Unfortunately some solar companies sell only a couple of system sizes, yet these systems (often on the smallish side of things) will eliminate 100% of everyone’s electric bill 100% of the time.
And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.
Here’s the thing, if a solar company has told you a 2KW system will produce enough electricity to offset your $400 electric bill, you’d be right to be suspicious. The solar system simply won’t make enough kilowatt hours annually to accomplish this.
However, this is a common practice of second and third tier solar companies, and often unsuspecting and trusting consumers fall for this deception.
Sadly, many consumers take the solar salesman’s pitch at face value and don’t know to ask for a California Solar Initiative EPBB annual production estimate.
This is a third party calculation of a solar system’s annual production of kilowatt hours.
Why is this important?
Let’s say you’re a customer with the $400 electric bill.
It’s likely you’re using roughly 1,200 kilowatt hours per month if your utility is SCE, PGE, or SDGE. A 2KW solar system on an unshaded south facing roof in California would produce 300 or so kilowatt hours a month on average.
Therefore, you are still buying 900 kilowatt hours a month from your utility!!
Hardly the 100% offset the solar salesman promised you. In fact, it’s not even close!
Of course, you won’t figure this out until your first annual utility ‘true-up’ a year from now long after the salesman has left for greener pastures.
This is why it’s important to choose a reputable solar company that will custom design and build a system specific to your individual needs.
This simply can’t be done with a couple of cookie cutter solar systems.
Additionally, many solar salespeople don’t take the time to explain to their customers that their solar system will produce a fixed number of kilowatt hours every year.
This lack of education combined with a sales pitch of ‘you’ll never have an electric bill again’ can be quite devastating.
What I see happen in these scenarios is that the naïve customer (having the best intentions) uses WAY MORE electricity.
The customer runs his AC more, leaves lights on, runs the pool pump and Jacuzzi more, etc.
Since the electricity is unlimited and free, they reason, I don’t need to worry about how much I’m using.
Unfortunately, this poor customer will wake up a year from now with an annual utility ‘true-up’ in the thousands of dollars and be quite unprepared for it.
We’ve seen it again and again.
If you don’t want this to be you, you need to clearly understand how much electricity your solar system will generate and keep your consumption within the bounds of that production.
To Knowing Actual Production Values!
P.S. – I’ve got a bit of bad news for you… You are probably not a good candidate for solar. Many people aren’t. Unfortunately, some slimy salesman won’t tell you if you fall into that category. Check back for our next installment to find out why solar may not be for you.
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