How Many Solar Panels Does It Take To Power a House?

Solar panels to power a house

With the growing desire to take care of our planet and make the world a greener place, there is a lot of conversation about adding solar panels to your home these days. When you’ve finally decided that you want to take the next step to creating a greener home, how do you know where to find the right information? 

Solar panels to power a house

If you’re looking to add solar panels to your home, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out what regulations there are, and how you can go about getting them installed. Once you’ve gotten deep enough into the process, you’ll also have to determine how many solar panels you’ll need to power a house and how much it will cost you.

Hopping on the internet, there seems to be a crazy jungle of information. You land on a site that you think will answer some of your questions, but instead, you receive a bunch of technical information that ends up making you even more confused. Inside paragraphs upon paragraphs, you find promises of reduced energy costs and a great investment on your money, but you don’t know exactly how much these savings are. It is completely understandable if you are skeptical or confused, maybe a little of both. Let’s look into these questions and give you some easy to digest information that will help you determine if adding solar panels for your home is worth the investment.

How Many Solar Panels Supply Enough Energy for the Average Household?

The size of the average house equates to about 1500 square feet. So how much do solar panels cost for a 1500 square foot house? A house of this size usually comes along with an electric bill of around $150 per month, which would need 16 solar panels to generate 10 kw, the average amount of energy this home would consume. That 10kw system would cost about $28,000. 

If this sounds like a whole chunk of money to you, there’s good news. With the federal solar tax credit, which allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing solar panels to your home from your federal taxes offered through December of 2020), the system’s price would essentially drop down to $20,700 which can be financed over five, ten, fifteen or even twenty years. Depending on where you live, there may be other rewards or offers from your energy provider or city for taking the initiative and going solar.

Considering that electricity prices continue to rise, the decision to purchase a solar system makes sense. Even if, in a perfect world, the price for electricity remained around $150 a month over the next 20 years, you would still save about $16,000 in comparison by installing residential solar panels.

What Can Affect How Many Solar Panels Your House Needs?

Remember that the above is a scenario for the average 1500 square foot house. Depending on the actual size of your home and the location, your electricity needs vary and the situation might be different for you. To determine how many solar panels you need to power your home, you first have to factor in the size of your home and the amount of electricity you and your family actually use. Then you must consider the orientation of your roof, how much southern exposure your roof has, and the amount of shade cast on your roof. Even where you choose to install your solar panels on your property affects the number of solar panels needed and the cost involved. Do you want solar panels on your roof or would you prefer them on a car port, a pergola or a ground mount? All of these variables affect the design and cost of your solar system, and the experienced professionals at Solartime take each one into account during the design phase.

How Long Does it Take to Make a Return on Investment From Installing Solar Panels?

Since you’ve decided to make the decision to move in on such a big purchase, you probably want to know how long it will take before you finally make a return on your investment. The return on your investment starts early on. 


It is our opinion that the biggest return on your investment is that you will be making a positive impact on the environment right away. Not only will you stop using electricity that was produced using burning fossil fuels which pollute our environment, you will also help by sending any extra electricity that you over produce back into the grid. Also, the moment you switch to solar, you are immediately independent from the inevitable rise of electricity prices. 

With solar panels for your home, there is no upfront cost. The payments for your panels are locked in at the same price each month. Many of our Solartime customers finance their solar panels for the monthly amount their average electric bill was – essentially swapping one bill for another, while taking a huge step to help save the planet. In addition, your solar panels have a 25 year warranty, but studies show that the average lifespan of a solar panel is about 30-35 years and require little to no maintenance.  


Solartime Can Install Your Panels and Help You Know How Many Your House Needs

At Solartime, our professional advisor who assesses your roof, electric needs, and installation location, is well informed of the local and government incentives for going solar. We pride ourselves on being honest and upfront, so if our advisor determines that solar panels are not a good option for you, he or she will let you know. We only work with professional installers and our professional design team ensures that the system is designed specifically for the needs of your home. We are truly your one-stop solar installer. We are a local Dallas/Ft Worth family owned and operated company, and can’t wait to make you part of our Solartime USA family. 

Solartime USA can take the guesswork out of how many panels you need, and how much it will cost. It’s time to gain your independence from high energy costs by going solar! Call us at (972) 675-7725 or contact us online and we will be in touch with you within 24hrs to schedule your completely free consultation.

33 Easy Earth Day Tips – Save the Planet

Person holding a green plant

The glaciers are melting, the ocean is becoming an island of trash, and your everyday actions could be having a direct impact on the greenhouse effect. In times like this, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and wonder how one person could possibly make a difference. With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to make some simple changes that can actually help save the planet. 

Person holding a green plant

We all have the power to make small but impactful changes in our daily lives. These changes may seem inconsequential on their own, but when combined with the actions of thousands of other people, the positive impact we can collectively have on our planet is huge! Each of us has an impact, positive or negative, the choice is ours. To help you get started, we’ve put together the following 33 easy Earth Day tips.

Earth Day Tips

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turning off your lights when you leave a room is a great way to reduce the amount of energy you are using.
  2. Turn off devices that are not being used. Did you know energy is still used when computers and other electronics are on “stand-by” mode? Turn off your devices to cut back on energy consumption. 
  3. Use refillable water bottles. Stop using single-use plastic bottled and reduce plastic waste.
  4. Reduce waste by using glass containers for your lunches. Ditch the plastic zipper bags and plastic containers in favor of glass containers for a more eco-friendly option.
  5. Use eco-friendly cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals. Not only are eco-friendly cleaning products less harmful to the environment, these products usually have more eco-friendly packaging as well.
  6. Reduce food waste by only buying what you need. Buying in bulk may seem like a great idea, but it often leads to unnecessary food waste when buying fresh foods.
  7. Use silicone reusable bags. Cut back on plastic zipper bags and reduce plastic waste by switching to silicone reusable bags. 
  8. Buy locally grown food if possible. Less gasoline is used when the food doesn’t have to travel long distances.
  9. Don’t let your car idle. If you know you’re making a stop that will last longer than a couple of minutes, turn your engine off to reduce emissions. 
  10. Bring your reusable cup to your favorite coffee shop. Some cafes even give you a discount for going green so you can save some cash while you reduce waste.
  11. Collect rainwater for your plants. This is a great way to save potable water and also reduce your carbon footprint.
  12. Use cloth towels instead of paper towels. Clean up messes with cloth towels instead of creating unnecessary waste with paper towels.
  13. Use rechargeable batteries. Batteries can release heavy metals into the environment when dropped into a landfill. By using rechargeable batteries, you reduce the number of batteries that end up in landfills.
  14. Make sure none of your faucets are leaking. Little drops of water from leaky faucets add up to big water bills and a lot of wasted water.
  15. Get a set of reusable straws. Stop using plastic straws that can end up hurting animals like sea turtles.
  16. Leave your car at home. Organize a carpool, take a ride-share or use your bicycle when possible to cut back on emissions.
  17. Switch your light bulbs out for energy efficient ones. You can reduce energy consumption and your electricity bill when you switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs.
  18. Turn your faucet off when you brush your teeth. It’s surprising how much water you can save just by shutting off the faucet while you brush your teeth. 
  19. Fix items that don’t work instead of throwing them away. Waste less and save money by trying to fix broken items. There are so many tutorials online to help you with this!
  20. Unsubscribe from junk mail. Save the trees and reduce the amount of paper you throw out when you say goodbye to junk mail. 
  21. Go paperless. Have your receipts and monthly statements emailed to you to cut back on paper waste.
  22. Recycle old phones. Go to recycling centers/events in your area to recycle your old phones. Recycling electronics not only helps to conserve energy but also prevents the devices from ending up in a landfill where they can release harmful toxins into the environment.
  23. Start a garden. Growing your own food in a home garden is a great idea for several reasons. It will reduce your carbon footprint by not relying on produce that’s shipped in from another location, it’ll create a food source and habitat for insects and animals, and can help reduce air pollution.
  24. Use your own reusable bags. By using reusable bags instead of single-use plastic grocery bags, not only will you cut down on plastic waste, but often you will get a discount for bringing your own bags.
  25. Cook at home. Help reduce the use of take-out containers and plastic cutlery, not to mention the benefits this brings to your health and your pocketbook.
  26. Repurpose and reuse glass and other containers. This eliminates the need for buying new containers and reduces trash by not throwing them away.
  27. Create your own natural cleaners. It’s easy to find recipes for all sorts of natural cleaners using household ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. You’ll reduce the amount of harmful chemicals you use plus you’ll cut down on plastic waste. 
  28. Hand wash your dishes. Go old-fashioned on your dishes and wash them by hand. You’ll save water and energy in addition to lowering your utility bill.
  29. Line dry your clothes. By drying your clothes in the fresh air, you’ll cut back on energy consumption and you’ll be amazed at how wonderful your laundry smells!
  30. Organize a cleaning event. Clean up a park, a playground area, or organize a neighborhood clean up! Get your friends, family, and neighbors involved to help clean up your city!
  31. Start a neighborhood garden. Just like with starting a home garden, a neighborhood garden helps prevent erosion and reduce air pollution. Plus, the extra produce can be sold to benefit a charity.
  32. Get kids involved.  Start a “go green challenge” to see how many environmentally friendly Earth Day ideas your kids can come up with – You may be very surprised!
  33. Volunteer at an environmental organization. Save the planet with new friends by volunteering at an environmental organization. 


Want to Celebrate Earth Day Year-Round? Convert to Solar Energy!

So, you’ve read through our Earth Day tips but want to do even more for the environment? Make everyday Earth Day by converting your home to solar energy! With solar energy, you produce your own electricity by utilizing the sun’s abundant energy, which helps the environment by reducing the need for energy produced using fossil fuels. Plus, any surplus clean electricity your solar panels produce gets fed back to the electric company.

The process for going solar is simple! Call 972-675-7725 or contact us online to set up your free consultation. Once you’ve decided to become part of the Solartime family, our professionals will take care of the rest. From filling out paperwork with the city to dealing with your HOA or electric company. We set up all appointments and have your new system installed, connected and inspected. We are a local family owned and operated Dallas/Ft Worth company so we are here to support you long past the installation.

What You Need to Know About the Solar Tax Credit in 2020

Solar TaxCreddit

As Tax Season approaches and we get ready to collect our W2s and 1099’s, we also look for expenses we can deduct so we pay as little in taxes as possible. One of the ways to get a significant tax credit is to go solar. The Federal Government is currently offering a Solar Tax Credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). If you pay income taxes you are almost certainly eligible to take advantage of this credit, whether you are a homeowner or a business owner. Best of all there is no cap to the credit you can receive.  In this blog post we will dig deeper into the 2020 Solar Tax Credit and explore its benefits and limitations. 

Solar Tax Credit
Solar Tax Credit

History of the Solar Tax Credit

The Investment Tax Credit was first put into place through the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This federal policy caused a surge in popularity of solar energy installations in the U.S. and created hundreds of thousands of jobs in the industry, helping the American economy. The federal tax credit was supposed to decrease to 10% in 2015 for all solar systems, but thanks to the overall popularity of the credit, it was extended for another 7 years! Due to the increased popularity of this credit, the amount of homeowners installing solar panels on their roofs have been growing exponentially every year! 

Homeowners who were able to install their systems in 2019 qualified for the 30% Tax Credit. The current value of it in 2020 decreased to 26%. That number will drop to 22% next year, only to phase out completely in 2022 for residential systems. However it will remain permanently at 10% for commercial solar installations.  That being said, there is still time for homeowners who did not look into the benefits of going solar to take advantage of the ITC. We are actually curious to see what will happen to the credit when 2022 knocks on our door! 

What is the Solar Tax Credit?

The federal government allows homeowners who purchase solar systems to deduct 26% of the value of the system on their tax returns. If the system is leased, you are unable to claim this credit. The Solar Tax Credit is based on the tax liability of the homeowner. Basically the IRS will not refund you more than you have paid in taxes, but thankfully the credit can rollover to the next year. For example, if you solar system cost $30,000 before the tax credit, you are eligible for $7,800 (26% of the total gross cost) in Tax Credit. Now, if your tax liability is $6,000, then you will get $6,000 the first year, and will be able to roll over $1,800 for the next year. If your tax liability is higher than your tax credit you will get a full credit the same year.  

How can you claim the tax credit?

If you purchased your system in 2018, then your tax credit form would have to appear on your 2018 Tax Return. The same is true for systems purchased in 2019 except you would be filing it now. In order to claim the tax credit, you or your CPA will have to fill out form 5695, which you can access here. In order to properly complete the form, you will need a paid receipt for your installation. The solar company you purchased your system from should be able to provide you with that. Then, you and your CPA can fill out the form, which is fairly simple and straightforward.  After filling the form out, you will then add the credit to the appropriate Credit portion on your 1040 form. In the new form case, the solar tax credit will go to Schedule 3 on your 1040 form.

What happens with the credit that was unclaimed?

If you filed your 5695 form in 2018, and your tax liability was lower than your tax credit, you have a remainder credit that needs to be rolled over to your 2019 tax return. REMEMBER to do that so you do not lose your credit. This credit was placed on the form in number #12. If you are filing now, and will not be able to claim the full credit make sure that your CPA places the roll over credit in line #16. 

 If you forgot to claim your Tax Credit last year, make sure to speak to a Tax Professional who can amend your tax return for the past 3 years. That money is YOURS, do not give up on it! 

Join The Solar Community

The tax credit is now in effect, and is set to expire in 2022. Make sure that you take advantage of this opportunity and lower your overall cost as much as you can. Make sure that the credit is claimed for the year that the system was completed. The Sun is there for all of us everyday, and it will not charge us to use its sun rays to generate electricity for years to come! Take advantage of it and start Saving! 

If you have any other questions or you need help filling your Tax Credit, let us know so we can help!



CALL OR TEXT  972 675 7725

The 3 Types of Solar Panels: Know Your Options

types of solar panels

What Are The Three Types of Solar Panels?

The three types of solar panels are monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and Amorphous solar panels. Today’s Solar Panels can be traced back to the 19th Century when Alexander Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect and explained that we can generate electricity from sunlight. It then took us 100 more years to invent a solar cell! Shortly after that, we started using solar energy to power Space Satellites and now the International Space Station. Nowadays, solar cells can be produced in a few different ways, providing homeowners with choices. See below the three most popular types of solar panels used by Dallas solar companies and what differentiates them. 

types of solar panels

Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono)

Out of the three types of solar panels, Monocrystalline solar panels are made of monocrystalline silicon. They are the most commonly used solar cells in the residential market.

Thanks to their silicon’s purity, these solar panels are very productive. Their efficiency rate is around 20%. When it comes to high temperatures, the monocrystalline silicon makes the panels incredibly durable and efficient, which slightly influences higher prices. Additionally, the Mono-Si panels have a high-power output and a lifespan of more than 25 years! 

Polycrystalline Solar Panels (Poli) 

The polycrystalline panels are made by melting raw silicon, which significantly reduces their production time and price. Their efficiency rate is slightly lower than monocrystalline panels,  around 16% and (like Mono panels) will last for over 25 years! They are produced differently, so their look differs from monocrystalline panels: they have a blue, speckled look to them. While they may look different, these panels are just as good as monocrystalline panels and are commonly used in the commercial sector. 

Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels 

Amorphous panels are produced by placing materials like silicon, copper or cadmium onto a base. The surface color can either be dark blue or black. In comparison to the other types of solar panels Mono and Poli, this kind of panel is cheaper because their manufacturing utilizes less material. Also, thin-film panels are often used for smaller solar power installations and are very flexible, which makes the application highly manageable. They have a lifespan of about 15 years and their efficiency rate reaches 10%. Consequently, you need twice as many amorphous panels to generate the same amount of power as monocrystalline panels.

The table below shows a comparison of three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, 

polycrystalline, and thin-film.

types of solar panels

These three most common types of solar panels are all advantageous for different reasons, and anyone of them may be the best for your specific needs. For your questions regarding the switch to Dallas solar or about which of the three types of solar panels may be best for you, contact Solartime USA today.

Looking for more information on solar panels? Get a solar panel 101 run down on how they work and the benefits they bring!

How the 2019 Federal Solar Tax Credit Works and What You Need to Know

solar tax credit 2019

Solar energy not only helps save the planet, but it can also help you save money!

Did you know that once you install solar panels on your home, you’re eligible to claim a third of your total setup costs on your tax return? For anyone who’s on the fence about switching to solar from traditional power grids, reaping the benefits from the Federal Solar Tax Credit could be just the thing to sway your decision. 

Here’s what you need to know in order to do it right: 

Understanding the Federal Solar Tax Credit

As mentioned above, the Federal Solar Tax Credit (or the Investment Tax Credit) allows you to claim 30% of your total solar installation, licenses, and equipment costs on your Federal tax return. 

This means that if you wind up spending $15,000 altogether on your new solar system, you’ll essentially save $5,000 on your taxes the next year. In fact, research shows that the average solar shopper in 2019 saves around $5,000 just by switching to solar and taking advantage of the current program.

This opportunity was originally introduced in 2016, and Congress has since extended the tax credit to 2022 for homeowners to take advantage of in hopes to promote sustainable energy consumption. However, this deal won’t be around for long.  

How the Federal Solar Tax Credit Will Change Over the Years

Unfortunately, the Federal Solar Tax Credit only has a lifespan of 5 years. Not to mention, its value depreciates the longer you wait. 

The amount that you can deduct from your following year’s taxes becomes less and less with each passing year. Here’s a quick breakdown of the payout differences:

  • 2019: If you purchase solar panels within the year, you can enjoy the full 30% tax credit on your entire system installation. Now is the time to buy since 2019 is more than halfway through!
  • 2020: Anyone who makes the change to solar energy can enjoy a 26% tax credit off their total cost.
  • 2021: A little late to the game, but homeowners and commercial business owners can still claim a 22% tax credit on their solar panel system from Uncle Sam. 
  • 2022 and beyond: At this point, only commercial solar energy buyers can claim a modest 10% tax credit on their solar setups. Residential homeowners are out of luck. 

Although the deal starts to wither, the U.S government does give buyers a little breathing room to get the job done and reap the rewards. For instance, changes to the program have made it so that people can claim the tax credit immediately after construction and installation is finished. The only catch is that solar systems have to be fully operational by the end of 2023. 

Knowing if You’re Eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Combing through all this information concerning timeframes and percentages may seem a bit overwhelming, but knowing if you’re eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit and claiming benefits is pretty straightforward. 

Essentially, the only stipulation that determines your eligibility for the Investment Tax Credit is whether or not you own your solar system outright. This means that, if you happen to lease your solar systems through a solar energy provider, you do not own the equipment. Therefore, you’re not eligible for any kind of tax credit. 

On the other hand, if you do own your system, great! Claiming your solar tax credit is as easy as informing your year-end accountant about your purchase and giving them the proof, or if you use a virtual tax filer (TurboTax, H&R Block), you can simply plug in the credit and watch your savings roll in. 

Working with a Solar Professional Can Help

Whether you’ve already made a solar system purchase or you’re considering taking the plunge, working with a solar professional can help make the process a lot easier. 

For those with a setup in place, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider to ask questions and gain valuable insights so that you can get the most out of your energy plan. From product issues to general questions, an expert-level solar provider should assist you with any problems so that you can live a better life with a sustainable peace of mind. That being said, if solar energy is new to you, then feel free to contact a professional at SolarTime USA to learn more. 

Their mission is to always put the customer first. Serving over 21,000 families and businesses throughout the U.S. and Europe, you can trust that your solar needs will be met with the utmost care, and most of all, the greatest affordability. 

Reaping the benefits of the Federal Solar Tax Credit is just one aspect of how solar energy can benefit your home, so visit Dallas Solar Company SolarTime USA today and start making a difference for the future.