One of the first questions we’re often asked is, “how many solar panels do I need” or really “what size solar system should I be looking at?” Well, this of course depends.
It depends on your usage, your lifestyle, your future plans, what you’re looking to achieve and whether or not you’re going to get either now or in the future, a solar battery.
So what we’re going to do is run through a bit of this, I’m not going to give you enough to make a hard decision, but at least give you enough information so that you know where to start and at the end of the video I’m going to give you a quick formula that you can at least get to the next step with.
So the first thing to look at is how much energy you use? You know, and there are limits, if you only use a tiny bit of energy every day, then really solar may not be financially worth it for you. You also need to look at whether you use a lot of your energy in the day time or simply at night time and factor this in. You also need to look at whether your system is going to be battery ready, because it is likely that at some point in the future you will put a battery onto your solar system.
You also need to look at your lifestyle. Are you working from home and will you continue to work from home? Do you have kids? How old are they? For example, many of us know that teenagers just eat electricity all day, every day until they move out of home. Or are you retired? You also need to look at what your future plans are. Are you going to retire in the future? What age are kids at, are you going to have more kids?
This is a really important one. It is likely the whole world is moving towards electric vehicles. It is likely that either your next car or the car after that, even a secondhand one, is going to be an electric vehicle and do you want solar to help charge that for you?
The next thing to look at is what are you trying to achieve? Are you really just interested in financial savings and don’t care about anything else? Lots of people are that. Are you looking to achieve grid independence or what we call grid interdependence? Are you looking for backup in case the power goes out? Do you often have power outages at your home? Are you looking at solar for environmental reasons? Again, solar is one of the most powerful ways an individual can help with climate change.
Or are you looking for smart energy management? A solar system is usually a core part of how you manage your energy at home. So let’s look at a quick formula just to help you to get to the next stage.
The really simple way to look at the solar system these days is to take your average daily usage which will be on your electricity bill and it will be in kilowatt hours. So you look at your average daily usage and divide that by four. For example, if on your bill it says you use 40 kilowatt hours of energy per day, then your solar system is likely to be the right size solar system is likely to be around 10 kilowatts for you. If you use 25, it’s likely to be around six, and so on. Some years ago, we would size the solar system so that it matched the daytime energy usage.
But today we really just get your 24 hour usage pattern again, because it is likely during the life of the solar system, that you will get a solar battery, so you want to maximise the benefit you get today.
The second way of working out this right size solar system is, and a lot of people do this, is really just maximise your roof space. The reason people are doing this is because it doesn’t, it’s not a lot more expensive to put on a large system than a small system. There’s not a huge cost difference. So you might as well put on as much as you can. You’ll get feed in tariffs for any excess energy you generate today, and if and when you do buy an electric vehicle you really will help reduce the cost of running that.
The third factor is of course budget, what you can afford to spend, what you want to spend. But again, just a word there, it is worth if you have a limited budget, getting a better quality system that might be smaller, than one of these larger systems that isn’t such good quality. The smaller system will generally deliver more savings over the longterm.
So I hope that’s helped with, what size solar system should I get. As you can see, it depends on you and depends on what you’re trying to achieve. We’ve given you a quick formula, but as a general rule it is worth discussing all those options through with one of our team. Please give us a call if we can help.
Would you like us to size up your solar system? Contact us today.