Solar Energy and Your Electric Bill

Electricity Consumption
All the electric appliances in your home use power.  Your lights, refrigerator, microwave, television, stereos, air conditioner, heater (even if it's gas heating because the blower fan uses electricity), electric stove/range, jacuzzi, pool pump, and electric pool heaters all consume electricity.  You are then billed by the electric company for the amount of electric energy that you use.  This energy is measured in kWh (which stands for kilowatt-hours). 

What does a "kWh" mean?  1 kWh is 1,000 watts used for 1 hour.  Or you could think of it as the same as turning on twenty, 50 Watt light bulbs for one hour (20 bulbs x 50 Watts x 1 hour  = 1,000 W = 1 kWh). 

You can also see the kWh's that you are being billed for on your electric bill (see also Deciphering Your Electric Bill and Tiered Electric Rates).  

Solar Power Production
Any power you produce from solar electricity is simply subtracted off your bill.  For more details, see articles on Solar Power 101 and  System Sizing.  The energy your solar electric system produces is also typically measured in kWh's. 

Solar Energy Production and Electricity Consumption
Solar electric systems produce energy while your home's appliances and lights consume it. 

You can think of power used/consumed as adding on to your electric bill while power produced by solar is subtracted from your electric bill.  In other words, energy that you are billed for by your electric company in kWh = Total Energy Used minus Total Solar Energy made by system. 

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Robert Morse
SunCal Solar, Incorporated


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