Solar panels can save you a lot of money on your electrical usage while being better for the environment. Summertime usually has the highest electrical use due to air conditioning. The good news is that installing solar panels can help save on your AC usage in more than one way. [Read more…] about Can Solar Save on AC Usage? 4 Ways to Save Money
If your electrical bills have been higher lately even though you have solar panels, you’re probably thinking that the panels aren’t working correctly. In reality, your PSEG bill went up due to a set of unusual circumstances in the past year. Let’s start by explaining net metering.
How Does Net Metering Work?
Solar panels produce more energy on some days and specific periods of the year than others. In states that have net metering laws, when your solar panels produce more energy than you use on a given day, the local electric company buys that surplus energy and “banks” it toward your electrical bill. Lower New York electric companies are PSEG on Long Island and ConEd in New York City.
So why the surge in PSEG bills in 2020 and 2021? As with many things in that period, you can blame the COVID-19 pandemic.
As daylight hours increase in spring, people typically spend more time outside enjoying the warm weather or going away for long weekends or full-scale vacations. So while their solar panels are creating energy, it goes unused. Spring weather usually requires less air conditioning than the big production months of July and August, so April, May, and June are typically prime months for building your energy bank with your electrical company.
The problem is that those months in 2020 were the height of the pandemic lockdown. People switched to working from home, weren’t going out, and not traveling. Tufts University highlighted this phenomenon in a recent article.
Instead of building an energy bank, homeowners with solar panels used as much electricity as they were producing or close to it. In many cases, they were even using more than their panels were collecting due to the unprecedented conditions.
Summer last year was just as bad. While people went out more frequently to break up the boredom of lockdown, the pandemic seriously curtailed summer travel. Movie theaters and summer camps in NY were closed. Summer fairs, festivals, and concerts were canceled. The typical summer activities that would take people out of their homes didn’t happen or occurred on a much smaller scale.
Worse, summer 2020 was a hot one, requiring even more air conditioning. All of those changes increased home energy use. Clean energy technology company Arcadia estimated that one-third of all U.S. households saw increases of 10-15 percent in their electrical bills.
Compounding the issue in New York is that during the lockdown, PSEG LI and ConEd only sent meter readers to homes with outside meters. The utilities used estimated billing for homes with meters inside. The estimates ended up being too conservative, which meant that when readings resumed in the fall, homeowners ended up with adjusted bills that were higher. So the combination of a smaller energy bank – if any – and higher bills are why your PSEG bill went up despite having solar panels.
If that’s what happened in 2020, why are some bills still high in 2021? Because the circumstances didn’t change instantly. Widespread vaccinations didn’t get rolling until March and April. While lockdown has ended, many people are still working from home and haven’t entirely switched back to pre-pandemic activities, all of which hinder building a bank with your electrical company.
While frustrating, the fact that 2020’s circumstances made it difficult for homeowners to build up a bank with PSEG and ConEd and quickly depleted any they did accumulate was an unusual set of circumstances. Still, those with solar panels faced much smaller electrical bills than their neighbors without them.
Greenleaf Is Long Island’s Leading Solar Company
Are you thinking about adding solar? Greenleaf Solar is one of America’s most trusted and reliable solar companies serving residential, commercial, and municipal needs. We’ve helped thousands of Long Islanders switch to high-efficiency solar systems. Contact our solar energy experts now for a free consultation.
Did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the most famous installation of solar panels in American history? Solar panels weren’t such a common sight on the roofs of American homes in the 1970s, but in 1979 they were installed on the roof of the most famous home in the United States. The story of the first solar panels at the White House took many twists and turns and although they were controversial at the time, they helped start the solar revolution in this country. GreenLeaf Solar wants to tell you this story from the 20th century and wants to show you how it resonates in the 21st century.
[Read more…] about First Solar Panels at the White House
There are many reasons why you might want to join the solar revolution. You may be trying to get long-term savings on your electricity bill, or you may be motivated to reduce your carbon footprint and be kinder to the planet. But there is one question that runs through the mind of anyone who considers installing solar panels in their home. How will this affect my property value? [Read more…] about Solar Panels and Property Value
At GreenLeaf Solar, we know that even our most committed customers are going to have questions about their solar power. You may know that solar energy can reduce your electric bill and even earn you a profit in some cases. You also know that you’ll be doing your part to help the planet by reducing your dependence on fossil fuels. There’s a lot of benefit to solar power, but GreenLeaf understands that our customers will want to know about the nuts and bolts of how Solar Panels work. One question that we often receive has to do with solar panel maintenance.
Everyone needs a little direction in life. Statements like that are often philosophical and refer to things like career paths, academic choices or family decisions. But sometimes the question, “What direction?” has very practical applications. If you’re taking a car trip, you’re going to need a GPS or a map to figure out what direction you’re heading. When you book a hotel, you might want a room facing in a particular direction to bring in or keep out sunlight. GreenLeaf Solar also wants you to know that the direction of sunlight has an obvious impact on solar panels and the question of knowing which direction your panels should face is a question we often hear.
You’ve probably heard solar described as the “energy of the future.” That may make you think of all sorts of complicated technology that you might see in a science fiction movie, but in truth, the ideas behind solar panels have been around for a long time. Solar panels are not as complicated as they may seem, but Greenleaf Solar wants you to know that solar is still the energy of the future. That’s because it makes more and more sense to install solar panels to save money and to be kind to our planet.
You’ve probably heard about it all of your life. The energy of the future is solar power, while fossil fuels are a dinosaur. You’ve also almost certainly heard of the benefits of solar energy, that it’s a constantly renewable source of power compared to the finite amount of fossil fuel available. Solar power benefits the planet, while fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas create greenhouse gasses. Despite all this, fossil fuels are still the dominant energy source in America. According to the US Energy Information Office, fossil fuels have made up at least 80 percent of our countries fuel consumption for more than 100 years. But renewable energy use is on the rise and GreenLeaf Solar can help you become part of the revolution.
Recently, history was made in the state of California and it’s going to result in a lot of people saving money, energy and our planet. On May 9, the Golden State voted to become the first state in the union to require new homes to install solar panels. The move was approved unanimously by the California Energy Commission, according to the New York Times. The requirement takes effect in 2020. At GreenLeaf Solar, Long Island’s leading solar company, we know that installing solar panels can change your life in many ways and we can’t wait to see how the solar revolution transforms California.
In many ways, 2018 has been the year of cryptocurrency. Modern currencies such as Bitcoin have been making headlines as values have risen, fortunes have been made, while others have criticized this new way of conducting financial transactions. Cryptocurrency has many uses, but did you know that it’s impacting the solar industry? That’s because of SolarCoin, a type of cryptocurrency that’s designed to help solar customers. At Greenleaf Solar, we want our customers to know everything they can about solar power.
There are few things that can be more stressful for your family than an extended power outage. Even short outages of a couple of hours can create problems and costs for your household. Power outages can rise to the level of a full-fledged crisis. Puerto Rico has dealt with months of power outages as a result of Hurricane Maria. And here on Long Island, many of us were without power in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Modern life without power can be difficult and at GreenLeaf Solar, we’re often asked about whether or not solar panels work during power outages.