You’ve installed solar panels in hopes of reducing your electric bill or going completely off-grid. After a while, you notice you’re not paying any less for electricity (you may even be paying more). You must be wondering “why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?”
You can usually solve the problem of a high electric bill with solar panels by changing your habits or nipping the issue in the bud. So, if you want your solar panel installation to pay off or desire to avoid this problem in the future, take a look at the most common reasons for energy overconsumption and check our solutions to help you bring down your electric bill.
- Why Is My Electric Bill So High with Solar Panels: Most Common Reasons
- Solutions to Electricity Overconsumption
- Is Solar Power Worth It Considering the Cost?
- Our Takeaway
Why Is My Electric Bill So High with Solar Panels: Most Common Reasons
The national monthly average electric bill in 2019 was $115, according to EIA data. Properly installed and operational solar panels could reduce your electricity bill up to 90%. However, it’s not always the case. This can happen because the average household usually produces just enough solar power to offset a portion of their energy consumption, but the reason is not always that simple. The following are the most prevalent causes of a high electricity bill with solar panels installed.
Faulty Solar System
While solar panels are designed to produce electricity from the sun’s rays, they can malfunction and start drawing power from the grid, causing your electric bill to skyrocket. In addition, if your solar system is not grounded correctly, it can create a fire hazard.
Your Home Is Using Too Much Power
Even if you have correctly installed solar panels, you can still overconsume electricity. If your solar panels are not reducing your bill, it can be because:
- Your system is generating less electricity than you use
- You’re using too much electricity at night when panels aren’t generating it
- Too many appliances or devices are plugged in
- You leave appliances and lights on when they’re not needed
- You’re not using energy-efficient bulbs or appliances
Incorrect Electric Meter Reading
Reading an electric meter is the way to find out how much electricity you’re using. However, even electric meters can yield wrong results, usually due to human error or malfunctioning equipment. Also, incorrect meter readings can result in higher electric bills, so it’s important to catch them early.
You can reduce the chances of a false electric meter reading by keeping an eye on your usage and checking the accuracy of your meter monthly.
If you’ve eliminated all of the above, but your bill is still higher than a typical electric bill you used to pay, you must look into external factors. Multiple external factors can negatively affect solar panel output and, consequently, your electricity bill. In addition to the amount of sunlight and shade, these factors include:
- Roof angle
- The orientation of your house
- Dirty solar panels
Solutions to Electricity Overconsumption
It’s crucial to be aware of your electricity usage and make an effort to conserve energy, even if you’re generating your own power. Try these tips and solutions we’ve prepared for you to ensure your electric bill goes down after solar panels are added!
Take Care of External Factors
Of course, you can’t change the weather in your area, nor can you change the number of sunlight hours. However, some things are within your power.
First, remember that solar panels produce electricity when exposed to sunlight. So, if you want to maximize their output, it’s essential to position them in a sunny location. If your roof isn’t the ideal place, consider portable solar panels that you can move around.
Second, solar panels are most efficient when they’re clean. So, regularly wipe away any dirt or debris that could block the sun’s rays. Not sure how to clean solar panels? We’ve explained it in detail here.
Install a Solar Battery
Why is my electric bill so high in the summer when there’s plenty of sunlight, you may ask. Well, think of heavy use of air conditioning.
One way to combat this issue is to install a solar battery. A solar battery stores energy during peak production times to be available when you need it. That way, you can run your home on solar power around the clock. In addition, solar batteries can provide backup power in case of a power outage.
And because a solar battery is powered by renewable energy, it’s an eco-friendly way to reduce your reliance on the grid. A solar battery can help you run your home almost entirely on solar power, even when the sun isn’t shining.
Install More Solar Panels
In some cases, solar panel systems are not sized correctly for the home, or the orientation and location of the panels are not optimal. As a result, the homeowner is not getting the full benefit of the solar installation, and the bills are going higher.
If you have small solar panels, the chances are that you miscalculated something and may not have enough of them. You can offset this issue by installing additional solar panels or going with portable solar panels.
Want to learn how to install solar panels on your roof? Check out our article on the topic.
Sync Your Usage with Your Solar System
Think about how you use electricity during different times of the day. For example, if you know that your solar panels produce more power during the daytime, try to use appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine during those hours.
Also, you may want to use energy-efficient appliances during the daytime and switch to lower-wattage bulbs at night. Of course, turn off lights and appliances when they’re not needed.
Contact Your Local Solar Contractor
If you suspect that a faulty solar system is responsible for an increase in your average electric bill with solar panels, don’t go poking around the wires yourself. Contact a solar contractor!
Solar contractors are experts in solar panel installation, and they can help ensure that your system is sized correctly, located in an optimal spot, and functioning properly.
Is Solar Power Worth It Considering the Cost?
The answer is rather simple— it’s very much worth it, provided you know how to use it correctly. We could go on and on about the benefits of solar panels, but it’s best we let the numbers paint a clear picture.
Did you know that properly installed and functioning solar panels add value to your property? For example, in Texas, your home’s value can be increased by up to $15,000! Also, you’re 20% more likely to sell your property if you have solar panels installed.
So, how much do solar panels save on electricity bills? Sticking with the Lone Star State as an example, we can tell you that the average electric bill in Texas can be reduced by up to $960 with solar panels.
But how much do solar panels cost to install? Here’s a state-by-state estimation of how much solar panels cost.
Why is my electric bill so high even though I installed a solar system? Unsurprisingly, there are many reasons. Though a faulty solar system is often to blame for high bills, it’s not uncommon for bills to go up instead of down, even with a properly installed solar system.
After discussing the reasons you may face the frightening reality of your electricity bills, we provided a list of solutions for your electricity problems. By following our tips and doing some research yourself, you can help ensure that your solar panels are working as efficiently as possible and that you’re not overconsuming electricity.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, solar panels don’t replace electricity, but they can supplement it. Solar panels rely on sunlight to generate power, so they are only effective during the day. They can produce some power even on a cloudy day, but not as much as on a sunny day. Additionally, a solar system can’t provide power at night or during a power outage. Thus most homes with solar panels also have backup batteries or a connection to the grid.
A solar true-up bill is issued when your solar usage for the year is less than what was estimated when you signed up for service. The bill may be higher than expected for several reasons:
– The solar company may have underestimated your usage
– You may have used more solar energy than expected
– The price of solar energy may have increased
– You may have received a credit from your utility company for excess solar energy generated during the year.
If you are unsure why your bill is so high, you should contact your solar company for an explanation.
Why is my electric bill so high with solar panels, and why are they not saving me any money? Here are the most common reasons:
– Your panels may be faulty or not big enough to meet your needs
– Solar panels may not be positioned correctly to take advantage of the sun’s rays
– You may not have enough sun exposure during the day to power your home
– You may be using too much energy when the panels aren’t generating it
– Your electric meter readings may be incorrect.