It seems obvious: you add solar panels to your house, your utility bill goes down. And for the most part, that’s true. But in certain situations, your bill might not decrease as much as you expect, and in some rare situations, it might actually increase, even with solar power.
So why would this happen?
You’re using more energy than you used to. Maybe you’re working from home more often, or you’ve just built a brand new pool. Even small lifestyle changes can make a big impact on electricity use. Then, there are seasonal changes to take into account. Warmer months can lead you crank up the AC for additional relief.
The good news is, there are ways to make sure you won’t be penalized for needing more electricity. In many states, utilities are moving to time-of-use rates, charging more for electricity when demand is higher and less when demand is lower.
Running the dishwasher or doing laundry during off-peak times means you’ll pay less. How do you find out when those times are? Check your utility bill or call your local utility partner to find out what kind of rate structure you’re on.
You just experienced a big life change. Whether you’ve just added a new member to your family or bought an EV, life changes can often be exciting. But they can also require you to use more energy. For example, having a new baby could lead to additional loads of laundry, a bumped up thermostat or late nights with the lights on. Running your dryer or charging your EV during off-peak times can help avoid increased costs.
If you’re thinking about solar energy now, your SunPower dealer can help you talk through any potential changes in your future that will impact your electricity use and size your system appropriately. If you’re not sure, adding energy storage is a great way to give yourself some “headroom” for expanding your electricity use later.
Your utility rates increased. Besides changing to time-of-use rates, utilities often change rates seasonally. And most utilities at least contemplate an annual rate increase. These changes can add up over time. It’s also not uncommon for utilities to add new fees to your bill.
There’s no real way to avoid these rate increases. But keeping an eye on your bill is always sage advice.
Pairing solar + storage can help you rely less on the grid (no more blackouts!) and use stored energy for when you need it most. The Inflation Reduction Act has provided tremendous long-term incentives for both solar and energy storage that are rolling out now and make these clean energy solutions more affordable than ever.
All things considered, solar panels are a great way to keep your energy costs low, stable and predictable. In fact, because electricity rates continue to soar, this may be the best time to think about going solar.
No matter where you live, there’s a SunPower dealer near you with great local knowledge about utility rates and deep experience designing and installing the right size of home solar system to meet your family’s growing needs. Schedule an online appointment today to learn more.