solar panels on the roof

How Much Power Do you Need to Run on Solar?

Rod Johnson Solar

The conversation about renewable energy continues to gain steam, but how can the average home owner implement technology to allow their residential home to harness power from the sun? Solar power is one of the most common forms of alternative energy, and it’s become much simpler over the last decade.

What was, at one time, considered a cost-prohibitive luxury; today’s solar panels are much easier to find and buy than those of the past. The average cost today is $2.71 and $3.57 per watt, but that doesn’t give buyers the entire picture. Per watt it can sound like a good value, but how many watts do you actually need to run your home on solar power and what will that cost in the long run? Before you make any decisions on installing solar panels on your home, here are some things to consider about how much power you actually need.

How to Determine Your Power Usage

If you’re thinking about installing solar in your home, before you contact a contractor, consider a simple gadget that can help you get a feel for the power you already use. You can buy a watt meter at your local hardware store, big box home improvement store, or even online.

With your new watt meter, test out some of your most commonly used appliances such as the toaster, the microwave, or curling irons. A basic understanding of the energy you use day-to-day can help when you begin working with a solar expert to design a system for your home.

Now with some rough estimates, you can calculate the number of solar panels your home might need by multiplying the hourly household energy requirement by the peak number of sunlight hours in your area. Next, divide that number by the wattage of the solar panels. You can look at different solar panel strengths to find your general range and total number.

Of course, working with an expert will be essential throughout the process. There will be additional factors that will influence your power needs. You will need to have an understanding of how much of your roof is exposed to direct sun and determine the batteries you’ll need to store the energy.

How Much Power Do You Need

The question about how much power you need is a little more existential than just calculating your current power usage. There may be other contributing factors such as the use of more energy efficient appliances or making new habits to conserve electricity.

Some homeowners specifically choose scaled back solar power systems in an effort to utilize less energy than with conventional power. Others will need to ensure that have all the typical comforts of home but the ability to run those on alternative energy.

Once you have calculated the amount of power you currently use and take into account the technology that can make things more efficient, you can determine the number of solar panels required to power your home. A solar power expert can help you navigate this process.

How Can You Get Solar Panels Installed

California is heavily invested in solar energy and there are several programs in place to help homeowners make the transition to alternative energy sources.

Rod Johnson Air Conditioning offers smart and affordable solar panel installation. As electric rates continue to skyrocket in the Stockton area, we can help provide an alternative solution for your home and family. Call us for a free estimate and see how solar can benefit you.