Reaching 100% Offset With Your Solar Power System
When you’re considering a solar power system, there’s a lot of the "how it works" details to read up on prior to your installation. Your "solar offset" (how much your system produces vs how much electricity you’ve used) determines whether you’ve overproduced that month. If your system overproduces, the extra energy your generated will be pushed back into the grid to build a bank of credits with your utility company (see our post on net metering to read more about this). If your system doesn’t overproduce, you’ll be utilizing the power from your utility company to cover what solar didn’t.
The factors behind whether you overproduce or underproduce tend to rely on the time of year and the weather. Solar panels actually perform most optimally in cooler temperatures, but as we know, cooler temperatures tend to occur during winter months when the days are shorter. If the Sun isn't shining as long, your system won't produce as much as you would during a long, sunny summer day, even if it means the panels are generating as efficiently in the heat. There's enough overproduction during longer days, though, to carry over into the night, when it's cloudy, and during the winter months.
So what are your expectations for a "solar offset"?
The majority of solar companies have an offset goal of 75-80% for all of their customers. This is of course determined by several factors; the size and positioning of your roof, shading on your roof and property, how much energy your home uses, the type of panels used, and the system size (bigger systems with more panels will produce more power - and even more if there are efficiency panels). Ideally, a company wouldn’t push you to sign up unless this percentage benchmark is reached, because otherwise it will not make sense for you financially. What’s the point of installing a power source on your roof for 20 or 25 years if it won’t produce a sufficient amount of electricity?
80% is a decent benchmark for your solar energy use, but wouldn’t your ultimate goal be to reach 100%? While most "Ordinary Joe" solar companies cannot offer it, there are a few installers that stand out as helping their customers achieve 100% solar power — and we can help you find them. They work diligently to get as many panels on your roof as they can in order to achieve the maximum offset. Just fill out a quick form and we’ll get to work for you.