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Solar Energy Alerts! | January 2011 |
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In This Issue...
How Much Can a PV System Save You Every Month?
Solar Power Savings! It has a nice ring to it.
But have you ever taken the time to actually figure out how much you would save every month if you installed a solar power system?
It's easy to do and could be just the incentive you need to bring your solar vision to life.
How To Determine Your Cost Savings
There are two approaches you can take to estimate the potential cost savings of a PV system: the Professional Estimate approach and the DIY Estimate approach.
Keep in mind that, regardless of which approach you use, the cost savings potential is only an estimate which is based on some assumptions. Because of this, neither way will give you a perfect answer.
In reality, you need to use both approaches to make a good decision on whether a solar PV system is right for you. This will give you a potential cost savings range that you can use for making your decision on whether to move forward with your solar PV system.
Before we take a closer look at the two ways to determine your potential cost savings, you need to determine your assumptions for two key areas...
These two areas are directly related. If your system size increase, the amount of electricity from the utility your system will replace increases as well. You need to make sure that all of your estimates are based on the same assumptions.
The Professional Estimate Approach
The first way to estimate your potential cost savings is with the Professional Estimate. It is called the Professional Estimate because you take advantage of the experience of one or more professional solar power system contractors.
Most contractors will provide a free estimate as part of their sales process. Their estimate will include both the costs of the system as well as the savings you can realize.
I recommend you get at least three Professional Estimates. Remember, make sure all of the estimates are based on the same assumptions!
The DIY Estimate Approach
The second way to estimate your potential cost savings is with the DIY Estimate. As the name implies, you perform this estimate yourself. Using the assumptions you defined earlier, this is a two step process.
Step 1: Determine Your Average Monthly Energy Use
You can determine your average monthly energy use by looking at your electric bill for the past 12 months. Simply add up how much electricity you used during that period and divide by 12. This will tell you how many kWh of electricity you used on average each month.
Step 2: Calculate Savings
To calculate your potential savings, multiply your average monthly energy use by how much each kWh costs to determine your average electricity costs per month. Multiply that result by the percentage of electricity your system will replace. This will tell you how many dollars you will save each month.
DIY Solar Savings Example:
Average Monthly Energy Use = 1,000 kWh
I also suggest performing a second DIY Estimate using an online calculator. You can find one by running a Google search for the term solar power calculator.
At this point, you will now have at least 3 Professional Estimates and 2 DIY Estimates. This should give you a good idea of the potential savings a PV system can provide for you.
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