In this article, we’ll cover:

  1. What is Solar Savings?
  2. What is Solar Offset?
  3. Going Solar is Expensive. How can Solar Energy Save Me Money?
  4. Beyond Basic: How to Optimize Your System and Maximize Your Solar Savings Every Month  
  5. The Bottom Line  

What is Solar Savings?

Solar savings measures how much money you save each month with solar panels. It is the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) your system produces multiplied by how much your utility company charges per kWh. Most of the time, it is expressed as a dollar amount.

For example, if your system produces 1,600 kilowatt-hours per month, and your utility company charges $0.16 per kWh, your monthly savings would be $256 per month, or $3,072 per year.  

What is Solar Offset?

Solar offset measures the efficiency of your home solar energy system. It is the amount of energy your home solar energy system generates in a year divided by how much electricity your home actually used during that same period. Most of the time, savings or offset is expressed as a percentage.  

For example, if your system produced 19,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity, and your home used 21,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity, your solar offset would be 91%.  

Solar offset is important in determining the design of your home solar energy system. We’ll talk more about that below.

Going Solar is Expensive. How Can Solar Energy Save Me Money?

Will solar save you money? How much you save will depend on a range of factors, including the average number of sunny days in your local climate, how many direct hours of sunlight your panels see, the orientation and size of your rooftop, and how much your utility company charges per kilowatt-hour. The main thing these factors have in common? They’re largely outside your control.

Thankfully, that’s not the full story. Other factors that contribute to solar savings are largely within your control—and that means you can take steps to save even more by going solar. How much energy you use, whether you purchase or lease your system and take advantage of incentives, and the size and storage capabilities of your rooftop solar energy system can significantly impact your solar savings.    

Energy Usage and The True Cost of Solar

True solar savings begins with determining your home’s energy usage. First, review your energy bills to calculate your average annual and monthly usage. Next, create a detailed breakdown of that usage. lists several ways to estimate how much electricity your appliances, home electronics, heating and cooling systems, and lighting use each day. Knowing these details will help you maximize your solar savings in the short and long terms. (We’ll discuss savings strategies below.)  

Minimize Upfront Costs and Save Money Sooner  

Save money sooner, without paying high upfront costs, by taking advantage of solar financing. Solar is a big investment, but your solar offset and your loan or lease payment combined should still be less than your original energy bill. We think it’s simple math: quicker access to the advantages of solar energy, minus the stress of emptying your savings account, equals solar financing that’s worth it.

Solar financing companies like Lumifi can also help homeowners take advantage of federal, state, and local incentives that will further reduce the lifetime costs of their residential solar energy systems.

Get Proactive with Your Solar System Design

Designing your rooftop solar energy system with an intentionally high solar offset in mind can help lower your monthly energy bills right away. Ideally, your residential solar energy system would offset 100% of the electricity needed to power your home. Your current energy needs are a great baseline as you consider the design of your rooftop solar installation—but what happens when your energy needs change?

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy recommends anticipating your future energy needs when planning your solar energy future. Will you add an electric car to your fleet? Do you plan to increase the size of your household by having children or housing a parent or other family member long-term? Planning ahead for these changes can help ensure your solar system will handle your energy needs in the years and decades to come—and that you continue saving with solar.

Beyond Basic: How to Optimize Your System and Maximize Your Solar Savings Every Month  

How much money do solar panels save per month? Go beyond basic savings by optimizing your usage, maximizing your solar panel output, and boosting the benefits of any excess energy your rooftop solar panels generate. Try these simple strategies to get the most out of your rooftop solar system and lower your energy bill every month.  

Estimate Your Solar Hours and Get Strategic with Your Usage

It may seem like a no-brainer to say that reducing your energy consumption will lower your bills each month. But have you ever considered that when you use your appliances can also impact your solar savings?

Experts recommend using your appliances and devices during hours of strong sunlight, when your system can generate the most power. Shifting your usage to strong solar hours optimizes your solar offset by drawing less power during the hours your home relies on energy drawn from the municipal grid.  

Maximize Your Solar Panel Output to Maximize Your Solar Savings  

Studies show that regular maintenance helps prevent energy inefficiencies in residential solar energy systems. In other words, clean panels generate higher energy outputs—and that extra energy helps lower your monthly electric bills. Want to save even more with solar? Optimize your solar output by trimming back any tree branches or foliage that could drop leaves and other debris or block precious sunlight from hitting your rooftop solar panels.  

Bank Power with Solar Storage and Enroll in Net Metering  

Adding solar storage to your home solar energy system can increase your offset by banking power for use at night and during cloudy days. In some municipalities, homeowners can also enroll their system in net metering and exchange any excess power generated by their home system for credits. If their system draws from the grid in non-solar hours, these credits go toward their monthly bill.  

The Bottom Line

Learning how to plan for your future and save the most money with your home solar energy system can be a complex process—but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Your friends at Lumifi are ready to help.

Ready to learn more about how optimizing your system can help you save more money with solar? Contact Lumifi today.