Here is how to estimate the size of a Solar Power System for your home plus an electric car:
- For the U.S. Solar Calculator enter your zip code or for the Global Solar Calculator enter your latitude and longitude.
- Review your electric bills to determine how many kWh of electricity you have used for your home in the past 12 months and enter this into Solar Calculator below. Also, while reviewing your electric bills, total up how much you have spent on electricity for the year and divide the annual cost by annual kWh of electricity used to get your cost per kWh. This will be entered into the Solar Calculator in step 6 below. If you do not have your electric bills for the last 12 months, call your power company and ask them to provide you with this information.
- Determine how many miles you drive your car per year and enter into Solar Calculator below.
- Enter the cost of Solar Power System per DC watt. Based on recent bids, the cost is from $2.70 to $4.24 per DC watt. DC Watts are the same as the name plate Watts of the solar panels. (e.g., If a solar power system has ten 200 Watt panels, the total DC Watts is 10 times 200 Watts or 2,000 DC Watts and if the total cost of the Solar Power System minus rebates is $6,000, then the cost per DC Watt would be $6,000 / 2,000, which is $3.00 per DC Watt)
- The Solar Calculator will estimate the total kWh of electricity needed per year for your home and car and estimate the Solar Power System size, purchase cost, and cost per kWh.
- Enter the average cost of electricity, from step 2, and gasoline for your area, and MPG for your old gas car into the Solar Calculator below.
- The Solar Calculator will estimate the annual savings for electricity and gasoline and the payback period for a Solar Power System, which will meet your needs.
The next steps are to:
- Get bids from at least 3 different solar providers in your area for a Solar Power System which will meet your needs.
- Buy the Solar Power System, do not lease it. Leases are not a good deal because the cost of most leases go up 3% a year and after 15 to 20 years you do not own the Solar Power System. Even taking a home equity loan is better than leasing.
- Have the selected solar system installed on your house. You are now half way to sustainable energy independence.
- Find and acquire an electric car, which will meet the majority of your driving needs. To review the selection of electric cars, visit the Plug in America web site.
- To help increase the selection of electric cars, let all the car companies know that the next car you buy will be an electric car.
Solar Power System Calculator
Estimates size, cost, and payback period for a Solar Power System based on your location and needs. The calculator assumes you replace your gasoline car with an electric car.