One common misconception is that you have to offset a certain (large) percentage of your electrical usage to see a good benefit from your solar installation. This is false! Let's run through an example:
John uses 10,000 kWh per year, and pays the utility company $0.12 per kWh. Jill uses 20,000 kWh per year, and also pays $0.12 per kWh. Jill’s total bill is double what John pays. A solar array that offsets 100% of John’s power would only cover half of Jill’s, but both of them would receive the same $1,200 savings for that year’s electricity bills.
Homeowners with large consumption can still see great financial savings even if the percent of their bill they are offsetting is low. It can be tempting to fixate on the percentage you are offsetting, but this can be misleading. A system that includes poorly positioned panels to reach a certain percentage may provide flatter dollar savings, and you also pay for a larger system to achieve this.
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Stay tuned for more coming from our solar buyer's guide series.