A common question for people who are thinking about going solar in their home or business is “How many solar panels do you need?” It sounds like a simple question–and an important one for determining how much money you’ll be spending–but it’s not always so simple to answer. 

There are a number of different factors involved in determining how big of a solar energy system you’ll need, each tailored to your individual lifestyle and location of the solar energy system. Let’s go over some of these factors.

1. Your Energy Use

Pull out your past utility bills and look for your monthly energy use. Your bill may even show a comparison of the current month’s usage to the previous year, allowing you to really narrow down what your average usage is. This is vital to understanding your personal energy habits so we can accurately determine how to replicate the same amount of energy to be produced by your solar energy system.

2. Address of Your Home or Business

What state you’re located in plays a big part in how much your solar energy system will cost you. Many states offer incentives like tax credits to homeowners and business owners for going solar. Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program offers up to $2,000 for residential solar installations and $4,000 for commercial solar installations. In Illinois, you can receive 30%-40% of your cost back through renewable energy incentives.

3. Roof Direction

What direction your roof faces determines how much sunlight you get each day. In Wisconsin and Illinois, south-facing roofs receive the most direct sunlight, but east/west and southeast/southwest roofs receive a decent amount too. Each provides more than enough light to supply year-round solar energy.

Now that you know some of the key variables involved in figuring out how much solar you need for your home or business, head over to our solar calculator and plug in your information. This handy tool estimates the overall cost of your solar energy system, as well as estimates for the incentives you’ll receive through your state. After that, you can contact us to set up an official quote or ask any and all questions about how to make your solar dreams a reality!

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