Do I Still Get an Electric Bill If I Go Solar?
While you might have heard that you can forgo your electricity bill completely when you go solar in the city, it isn’t necessarily true. Yes, you read that right!
Yes, if you live off the grid and install solar, you won’t have to pay your local utility for power, but if you live in the city limits and your home is connected to the grid, it gets a little more complicated. Our team at Solar Bear Orlando explains.
The Ins and Outs of Net Metering
In Orlando, customers who install solar panels on their homes can say goodbye to most of their monthly energy bills if they have the right system on their roof with net metering.
Orlando’s net-metering program allows solar owners to buy and sell power to the grid. Currently, Florida law does not allow consumers to buy energy from a third party.
The caveat is that to be part of the net metering program, solar systems must be inspected and permitted by the city or county to ensure that it meets electrical and wind codes.
Be aware, that unless you have a lot of roof space, you aren’t going to be producing as much energy as you consume, so you may still need to pay a small electricity bill. (And by small we mean between $10-20 a month!) But the goal of a solar panel system isn’t to overproduce energy anyway, because then you’d just be giving all your excess energy to the power company.
Florida Power & Light Net Metering
To take part in net metering in Orlando, Florida Power & Light (FPL) installs a special meter on your property that captures the energy that is going to and from the grid. Excess energy from your solar panels can be sold back to Florida Power & Light and is credited on your future electric bills, thus lowering your overall energy costs significantly.
To take part in the Tier One system, (or those with an 8 kilowatt, 8,000-watt system) homeowners in Orlando will need to obtain a city or county permit, enroll in the net metering program, and sign the interconnection agreement with FPL to participate.
Of course, if your solar system is larger than an average 8-kilowatt system, you can take part in the Tier Two program which includes a $400 application fee and you must have a $1 million general liability insurance policy for your home.
FPL customers that take part in the net-metering program pay the basic service charge a month plus 9-11 cents a kilowatt for power that they use from the grid. If your solar system provides 100% of your power, you will only have to pay the service charge.
How Much Power Will My Solar System Produce?
Net metering allows customers to generate power during the day with their solar panels and draw power at night from the grid. The peak months for power generation from solar are March through June here in Florida. But during the summer, most homeowners use more energy to run the air conditioning to keep their homes cool.
Power generation depends on the direction of your solar panels, trees, and other trade near your home, and of course the weather.
There are several equations to determine how many solar panels your home will need, and the amount of power they will produce. Generally, the average U.S. household needs a 6.62-kW system to match the 8000 kWh average annual household usage, and it is typical for a solar panel to make 320 watts of electricity in ideal conditions.
If you get five hours of direct sunlight each day, you can calculate your solar panel output with this equation:
5 hours x 290 watts (an example of the wattage produced by a premium solar panel) = 1,450 watts/hr or 1.5 kWh. As a result, each solar panel will produce about 500-550 kWh each year.
Depending on how many solar panels your home has, you could be able to generate most of your own power and be able to sell some of it back to the utility company through net metering. Can you imagine if your entire energy bill was only 10-15 bucks a month!? Sounds nice to us!
Pay Less for Electricity with Solar Bear
If you are ready to take control of your energy costs and take part in Orlando’s net metering program, call our team at Solar Bear Orlando! We can help you choose the right size solar system for your home so you can pay less for your home’s energy usage. Who knows? You may also be able to produce 100% of your energy and only pay the net-metering service charge each month. Awesome!
Go solar with Orlando’s #1 solar installation company! Call Solar Bear Orlando for a consultation today; (727) 471-7442!