Solar power has steadily gained popularity since the public gained access to it in the early 1980s to this day. Unfortunately, the general population does not fully understand the positive implications of solar power due to its complicated scientific nature. This post will clarify the benefits of using solar power, especially in the financial and environmental aspects of the technology. We will discuss how solar power can cut your electricity bills and carbon footprint by a lot.
What is Solar Power?
Before we begin calculating the effects of solar power on your bills and carbon footprint, let’s first discuss what it is. Solar power does not mean solar panels. Strictly and scientifically speaking, solar power is the energy derived from the sun. Scientific and technological advancements gave us the power to harness this energy and transform it into electrical energy. Solar technologies such as solar panels convert sunlight into usable electricity as a means of an alternative source of energy. The most popular device that turns solar energy into usable electrical power is the solar panel.
Solar panels contain photovoltaic cells, better known as solar cells, to the non-scientific community. Photovoltaic cells directly convert the energy produced by light into electrical power through the photovoltaic effect, a physical and chemical phenomenon. In simpler terms, solar panels use solar cells that absorb light energy and turn it into electrical current. With this explanation alone, you should begin to see how using solar power can cut your bills and carbon footprint. But let’s go deeper, shan’t we?
How Solar Power Cuts Your Bills
Solar power cuts your bills because you would no longer on third-party institutions for your source of electricity. You would only need to rely on the sun, which does not charge a cent. Granted, a single solar panel might not be able to power your entire house or business, but it can significantly reduce what you pay for in electricity. Let’s try to see just by how much a solar panel can help you cut down your bills.
Calculating What You Can Save Due to a Solar Panel
We have to generalize many factors to calculate how much a single solar panel can save you on electricity bills. We have to work with the average wattage of a solar panel, the average sunlight hours, and the average cost of electricity. Let’s begin. According to Eco Experts, which is based in the UK, the average power output of a domestic solar panel is about 265 watts. To calculate the electricity a solar panel produces, you just have to multiply its wattage by how many hours of sunlight it gets. In Utah, the average sunlight hour is 8.3 hours per day. For the sake of simplifying our calculations, let’s just say that you’re getting 8 hours of daylight on average. That means that a solar panel can produce 2120 watt-hours (Wh) or 2.12 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a day if it uses a 265-watt solar panel.
In Utah, the average cost of electricity for a residential customer is 10.52 cents per kilowatt-hour. The average daily electricity consumption of a Utahn household is 24.73 kilowatt-hours. That means that in a single day, the average electricity cost of a residential home is around $2.60. But if you subtract the electricity from the solar panel from the average electricity consumption daily, you’d get $2.38 in daily electric bills. But that is only when we take every value on average. It’s harder to compute your actual potential savings unless you have detailed data for your specific location. But one thing’s for sure, the better the quality of the solar panel is, the more it can save you on electricity.
How Solar Power Cuts Your Carbon Footprint
It is harder to calculate the carbon footprint of solar panels. But several sources of data show that the average solar panel produces roughly twenty times less carbon output than electricity sources powered by coal. Using solar power essentially means you can cut your carbon emissions by 80% compared to other electricity sources, some data says! Eighty percent is a massive cut out of your carbon footprint. In our calculation of how much solar power cuts your bills on average, we only get an 11% difference. But in the carbon footprint aspect, you essentially reduce your carbon emissions in tons throughout a year.
Let’s put these figures into more tangibles imagery. Each kilowatt-hour of solar power that a panel convert emits 40 grams of CO2 (carbon dioxide). In a day, every kilowatt-hour of solar energy produces only 320 grams. On the other hand, the electricity that coal produces emits 1011.511 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour. In a day, that amounts to 8092.088 grams. In pounds, solar panels emit 0.71 pounds of CO2 per day, while coal-powered electricity creates 17.84 pounds. In the long term, the difference between the two just seems to get bigger. Coal-powered electricity emits carbon dioxide in metric tons, while solar power is just a tiny fraction of that.
The Better the Solar Power Technology, the More Efficient They Are
It is critical to point out that the better the solar power technology is, the more significant its impact on your bills and carbon footprint. Our calculations just focused on the efficacy of the average solar panel, not the state-of-the-art ones. If you genuinely want to make a difference in your electric bills and carbon footprint, you’d get the best solar power technology you can afford. And speaking of the best solar power technology at affordable prices, look no further than Spring Solar. Solar Power is a family-owned and operated business that focuses on long-term solutions for families and businesses. Our team of professionals will explain every aspect of solar power to help you make the most sustainable and beneficial decision.