How Many Solar Panels Do You Actually Need to Benefit from Solar Energy?

How Many Solar Panels Do You Actually Need to Benefit from Solar Energy?

It’s not enough to install a few solar panels and call it a day. Your solar panel system needs to  generate enough solar energy to compensate for the amount of energy you consume and how much sunlight your panels take in. Every home consumes different amounts of energy so every solar home will be different. What works for your neighbor may not necessarily work for you. So, how many solar panels do you actually need to benefit from your solar panel system?

The number is determined by your location, how much energy is consumed, which direction your house is facing, roof size, and the panel efficiency. For example, you will need more panels in Idaho to get the same output as a house in California, the state with the best sun hours in the country.

Energy Consumed

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average monthly electricity consumption is 893 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, averaging about 10,715 per year. While that’s the average, your household may be a bit different, but it’s a good idea to get an idea of how much electricity you’re paying for compared to the rest. 


You will need to call your utility company or log into your account online to view the number of kilowatt hours you use per year.

House Facing Direction and Location

Solar energy production is ultimately determined by which direction your roof is facing and where your house is located. The most optimal direction is a south facing roof because it gets the most sun exposure. But, a roof that isn’t facing south does not mean you won’t benefit from solar. Same with where your house is located. Houses in California get the most sun hours, but houses in Texas, Idaho, or Colorado will still greatly benefit from solar even if it’s not as sunny. Your benefit is determined by the cost of electricity and the solar incentives, which varies by state.

Solar Panel Efficiency

No solar panel brand is the same. Depending on the quality of solar panels you buy, the panel wattage can range anywhere between 150 watts to 370 watts per panel. You must think about how each company constructs their solar panels to give you the best deal. The annual energy usage for a refrigerator is about 500kWh per year, meaning that you would need at least 2 solar panels to generate enough to power the appliance annually. 

A Free Solar Energy Consultation

8760 Solar Solutions provides a free consultation to calculate how you would benefit from solar. Our solar-at-cost program makes it so that you’re saving money and time under our care. We’ll create a  solar panel system plan that gives you the most benefit from solar that takes everything we just discussed into account. Save energy, time, and money with 8760 Solar Solutions!


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