How to read your electricity bill after installing solar
To read your electricity bill after installing solar, you must first understand the different components of your solar system.
To read your electricity bill after installing solar, you must first understand the different components of your solar system. Your meter readings, solar credits, and other elements contribute to the size of your bill.
Apart from its cost-saving benefits, solar increases the value of your property and makes the planet cleaner. Companies in Australia offer feed-in tariffs when you export excess electricity produced by your solar back to the grid.
This article provides details to help you read your electricity bill after installing solar in your home.
Read on to see the difference solar installation makes on the size of your electricity bill.
Understanding your electricity bill
The different components of a solar bill include the customer’s account details, meter readings, solar credits, total charges and reductions, and more. These pieces of information come in handy when paying your electricity bills.
Let’s dive deeper into your solar bill.
1. Account details
Your account details are the first few numbers you will see on your electricity bill at the top right corner. The information includes your account number, account period (the duration your bill covers), and invoice date.
Your account details are vital as they are the means of identification to contact your electricity providers. You will also use these details when registering your account or using online services.
2. Outstanding amount
Whenever you come across your electricity bills, the first thing you want to know is how much you owe.
If you check your account summary, you will find the total outstanding amount on your account and the new charges.
You will also find a due date noted on the left of the charges.
3. Energy consumption
Another thing to look out for is how much energy you have consumed.
You will find this information halfway down your bill. It is a quick comparison between your current energy consumption and your previous bill.
Sometimes this summary includes your energy consumption in the previous year if the data is available.
Should you need more insight into your energy consumption, you will find more data on the “My Account” page.
4. Payment options
Your electricity bill will include information on the list of available payment options. You will find this list at the bottom of your bill.
The payment options available include Direct Debit, Centrepay, Credit/Debit Card, BPAY, Mail or at your local post office.
You will need a payment number to pay your bill online. So, take note of your payment number before proceeding to make payment.
5. Meter reading
Your meter reading details are located on the back of your electricity bill. There you will also find other energy supply details such as your next schedule read, supply address, and meter number.
6. Solar credits
If you have earned solar credits for sending excess electricity into the grid, you will find the credits on your bill.
In your usage summary, you will find details on the number of units consumed (measured in kWh) and the period you are billed.
Your usage summary will help you understand how your total usage costs are calculated.
For example, someone who pays different rates at different times of the day can use that information to understand the number of units consumed during the peak and off-peak periods.
You will find the number of units exported back to the grid and how many solar credits you have earned in the usage summary section.
What changes after installing solar?
Installing solar will greatly reduce the money you spend on electricity bills. In Australia, solar companies offer feed-in tariffs when you sell electricity produced by your solar back to the grid. You will get rewarded with solar credits, which means lower spendings on your electricity consumption.
Furthermore, when you install solar in your home, it attracts tax incentives given by the government.
Let’s take a quick look at the significant changes solar installation will make to your electricity bill:
After you install solar, you will become a net metering customer.
Almost every country that credits solar customers for exporting excess electricity produced by their solar uses the net metering policy. Net metering changes the way your electricity bill is calculated.
You will notice that a few terms have been added to your bill after installing solar. These new terms include:
Minimum delivery charge
You will notice a minimum delivery charge. It’s a charge aimed at supporting the cost of grid maintenance and upgrade. This way, there will be enough funds available to maintain the grid even when your solar produces enough energy that you have to pay nothing for electricity.
Net usage is the difference between your total electricity consumption and the total amount of electricity you send back to the grid.
However, your net usage may be represented differently if you are on a time of use (TOU) rate plan.
The utility will charge different rates at different times of the day depending on your “peak” and “off-peak” hours.
So, your net usage will be split into “Net Peak Usage” and “Net Off-Peak Usage.”
You’ll also notice a change in the timing of bills after solar installation. This depends on the utility, as some utilities may bill their customers annually, while others bill every month.
How many solar panels do you need to become self-sufficient?
The number of solar panels you need depends on your energy consumption, the types of panels you install, and the area you reside. The more energy you consume due to the appliances in your home, the more solar you need. Also, some areas get better solar exposure than others and thus need fewer panels.
When trying to determine the size of the solar panel system, you need to meet your energy consumption.
The amount of electricity consumed varies from household to household.
For example, let’s two families living in 1,000 sq ft homes. One of the homes is occupied by a single guy who spends most of his time outside his house, while the other family comprises two parents and their kids.
The single guy does not consume much electricity since he stays alone and spends most time away. But the other family spends most of their time indoors with their children, which means they consume a lot of electricity charging their devices, watching TV, and more.
So, the two houses do not have the same electricity consumption level and will require different numbers of solar to meet their energy consumption.
A family with kids consumes more energy than a single resident and will require more solar to become self-sufficient.
Simply put, the amount of energy your solar system needs to produce to meet your energy consumption depends on the amount of energy your home uses. The more energy your home consumes, the more solar you will need.
A solar panel system can significantly affect your household electricity bill. It’s a huge investment that will save you a lot of money in the long run.
When you read your electricity bill after solar installation, you will notice a big difference in the charges. To better understand how much you are now saving, you must consider your energy consumption, meter reading, solar credits and other components.
If you are looking to reduce the cost of your electricity consumption, solar is the way to go.
You get to contribute toward a greener environment by switching to a cleaner and more reliable energy source.
Go solar today with Instyle Solar. We can help with all your solar energy needs!
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