Switching to solar can cut your energy bill by 75% or more. The average electric bill in California is $100-$200/per month. Average yearly energy cost is about $1,500. Your energy needs determine how many panels you will need for your solar system. To eliminate your bill fully, you will need to generate 100% of the electricity your home needs. Most homeowners need between 12 to 35 panels to achieve complete energy independence.
One solar panel typically produces one kilowatt-hour (kWh) per day. If your usage is 30 kWh you would need 30 panels to cover all your energy needs. To know exactly how many panels, you will need you will need to review your energy bill – kWh used. You will add up the monthly kWh used and then divide by 12 to give you monthly average then divide by 30 to give you daily usage. If you average monthly is 1000 kwh used, then your average daily is 33 kWh.
The average electric rate in California is .41 cents/kWh. So if you average 33 kWh per day that comes to $13.53 per day and $405 per month. This will also depend on how much energy a customer uses at night and what rate plan/structure they are on.
In California the starting cost of a 6-kW system is around $15,000, Arizona $13,600. Congress has just passed the Inflation Reduction Act where the Investment Tax Credit is now 30%. That means for a $15,000 job, customers will get back $4,500 from the federal government. After tax credits the net cost of solar is $10,500. There are factors to consider when going solar such as if you are planning on an electric vehicle (EV) adding a pool or adding onto the home. These are all factors that would add to your energy use, and you may want to factor in more panels to account for that usage.