Which solar panel systems do you need to power your Maryland home?

How do we determine the which type of solar panel systems you would need to adequately power your Maryland home? The first thing we need to determine is how much electricity you have used over the past calendar year. Once we have a ballpark figure to work with, we can calculate how many panels would provide this amount of power.

How much electricity does the average U.S. home consume?

In 2017 the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) calculated the amount of electricity U.S. residential customers consumed. Utility customers used 10,399 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 867 kWh per month, over this period.

What is a unit of electricity?

The basic unit of electricity is the Kilowatt hour (kWh). In simple terms, 1 kWh is the amount of energy used by a 1kW (1000 watt) electric heater for 1 hour. Another example is ten 100-watt light bulbs used for 1 hour.

Where does most of this electricity go?

Naturally, each family has different priorities, but the basic usage tends to be similar from home to home.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the largest single use of electricity in our homes is for cooling. Air conditioning accounts for over 15% of the power consumed in the U.S. residential sector, with space heating at about 14%.

A 2018 EIA survey shows how the usage split up as follows:

solar panel systems

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The main reason to switch to Solar panel systems

As we all know, the utility companies will always have a reason to raise their unit prices. The fact that we are unable to run our homes without power means that we are going to have to pay even larger utility bills again this year.

The good news is that the cost per unit of solar energy never increases! Once we have determined the size of the solar panel system you need, and arranged to finance it, you will no longer have to keep paying high prices for power. In fact, with a well-designed system, it is possible to bring the cost of your electricity supply down to virtually zero!

The first step is to move off the commercial grid.

Renewable Energy Corporation will first calculate your actual energy usage. This will determine what solar panel system will be the most economical and efficient for your home needs. This is a free service and includes financing solutions to meet your individual requirements.

Is there an ideal sized system for every home?

The amount of current your home consumes varies over the year. To keep the house comfortable, we need to warm it in the winter and cool it the summer. The same applies to our day to day usage. There are peak usage periods when we cook our meals, and run power hungry appliances such as our dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer. When we are asleep, or out of the home, the demand is minimal. This all has to be factored into the calculation.

Taking the total electricity consumption over a year and dividing that by twelve gives a monthly average. What we need to aim for is a system that provides this amount in total over the year.

Why will neighboring homes sometimes need different sized solar panel systems?

Each Solar panel system will produce different amounts of energy based on several factors. The most obvious is that no two roof areas are identical. The angle of inclination and direction each faces, will determine the amount of sunlight that will reach the solar panels. As a result, neighbor “X” may require fewer solar panels to produce the same amount of current as neighbors “Y” and “Z”.

Our needs determine the power we require.

What is warm for one family may still be too cool for another. Our needs are extremely subjective, and these will influence the size of the system that we ideally want for our home. A top-class solar installation company will be able to gauge your requirements by analyzing your past utility bills. A free on-site inspection will be the first step in determining the output your solar panel system will provide.

Frequently asked questions and Net Metering.

One of the first questions people ask is whether solar panel systems work on cloudy days. In fact, though, the more pertinent question is what about at night when there is no sunlight at all!

Your solar installation company will be able to answer all these questions! In short, solar panels do still work at a reduced level in cloudy weather, and at night you will still require current from the grid.

However, this doesn’t mean that you will have to pay for this current! The reason is that your solar panels will be producing on average far in excess of your daily needs. This surplus current is then feeds back into your commercial supplier’s grid and remains as a “credit” balance in your account. This is what is known as Net Metering. So, when you require additional current during overcast weather or at night, you can draw on this “banked” current. A good solar panel systems design can reduce your electricity utility bills to virtually zero.

What if the grid is down due to an outage?

Wouldn’t it be great to have your lights on and essential appliances running while the rest of the neighborhood was dark?! With a battery backup you can have guaranteed continuous power even during an electric grid failure. Your home security system will continue functioning while you are away. When you are home you will have all your essential services running and available until power is restores.  Your solar installation company will quote you for a battery backup system and can always install one later if you should decide to proceed without one.

For answers to all your questions and a free survey and estimate of your home, call us or use our simple online form.

Renewable Energy Corporation can provide the solar panel systems that will free you from utility bill increases and provide all the power your home needs with free, clean renewable energy.