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Why Do I Still Have An Electric Bill?

January 3rd, 2022 | By Chad McComas

As a solar homeowner, you have already experienced the great benefits that come with adding solar panels to your home. These benefits include potentially less reliance on the grid, battery backup storage for when the grid goes down and of course, the potential savings on electric bills.

Once the solar panels are officially added at your home, you may question why you’re getting any electric bill at all. Remember that going solar does not take you off the grid completely, but it sure can reduce your dependence on that grid! In addition, with a backup battery system, you could reduce that dependence even more. And once you pay off your solar panels, all of the energy they produce will be free to you for the remaining lifetime of your system.

So now that we’ve established that you will still have an electric bill from your utility company even with solar panels, here’s what you can typically expect that new power bill to look like.

What charges can I expect on my electric bill?

There are typically three charges to your electric bill.

  1. Service charge and fees: This is usually a flat rate charged to all utility customers regardless of how much electricity is used. It is the fee you pay for being connected to the grid. It may appear on your bill as one charge or various fees, but it will NOT change based off of how much or how little solar power your home produces.
  2. Taxes: These are usually determined based on grid-electricity use, so the more you depend on electricity from your solar panels, the less you’ll pay in taxes. Some taxes will be divided out as a line item that you can plainly see, and some utilities include the tax in their rates.
  3. Grid electricity use: Your electrical provider charges you a rate for the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) your home takes from the grid to power your home. What your bill won’t show is the amount of solar electricity your home consumed, because the utility company is focused on how much you took from them.

If I can’t eliminate my electric bill, how can I lower it further?

Your grid electricity consumption can also be reduced by having a battery backup system. The battery can collect and store surplus electricity during the day that can be used at night, when your solar panels can’t produce any electricity, or when the grid is down. A power outage is a prime example of the advantages of owning your power without putting a huge dent in your pocket. While the grid is down, the battery system will not affect your electrical service charge. Pink Energy offers this battery package for current and new customers.

Another good reason to install a battery is because some states do not offer net metering. This process allows you to gain credits from your utility company by pushing the excess power your panels produce to the electric grid which then lowers the amount you pay the utility company. As mentioned previously, taxes are added to the electric bill based on the amount of grid electricity use. Again, the more you rely on your solar panels, the less you’ll pay in taxes.

Do the seasons affect my electric bill?

The short answer is yes. Your electric bill may be much lower with solar, especially during spring, summer and fall, when daylight hours are at their most plentiful. Fall is actually one of the best seasons for your panels, as it is more efficient in cooler weather. This is because less energy is lost to heat at lower temperatures which is a great benefit for your pockets!

However, it is important to evaluate all four seasons when estimating and reviewing solar production. This observation will be a good note to remember as your electric bill flutters in. As you receive your electric bills after your solar panels system has been installed and is powering your home, you can compare and contrast your grid electricity usage and how it affects the kWh charge on your bill.

Those joining the solar movement should be excited about the potential to see substantial savings on their electric bills over the life of their solar panel systems – just one of the many benefits of solar.

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