This estimate is based on an analysis of homes similar to yours in your area. It is designed to meet all your electric power needs and, unlike most solar installations, is an 'always-on' system that will continue to provide electricity even when the power grid is down. If you are not able to accommodate this number of solar panels or your highest electric load requires more than a 100-amp electric service, we can provide solutions to use the grid or a generator to offload peak demand, and we can also provide load-shedding to turn off non-essential loads to conserve power.
This calculator is intended as a guide and is based on limited information about the construction, orientation to the sun, roof slope, lifestyle, and many other factors. That said, we've found it to be surprisingly accurate as a guideline for purchasing a system that will meet your energy needs. As the car companies say 'your mileage may vary.'
Not long ago, solar panels cost ten times as much as they do now. Now, with costs at $1.80 per watt or lower installed, it's more cost effective to oversize your panels rather than over-analyze the problem. If you have few power outages, a low electricity cost, and net metering, then installing more panels always makes sense. But if grid power is expensive or unreliable, you need to store enough energy when you can to make you as self-sufficient as you can be.
Although this calculator provides a pretty good estimate for the number of solar panels, size of the inverter, and how much energy storage you require, you will still need to decide whether you want to have a completely net-zero, off-grid home or a smaller system to handle critical loads during an outage. You'll also need to decide whether to go with a system you can set up yourself like The Daily Sun, or whether you want to have a professionally installed system with a couple central distribution panels and centralized inverter/chargers (we recommend Schneider Electric Conext XW+ or Magnum Energy MS4448PAE) using Elecyr energy storage modules.
How is your house heated?
Your heating, cooling and hot water account for about half of your total energy consumption. Selecting "All Electric" sizes your system to handle these loads
Where are you located? Select your state from the pull-down list.
How big is your house? Use the scroll bar to select your home's square footage or take a guess from small to large
How energy efficient is it? If you are unsure, we can provide some guidelines. How well your house is insulated has a very large impact on energy use.
How do you plan to use your solar power system? "Zero-net-energy" specifies a system that can handle all your average energy use, but sheds the peaks or supplements from the grid. "Ultimate" is for being completely off the grid with no lifestyle compromises
How it Works
We statistically analyzed actual estimates from energy professionals and solar installers. We found that
there’s a correlation with these carefully crafted studies with four key variables - the US state (not just north versus south),
whether or not the house is heated electrically or by oil/gas, the size of the house, and the energy efficiency of the house.
From these four, we can determine degree-days for heating and cooling, insolation (solar gain) at various times of the year, and a pretty good estimate of life-style electric patterns and energy use. Heating and hot water are almost always about half of all energy used and heating is needed when the sun is low in the sky in the north and when the outside temperature is cold. So all-electric, leaky houses in the far north are a problem. But you knew that already.