Keep track of your solar energy usage
It's a good idea to track your solar energy production and usage. Some solar owners use more electricity after installing solar. This can lead to higher-than-expected bills if you aren't careful. Monitoring your solar production can also help you identify if your system isn't performing as it should.
How it works:
- Start by taking a close look at your utility bill. Look for your net usage. This is your total electricity consumption minus the total amount of electricity sent back to the grid. Net usage might look different on your bill if you are a Time of Use (TOU) customer (e.g., Net Peak Usage and Net Off-Peak Usage). You can also use the web tools available on our website to view your net usage over time.
- Solar inverters can be a little confusing to read, so it's worthwhile to read the manual to understand what the different numbers mean. The display usually will show you the number of kWh since the solar panels were installed, and the daily amount of kWh produced (some also show monthly or annual totals).
- If you've had your solar panels for a while, you can compare your production to past months (keeping weather differences in mind). If your panels are new, you should use the monthly kWh estimate your installer gave you for comparison.
- Many solar installation companies offer remote monitoring services that make sure your solar panels are performing properly. They will monitor for you and notify you of performance issues. They often provide a web portal or an app for monitoring as well.
Go the extra mile: There are also home energy monitoring systems available in the market that would allow you to monitor many aspects of your home energy use, including your solar panel production.