Solar panels and electricity usage offset

December 5, 2019 | 2min read

To get the most out of your solar system, it’s important to know what the electricity usage offset your solar should provide. Electricity usage offset is the percentage of a home’s electrical consumption provided by its solar panels. A simple calculation can show how much of a home’s electrical usage is offset by its solar panels.

What you need to know to find out what your electricity usage offset is

Electricity usage offset is calculated by dividing the amount of electricity a solar system produces from the total amount of electricity used in a home for that year. For example:

  • The system produced 12,200 Kilowatt-hours (KWh)
  • Home used 16,100 kWh
  • 12,200 divided by 16,100 = Roughly 76% electricity usage offset

This means that a solar system offset roughly 76% of the home’s electrical usage. Keep in mind that electrical usage offset does not determine how much you pay to the utility company for electricity. What is owed for the electricity consumed from the grid depends on how the utility company bills for power. Methods of billing for power vary from state to state and utility company to utility company.

How the way you are billed affects how much you pay for electricity

Time of use (ToU) billing

With ToU billing, when power is used affects how much one pays for it. In general, you want to reduce your power usage (or offset electric usage with batteries) during peak rate hours. Try to shift your usage as much as possible to off-peak hours. Some states including California are moving towards ToU billing.

Flat rate and tiered billing

When you are billed at a flat rate, you pay the same rate regardless of when you use power. When you are billed at a tiered rate, you pay a flat rate up to a certain point, which is often referred to as a base rate. Further electrical usage beyond that base rate is then billed at a higher tier.

Texas: It’s complicated

The state of Texas has a deregulated electric market place. You often have the choice of several different electricity providers who offer several different rate plans. Thankfully, the Texas Public Utility Commission provides a website to help you navigate your choices.

Click here to learn more about Texas PowertoChoose

Freedom Forever can help you take control of your power usage

There are lots of choices to make when going solar. How large of a system do you need to offset your electrical usage? Would home batteries be the right choice for you? There are so many decisions to make! Freedom Forever can help. Our family of independent authorized dealers is experts on going solar in your community. Simply call or click below and start taking control of your power usage today

Ready to take charge of your power usage? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.