Utility providers have something in common; they want you to use less of their service. Of course, one of the reasons is to enhance the power grid, especially during the hot summer months. While utility providers are providing tips to help reduce your electric bill, solar panels are a cost-effective solution too.

You can switch to harnessing the power of the sun with solar panels efficiency to reduce your bill. 

Solar panels convert energy to electricity with sunshine, which lowers customer’s overall energy bills. In order to maximize your savings as a solar user, you should watch your energy usage and create your home to be as energy efficient as possible.

One kW hour is equal to 1000 watts used in an hour. On your utility bill the cost of use is based on how much kilowatts (kW) you use, which can also be affected by how many days are in the month.

By lowering your consumption you can get closer to a net zero bill and put energy back into the grid. 

Take CPS Energy for example, who is the largest municipally-owned electric and natural gas utility company in the nation. For the past few summers the question of “Will your rates increase” rises. CPS hasn’t had a rate increase in five years. Yet, in the summertime, your bill goes up. That may be due to your behavior toward saving consumption. 

Have you heard of the Save For Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP)? It was introduced in the year 2008, to be “an aggressive energy conservation program,” according to the City of San Antonio – Office of Sustainability website. “The goal of the program is to save 771 MW of electricity between 2009 and 2020.” 

CPS Energy’s Energy2Business Team member, Christine Patmon, mentioned there are a lot of different programs that are covered under STEP. “We’ve reduced about 620 MW. 1 MW powers about 200 homes depending on what time of the year it is,” said Patmon. 

If you want to understand your electricity use, Patmon explained that the rate at which you consume electricity, or demand, is equivalent to the speed you are driving. 

“When driving [you] multiply the average speed by the number of hours driven,” said Patmon. “When looking at electricity [you] multiply how many hours your equipment was on by the demand to get your consumption.” 

A solar panels efficiency can reduce your consumption by converting energy into electricity. According to the City of San Antonio website, “In FY 2018, 3,131 residential solar PV systems totaling 24,410 kWdc were installed, and $14.5 million in rebates distributed.” 

CPS still provides rebates and incentives as part of the STEP program to consumers who want to go solar. 

Patmon provided another scenario to understand your utility bill. 

Take a look at your air conditioning and heat, which makes up about 60% of your bill. “Your AC will only work at an efficient level with about a 20 degree differential of your thermostat setting and the temperature outside. Once it gets above that it starts working all the time,” said Patmon. This explanation sets an example to have your system set to 78 degrees when at home and 82 degrees when not at home. 

By doing your part to help the grid you are reducing your electric bill. Solar panels can also do its part to help the grid and help you reduce your electric bill. Both utility providers and solar panels efficiency rely on your overall consumption.