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How Many Solar Panels Do I Need For My Home?

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When thinking about adding solar panels for your home, the first question you may ask yourself is: how many solar panels will I need to power my home? Simply put, it depends. Solar panels are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the amount of panels you need depends on a wide variety of circumstances.

To help you estimate how many panels you could need to potentially save money on your monthly electric bills, consider the factors below.

Key Takeaways

  • Solar panels are not a one-size-fits-all solution. The number of solar panels you could need to see potential savings is unique to you and your home.
  • Factors impacting the number of solar panels your home needs include the location of your home, your roof’s sun exposure, your current electricity consumption and more.
  • Solar panels differ in the amount of watts they produce. For houses with limited roof space, solar panels that generate higher wattage may be necessary to potentially reduce your monthly electricity bill.
  • Overall, the more solar panels you have on your roof, the more solar power you could potentially produce to meet your home’s energy needs.

Factors Impacting the Number of Solar Panels Your Home Could Need

Our Pink Energy experts will need to consider multiple factors when developing your customized solar panel system.

  1. Your Home Size

    To estimate how many solar panels you could need, it’s important to consider the size of your home. Consult the table below for a general range of the amount of solar panels you could need to potentially save money based on home size.

    Size of Home Average energy consumption
    per month (in kWh)
    *Amount of
    panels needed
    1500 sq. feet 633 kWh 14 – 17
    2000 sq. feet 967 kWh 19 – 25
    2500 sq. feet 1,023 kWh 24 – 30
    3000 sq. feet 1,185 kWh 27 – 38

    *Numbers in the table above are estimates based on data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This table is for approximation purposes only. Accuracy not guaranteed or implied.

    Note that solar panels differ in the amount of watts they produce. At Pink Energy we install tier-1 monocrystalline solar panels with premium energy efficiency to help you maximize your roof’s output potential.

  2. Your Roof’s Sun Exposure

    The amount of sunlight your roof gets can influence the amount of solar panels you could need. Factors like tree cover and the direction your roof faces determine how much sun might reach your solar panels throughout the day. Your geographic location also comes into play here.

  3. Your Geographical Location

    You’ll want to consider how many hours of sunlight you can expect to receive in your area. This can vary by state, not to mention depends on inclement weather. While clouds, rain, and snow won’t bring your solar production to a screeching halt, they might affect solar panel output efficiency.

  4. Your Current Energy Consumption

    Many solar customers desire a system that generates equal to or close to the amount of energy they’re consuming each month. To get a feel for your current energy consumption, look at your watt usage over the last 12 months. Depending on your situation, you may need more or less solar panels to potentially reduce your bill.

  5. Your Goal Electric Bill

    It helps to have a target electric bill in mind to better determine how much solar power you could require to get there. In general, the more solar panels you have on your roof, the more solar power you could potentially generate. Having a goal electric bill in mind could help determine how much solar power you’ll need each month.

  6. Your Home Appliances

    Understanding your energy consumption requires more than looking at the wattage on your electric bill–it helps to know where those watts are being used. You can start by looking at the appliances you operate on a daily basis. How often do you wash clothes? Do you keep your house at a cool temperature year-round? Maybe you have a gaming system that your family plays on the weekend? Here are some appliances that tend to eat up the most electricity:

    1. Heating System
    2. Cooling System
    3. Water Heater
    4. Dehumidifier
    5. Refrigerator

    Like most homeowners, you likely use at least 4 out of the 5 appliances above on a daily basis. The reality is that modern-day living presents more opportunities to consume electricity than perhaps ever before. The good news is that solar energy could potentially mitigate the costs associated with a 21st-century lifestyle, and it’s more affordable than you might think.

  7. The Size Of Your Solar Panels

    The physical size of your solar panels will also play a role in determining the number that you need overall. At Pink Energy, our panels are typically around 70”x40”, which helps our solar professionals calculate how many panels will fit on your roof as a whole, in addition to the consideration of other factors.

Solar Panel Calculation Formula

Now that we’ve laid that groundwork, we thought you’d benefit from crunching a few numbers to potentially determine how many solar panels you might need for your home. Keep in mind that even when following this formula, it’s still not as good as what a Pink Energy representative can provide you when he/she visits your home. Their proposals reflect all the unique circumstances of your home. But using the following formula is how you can calculate your home achieving a 100% offset of your current electric bill.

kWh per Month / (Daily Sunlight Average in Your State x 30) = kW Solar System You Need

Calculate Your Kwh Per Month.

The first step of the formula is to find your monthly kilowatt-hour usage. You can find this information on your latest power bill.

For our purposes here, we’ll use the national average monthly kilowatt-hour usage, which is 914 kWh.

Determine The Average Daily Sunlight In Your State.

As we’ve mentioned, the amount of sun hitting your roof can determine how many panels you could need. To ballpark this figure, find the average daily peak sunlight hours in your state. We used North Carolina, Pink Energy’s headquarters, for our example.

North Carolina receives an average of 4.71 hours of daily peak sunlight.

Plug Both Of The Figures Above Into The Formula.

Let’s crunch the numbers. We’ve taken the national average for monthly kilowatt/hour use (914) and divided by the product of the average amount of peak sunlight in NC (4.71) and 30 (141.3), the quotient of which brings us roughly to the following.

914 / (4.71 x 30) = 6.5 kW solar system

Convert Your Kw From The Equation Above To Total Watts.

We’re nearly there! Since 1 kW equals 1,000 watts, our next step is to multiply our kilowatt number by 1000.

6.5 kW x 1,000 = 6,500 watts

Divide Your Total Watts By The Wattage Output Of One Solar Panel.

Lastly, we must divide the number of watts of the system by the number of watts one solar panel generates. Pink Energy uses premium 320-watt panels, so we’ll use that.

6,500 / 320 = 20.3 Solar Panels

To Recap: If you consume 914 kWh per month in North Carolina, you could need a 6.5 kW solar system to potentially offset 100% of your current electric bill, which is equal to about 20.3 solar panels.

Ask A Solar Expert

Ultimately, the number of solar panels you could need to see potential savings is unique to you. Request a free quote today to determine how many panels you could need to see potential savings.

Get My Free Quote

Frequently Asked Questions

Are solar panels worth it for my home?

Solar panels can reduce your carbon footprint and potentially lessen your grid dependence and monthly electricity bill.

Learn more about why solar panels are worth the cost.

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Is the cost of my solar panel system based on the number of solar panels I need?

The cost of your solar panel system depends on multiple factors, including how much solar electricity you want your solar panels to generate. Learn more about potential solar panel cost factors.

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Will solar panels allow me to disconnect from grid power?

Solar panels can potentially reduce grid dependency by replacing a percentage of your grid electricity with renewable solar electricity. Learn more about the benefits of on-grid solar systems.

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Will a solar panel system fit on my roof?

Our custom solar panel systems use monocrystalline solar panels for their high efficiency and lower space requirements. Learn more about how our premium solar panels work for your roof.

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How do I get the most out of my solar panel system?

You can maximize your home’s energy efficiency with SMARTPWR360™, our suite of upgrades designed for optimal energy consumption. Learn more about further reducing your carbon footprint with SMARTPWR360™.

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What affects solar panel output efficiency?

Your solar panel output efficiency can be affected by inclement weather including cloud cover, snow, and rain, although your solar panels will still work in cloudy weather! In addition trees and debris can result in shade on your panels that could reduce efficiency. That’s why it’s important to have a professional solar consultant evaluate your home to make sure your home is optimized for solar efficiency.

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How many kilowatts does a house use?

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average home in America will use around 893 kWh per month.

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How much do solar panels weigh?

Solar panels tend to weigh somewhere in the 40-pound range.

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