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What makes CutMyBill better than other solar cost and savings calculators for SRP customers?
There are three key reasons that our SRP solar cost and bill savings calculator is far better than any other solar calculator or solar estimate website on the net for SRP customers;
- Firstly, whilst most solar panels calculators are really good at forecasting the electricity production you can get from installing solar panels for your home (because they all rely on the pwatts.nrel.gov solar production data) most of them just use a single generic state wide unit cost for electricity in their calculations. Our SRP solar cost and bill savings calculator actually uses our database of each of the available SRP electric rates plans to use more specific electricity cost data. Therefore we can generate much more accurate solar savings analysis.
- The second reason is that we use DOE (Department of Energy) electricity usage patterns for the SRP service territory, and some very basic questions we ask you about your home to estimate how you use power over the course of a day and the seasons of the year. This allows us to accurately forecast solar savings where time of use electricity plans are available to you. We estimate your electricity usage for each hour of the year and then overlay the known production of solar panels in your area for each hour of the year. Without this level of detail solar panel cost and savings calculators on are inaccurate; and
- Lastly, before we even consider solar savings, we look for any savings that can be achieved simply by swapping to a cheaper available SRP rate plan. Our software looks for any available SRP rates plan that works our cheaper for your estimated usage pattern. Generally speaking savings from swapping to a cheaper SRP rates plan are only available to those who have larger monthly electric bills but given it only takes a phone call to achieve these savings it is by far the quickest and easiest bill cutting option where it is possible.
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Will installing a solar power system or swapping rate plans save me the most on my monthly SRP payment?
There are almost always far greater cost savings to be obtained from installing solar panels than swapping rates plans but this doesn't mean possible savings from swapping rate plans should be ignored. The other reason we search for your cheapest rate plan is that to forecast total possible savings you could get on your bill you need to take into account both savings that may be available from swapping to the cheapest rate plan and also savings that come from swapping your generation source for some of your power usage to your own solar power.
Compare savings from swapping rate plans to solar savingsCalculate
How accurate is the CutMyBill estimate of my power usage pattern?
The CutMyBill electricity usage profile estimator is a key part of the technology of why CutMyBill can forecast solar and bill swapping savings so accurately without requiring you to enter your kilowatt hour electricity usage for each month of the year or to upload 12 months worth of power bills.
The way we do this is we use electricity use profiles collected by the Department of Energy for each building type at each weather station across the SRP service territory. Some of the characteristics of your home such as your average monthly power spend and the square footage of your home are used to refine this analysis.
This gives a fairly accurate estimate but it is not an exact estimate. The best way to get an exact estimate of your solar savings and whether or not there are possible savings from swapping rate plans is to speak to one of your local solar companies. Whilst solar companies are experts in solar they also become experts in knowing the cheapest rate plans (both before and after solar) from their local utility companies.
Estimate my power usage pattern over a day and over the seasons of the yearCalculate
Can I get a lower power bill by swapping to a different SRP rate plan?
The short answer is yes, usually swapping to the right plan can save between $0-$15 a month depending on how much electricity you use and when you use it.
The main way people save money by switching rate plans, is to swap from a tiered rate to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan. TOU plans offer a peak period where electricity is a high rate and an off-peak where electricity is charged at a lower rate.
If you are able to shift some of your power use away from peak hours you will be benefit from a lower rate through the non-peak periods. SRP claims that customers save on average 6% off their annual electricity bill by swapping to the TOU plan from the basic Tiered rate plan.
If you want to know more about the plans offered by SRP, check out this article on Which is the best SRP rate plan.
Finding the right plan is not easy though, everyone uses power differently and therefore to find the right plan you'll need to get your interval data from the last 12 months and run a comparison on the different rate plans.
SRP will give you this data for free. Once you have your interval data you can work out what is the cheapest plan for you and start saving on your power bill.
How much can I lower my power bill through adopting energy efficiency measures?
Energy efficiency can be broken up into two categories; Installing new devices, and how you use the devices you have.
Installing new devices is easy. This can range from installing energy efficient lights to swapping out that old fridge. Most people don't realize that a new fridge or washing machine can often lower their electricity bill enough to pay for itself within a few years. New appliances are in general far more efficient than older models and as a result use less power.
The second category is both easier and harder to implement than the first. Using your devices differently, shifting time of use from peak to off-peak hours may require breaking long held habits, which is sometimes hard.
Although, when you are conscious about the energy you're using, it can be easy to save dollars off your power bill by; taking shorter showers, hanging clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer, setting the washing machine to cold and unplugging wasteful devices at the wall.
How to calculate savings from energy efficiency measures?
The Department of Energy has developed a series of energy efficiency savings calculators that allow you to calculate the amount of money, you could save broken down into the major categories of appliances that use power such as:
- Clothes washing and drying
- Food preparation and dish washing
The Department of Energy publishes calculators can be used to calculate savings that can be achieved by using these devices less frequently (lifestyle changes) and also savings that can be achieved by using more efficient versions of each of these appliances.
What incentives are available from SRP for energy efficiency?
SRP offers a $99 home energy audit, a $29.95 AC checkup, $250 Duct test and repair rebate and a rebate up to $800 for installing a new AC. SRP also offer incentives and rebates for shade screens and solar hot water heaters.
All of these incentives and rebates have terms and conditions.
What other government incentives are available to SRP Customers for energy efficiency?
There are some rebates and tax credits available from the Department of Energy for installing energy efficient appliances and renovations.
Installing solar panels as a SRP Customer?
Arizona has the highest level of solar irradiation in the United States, because of this and the generous incentives that are still available, Arizona is one of the best states to install solar.
It's so hot and sunny in Arizona that solar panels produce more electricity than any other state in America. That alone would be enough to make me install solar, but Arizona also has very generous local and federal incentives. The 30% federal tax credit and the 25% credit (up to $1000) make solar thousands of dollars cheaper. For example, a $20,000 system will only cost $13,000 after these incentives. Net metering also exists which makes solar in Arizona irresistible.
Installing solar in Arizona is a no-brainer. You will certainly make a return on your initial investment. In most cases solar ends up saving customers tens of thousands off their electricity bills over 25 years.
Calculate your likely cost, savings and payback period from installing solar panels given your usageCalculate
What are the limitations of solar?
The most obvious downside of solar is perhaps that it is generally not available to renters and to those living in multi-family buildings such as apartments or condominiums.
This article explores the issues and the process of installing solar panels for your home as an SRP customer. It also outlines net metering offered by SRP.
Of course, the other limitation of solar is that the sun only shines during the day and so it is not on its own a permanent energy source. This is partly the reason why there is now so much interest in battery storage.
Energy storage is needed to make intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar and wind usable at times when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. This article explores the pros and cons of solar energy generally.
Should I buy solar now?
Knowing when to buy solar can be tricky. The cost of solar has fallen dramatically over the past 8 years and will continue to fall, albeit somewhat more slowly, in the foreseeable future. In a few years solar systems will be almost certainly be cheaper than they are today.
You would think it mighht make sense to to install solar later, as the cost is still falling. However as a SRP customer, in reality right now in 2018 is the best time to install solar.
This is mainly due to the incentives available. Essentially, the government will pay for a large portion of your solar system. In 2019, the federal solar incentive will start to reduce and Arizona is one of the few states to still offer a 25% rebate for solar. You should not expect these great incentives to last forever.
Right now is a great time to invest in solar. The incentives available to SRP customers make solar a great deal, butthese fabulous incentives have an expiry date and that date is coming soon. If you've ever thought about installing solar, contact local installers today before you miss out.
Find more about Salt River Project (SRP) electric rate plans.