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Solar Arrays Are Not "One-Size-Fits-All"


Scarves. Baseball caps. Wristwatches. Sometimes “one size fits all” is great.

When considering a solar panel installation, though, what works for one person may not be the best fit for you. It’s important to first consider your energy needs and then work with a trusted solar energy installer like BEC Solar to determine your energy use habits and design the right size solar array for your needs.

First, determine how much of your electric bill you would like to offset by using solar energy. Do you want your solar array to produce a portion of your energy? Or do you want to try to offset 100% of your energy with solar?

Then, examine your current electric bills. How many kilowatt hours of electricity do you use per month and per year? Knowing this will help you understand what size solar array you need to support the everyday consumption in your household or business.

Remember, BEC provides members a wholesale fixed export credit for any energy put back on the grid. This means that depending on your energy consumption habits and times of the day you use your energy, solar energy may or may not be the best fit. Ideally you want to use all the energy your system produces to get the best benefit, and a BEC Solar representative can help determine if solar energy for you.

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration’s most current data, in 2017, households in the U.S. consumed an average of about 10,400 kilowatt-hours annually, or 867 kilowatt hours per month. In 2017, the average energy usage per BEC member household was 1,055 kilowatt hours per month.

With those numbers in mind, a typical household will most likely need 32 325-watt solar panels to offset 100% of their energy use. A larger home, a working farm or ranch, or a business may need more panels to offset its energy.

The number of panels needed also depends on your geographic location, roof size, and Texas’ average number of peak sunlight hours, too. A BEC Solar team member can help you understand all of these factors that go into designing a solar array.

As a general guide:
  • A 5 kW system will produce about 7,000 kilowatt hours of energy and require an average of 12-16 panels.
  • A 10 kW system will produce about 14,000 kilowatt hours and need around 24-32 panels.
  • A 15 kW system will produce about 21,000 kilowatt hours and use 36-48 panels.

And a BEC Solar team member can advise you on the range of available sizes of systems. For example, a 10 kW system could be best for your home. Perhaps a 50 kW system would work best for your business.

Start by determining your energy-saving goals and your budget, and then connect with BEC Solar to start designing a customized solar array. Large, small and in between, the size that matters most is the one that fits your needs.

To speak with a BEC Solar Energy Advisor, call 830.331.4500 or visit BanderaElectric.com/Solar to learn more.

Posted: 3/14/2019 1:00:00 PM
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