solar panel usually produces 2 kWh of energy per day. However, the total amount of energy your system produces depends on a few factors. 

Here are some key areas that affect your output:

The chart below shows a typical day of energy production for a solar PV system. 

Contact Michigan Solar and Roofing For Sunpower Solar Panels

If you’re interested in going solar, contact Michigan Solar and Roofing. 

Our main goal is to help people lead more environmentally friendly lifestyles. We do this by making solar more accessible through our friendly customer service by walking our customers through the best solar panels for their homes or business.

To get started, call 833-693-5779 or complete our inquiry form. One of our solar specialists will be in touch!

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