It can be difficult to anticipate an exact percentage when forecasting solar panel offset because you are using previous data and making assumptions about the future. A number of things can influence these estimates:
- Roof Size: The number of panels that can be put is limited by the size of your roof.
- Solar Seasonality: Depending on how much sunlight your roof receives throughout the year, the quantity of electricity your panels can create may be limited.
- Utility Regulations: Utilities have the power to limit the amount of offset a system can give.
- Battery Storage: If you can store your surplus solar generation during the day, you can use it at night when your solar panels aren’t producing power, which changes how you use net metering.
Depending on how much energy you use and how much you can potentially create, achieving a desirable solar offset can be tricky. Let’s take a deeper look at these elements:
Size and Type of Roof
If you have a flat roof, you will likely have less space for solar panels than if you have a sloped roof, which offers more surface area and allows you to place more solar panels at the optimal angle.
If your roof doesn’t have enough area for the solar panels you’ll need to achieve your target solar offset, you may need to look into other solutions, such as solar batteries, to store your excess energy.
Seasonality and the amount of sunlight
At night or on a cloudy day, your solar panels will not provide you with energy. As the seasons change, so will the amount of sunshine reaching your panels. As a result, the amount of electricity your solar panels can produce is affected by the weather. This adjustment is dependent on where you reside and can affect your annual solar offset.
Regulations for Utility Companies
Your solar energy system’s maximum offset may be limited by your local utility company. Each utility provider has its own set of guidelines for what is and is not safe to use on their network. If your utility company refuses to help you accomplish your targeted solar offset, you don’t have many options.
Options for Power Storage
You will still use energy at night unless you turn off your entire house, and solar panels do not generate electricity in the dark. You can cover that energy demand with net metering credits, but as we stated, the net metering policy of your local utility company may not cover all of your estimated needs.
Another option is to store your excess energy because the rate of power in to power out is around 1:1. (The system does cause some loss, but it’s minor.) The amount of energy storage you’ll require is determined by your solar offset: To make up the difference, the lower the offset, the more energy storage you’ll require.
Habits of Energy Consumption
Climate, weather, appliance and light use, and time of day all influence your household’s electricity consumption. While you have no control over how much electricity solar panels create, you do have control over how much energy you use, thus controlling your energy use can help your electricity output meet your demands.
Solar Offset Is a Crucial Design Choice
Solar offset must be considered while planning and developing your solar installation. Depending on factors such as your net metering rate and future energy demands, having a solar offset of more than 100 percent may optimise your overall savings, while having a solar offset of less than 100 percent may even be preferable.
You want your solar panels to cover the bulk of your home’s energy needs, but even if you have a 100 percent solar offset, you may still need to purchase electricity from the utility company. You might be able to install a system that entirely matches your energy needs, depending on certain conditions. You may also require add-ons such as energy storage to power your system.
A complex combination of solar system size, net metering considerations, battery storage, and other elements is required to achieve the right solar offset. It also demands homeowners to carefully manage their energy consumption through energy-saving routines and behaviours, smart appliances, energy-efficient lighting, and other methods.