The difference between offsetting your usage and your bill with Solar


Thinking about solar? Knowing the difference between offsetting your electricity bill and offsetting your usage is a great place to start.

You should know the percentage of electricity bill your solar design will offset and the % of your power usage.

It’s common to think they’re the same thing, and we hear from people all to often who thought they were going to offset their electricity bill entirely and there was no way the size solar system they had would have been able to do that.

The solar system was never going to be able to meet their expectations…

I hate hearing this. I want you to know what you’re getting and can make an informed decision.

So what does offsetting your usage mean?

Offsetting your usage is designing a solar system that will produce the same amount of energy for the year as you produce. If you use, 3,650k Wh’s a year to offset your usage 100% your solar system needs to generate 3,650k Wh’s per year.

If your solar system produced 2,920k Wh’s per year, you would offset your usage by 80%.  If you’re not sure what kilowatt-hours are, you can find out more over here.

Because you will produce more in summer than winter, so we look at the whole year. This is regardless of the time of day and any power you send back to the grid.

Why is that different from offsetting your Electricity bill?

Now, your electricity bill is a little bit different, because you’ve got the time of day you use your power and the supply charges to contend with. Chances are you’re not going to be able to use every kilowatt-hour (kWh) that your solar system produces, and even if you did, you would still have a supply charge to cover. This is a cost you pay for being connected to the grid, roughly a dollar a day.

What does this look like?

For example, a recent 11 kW solar system we installed in Gisborne, needed to produce 266% of the clients needs to give them a $0 electricity bill.

Another new system 16kW solar system we designed in Macedon, needed to produce 252% of the client’s usage to provide a $0 electricity bill.

Now you don’t necessarily need a big system to offset your bill! It all depends on how you use your power, not just how much but when.

Another solar system we installed in Gisborne, just 4.6kW produced 287% of the clients needs providing a $0 electricity bill.

Now, many of our clients who offset their bills by 70% or more can still receive $0 electricity bills in summer, however, they will still have bills to pay in winter.

Solar can deliver amazing results when installed well and design to suit you.

Need help finding the right solar solution for your home?
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  • Switchboard inspection
  • Roof Inspection
  • Usage review

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Chantel Gilbert

Author: Chantel Gilbert

Chantel brings her professional qualifications, entrepreneurial edge and passion for customer service together in her role as General Manager of Bluegum Electrical Solutions. Chantel is our go-to for all things to with the Solar Rebates and is a pro at dealing with PowerCor & Jemena. She is challenging the stereotypes in the trade industry and surprising their customers with quality and kindness.

Along the way, Chantel has bagged multiple Excellence in Customer Service Awards on behalf of Bluegum and is the proud recipient of the 2016 Young Business Person of the Year.

Whether she is on the netball court, at the gym or out bushwalking, Chantel is always thinking about the next innovative step for Bluegum and how they can continue to raise the bar and exceed their customer’s expectations.