Can solar panels reduce my electric bill

September 19, 2019 | 4min read

Solar panels can produce enough power to significantly reduce your electric bill. However, it’s not as simple as throwing some panels on the roof and hello tiny your utility bill! The only potential way to not get a utility bill is to go entirely off-grid if your state permits it. Other strategies, such as combining solar panels with home batteries and increased energy efficiency may zero out your electric bill, but you’ll still get a bill even if some months that bill is for zero.

Get the FAQ’s of going solar with Freedom Forever

Why you still get an electric bill after going solar

Non-bypassable charges 

When you go solar, unless you plan to go off-grid, you remain connected to the grid. In fact, in some states, it’s actually illegal to go off-grid. Even in states where it is legal, cutting ties with the power company can be difficult. Most people will remain connected to the grid.

You are still subject to any fees that the utility company charges to its customers. Those fees often referred to as non-bypassable charges are often levied by your utility company to cover costs. For example, San Diego ratepayers are paying $30 billion dollars to cover the cost of decommissioning the failed San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. All San Diego Gas and Electric ratepayers have to pay that cost every month in their utility bill. That is true even for customers who never used energy from the San Onofre plant!

Use of power from the grid

Unless you go entirely off-grid, you will still be consuming power from the grid after going solar. If you use more power than you produce, you will be billed for that extra power. Freedom Forever has found that customers often use more power after going solar. If you want to keep your utility bill as low as possible, then you should try to use as little power as you can. 

Time of Use billing

If you are billed for electricity using Time-of-Use (ToU) billing, then the time of day you use electricity will have an effect on your utility bill. In California, all three major utilities have ToU billing plans. All three of those utilities charge their highest rates between 4 PM and 9 PM. Especially during the winter hours, solar systems aren’t producing power during peak rate hours. 

During the day when solar systems are producing power, those California utilities pay a much lower off-peak rate for the power produced by their customers’ solar systems. Thus, even if your solar system produces more power than you used, you could still get a bill for the energy you use during peak hours when your system isn’t producing power.

Home batteries can cut your electric bill

There is a way to beat the high peak rates of ToU billing. You can install home batteries that can power your home during peak rates. Your batteries would then be recharged by your solar system the next day. If you live in California, you can even get a financial incentive called the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for installing batteries. The SGIP pays you based on how much battery capacity you install. The larger your battery system, the higher the credit you can receive.

A smart home can cut your electric bill

Smart home systems can cut your electric bill by smartly managing your electric usage. A smart system can do things such as ensuring that you use as little energy as possible during peak ToU rates. Smart systems can also manage your power usage to ensure you use less power overall. 

Smart homes are usually fitted with smart energy-efficient appliances. These smart appliances communicate with a smart home controller so the system can manage their power usage. Many states offer rebates and other incentives for buying energy-efficient smart appliances, so you can save money and get new appliances by doing the smart thing.

Freedom Forever can help you cut your electric bill down to size

Freedom Forever has home solar and home batteries that can help you cut that utility bill down to size. We don’t shy away from the tough jobs, either. Do you need to ensure that you have power during blackouts? We can build a system that can do that. Need more power from your Freedom Forever solar system? We can add capacity to your system, it’s no problem.

Best of all, you’re covered by our 25-year performance guarantee

We guarantee that your solar power system will meet its promised production amount for 25 years.

Freedom Forever guarantees that the solar system will produce the electricity promised with our 25-Year Production Guarantee.  We will even pay you for any shortfall from our fault. 

What we do if there is a problem. We monitor your system for 25 years. If we detect that its performance is falling short, we’ll contact you and send someone out to fix it. If the shortfall is caused by something that is our fault, we will compensate you for the shortfall. The amount of compensation you receive will be listed in your contract with us.

Ready to go solar? Freedom Forever is ready to help! Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.