So, your solar panels are finally on your home and you’ve gotten your first (probably much lower) solar electricity bill — congratulations!

But wait…something seems off.

You’re pretty sure your solar panels have been producing WAY more electricity than the small amount shown on your electric bill. What’s the deal? Has the electric company made a mistake? Or are your solar panels actually not producing as much electricity as you thought? Who’s right and who’s wrong?

No need to panic — both you and your electric bill are right.


What Your Electric Bill Shows — And Doesn’t Show

In short, your electric bill only shows the extra electricity your panels produced. Since much of your solar electricity was probably used to power your home during the daytime, the used amount of energy never entered the electric grid and therefore isn’t recorded on your electric bill.

But when your panels produced more than your home needed at the moment, your solar system fed the excess energy into your electric grid for storage. This excess energy is what you see as “Received” or “credit” on your bill from your electric company. If you utilize battery storage, like Tesla Powerwall, you may feed even less back to the grid because you are able to store excess energy on your own.

Why is the excess energy sent to the grid recorded on your electric bill? Because, due to net metering policies, your electric company credits you for that electricity! Since you “loaned” some electricity to your electric company, they’re basically re-paying that loan via your net metering credit.


How To Read Your Solar Electric Bill

With this in mind, let’s look at a typical Missouri solar electric bill:

utility bill

As shown in the red box, the “182” in the red circle shows how much solar electricity (kWh) was received from your solar system into the grid. Although John’s solar system produced far more energy than 182 kWh, the additional electricity was immediately consumed by his home first.

Only the extra electricity that John’s home couldn’t consume was sent back to the grid, so only that amount shows up on the bill.

So, don’t worry when you see that smaller number on your bill — all it means is that the bulk of your solar electricity is going straight into your building, making your whole electric bill smaller!

Curious what solar can do for you and your home? Use our Solar Savings Calculator and see your potential savings add up! If you’re ready to learn more about going solar, get in touch today for a free, no-strings consultation; our experts here at Sun Solar will be happy to answer any questions you may have!