You open your electricity bill and find the usual, unbelievably high dollar amount due. It’s a tale as old as time. Many homeowners have the same disappointing experience every month. And don’t even get us started on the astronomical costs during the summer with heavier energy use. A lot of homeowners open their bills to see that the electric company has raised their rates – again! It’s happening all across the country. Electric companies are even pushing back on the solar movement in an attempt to reduce the benefits of solar to homeowners. If you’re fed up with the high cost of energy and power moves by the power company, gain control with solar.

That’s what homeowner Kenneth Poore was able to do.

Kenneth is a homeowner from Arkansas and has been a Sunpro Solar (now ADT Solar) customer for about a year now. He was tired of paying his higher-than-average electricity bill in Arkansas. In recent years, Arkansas utility companies have been increasing customers’ rates to spread out their incurred costs from winter storms.

When Kenneth switched to solar, he didn’t just drastically reduce his electricity bill – but his bill has actually become NEGATIVE! How is this possible, you ask?

Keep reading to find out how this solar customer achieved a negative energy bill with his solar installation.

Homeowner Q&A

How did you hear about us and why did you choose us?

Kenneth found us on social media and submitted a form for more information. We got in touch with him quickly. “When I was researching other companies, I found they used panels that were single loop, where if one panel goes out, they all go out. But you use [advanced technology] microinverters. If one goes out, your system is still operational, even while waiting for the other panel to get fixed. That was a big plus. Then I talked to other companies that didn’t have nearly as good of warranties or didn’t clearly outline their warranties. So, I was impressed with your 25-year guarantees.”

What was the onboarding/installation process like?

When [the team] came out to Kenneth’s house, he just so happened to have an electrician out doing some other work. “I didn’t know how power worked; I didn’t know what to ask the salesman,” says Kenneth. Luckily, the electrician was able to communicate the needs of Kenneth’s home to the salesman and ask the necessary questions. “I felt confident learning that you all knew what you were talking about,” says Kenneth. From the onboarding to the installation, and even the cleanup, Kenneth confirms we did an excellent job.

closeup of solar panels being installed on a roof

How many panels do you have?

“I ended up with 30 panels. And it looks good even with that many! I was hesitant about what they were going to look like but I was really impressed with the overall look of them. I used to think they were an eyesore on roofs, but now the panels look a lot more attractive. ”

What was your typical energy bill like before solar?

“My electric bill averaged $125 a month or so before I went solar. The highest I ever had was around $200.”

What does your bill look like now?

“Since I had my net metering turned on in the spring, I’ve built up enough credits to carry me through the winter. Now, I have 3750 kilowatt hours of credits on my energy bill. Next year, I’m predicting I can probably double that if things go as they have been and that’s exciting. On average, I send 550 kW of unused energy back to the grid a month.”

What’s been your best month?

“May, June and July are when I produced the most kilowatts. Actually, in those months, I produced Megawatts! Back in May, my panels produced 1.4 MW hours and I sent 908 kilowatt hours of unused energy back to the grid. In July, I produced 1.6 MW hours and I sent 659.5 kilowatt hours back to the grid. So, I’m really producing more than I use by far.”

Enphase Enlighten App showing solar panel production

What did you feel the first time you saw a negative bill?

“After all the turmoil with my electric company, I’ve felt so happy with my negative bill. And everyone at Sunpro has been so helpful. Once we figured out how everything was working and how to read the energy bills and could see all we’re saving then everything started clicking.”

What else has helped you achieve a lower electricity bill?

Kenneth started being more conscious of when he uses energy. Like many homeowners, Kenneth has found out that his panels produce the most energy during peak sun hours and chooses to use high-energy consuming appliances and machines during them.

“Whenever I do laundry I might put it in the machine in the morning, but I don’t set it to start until the middle of the day when the sun is out. That way it is utilizing the solar energy I’m producing. Even showering, or whatever else I do that’s going to use electricity, I’ve just tried to do during sunlight hours.”

“I love having an app where you can watch how much energy you’re using and do little things to tweak it and get your usage even lower. We also got the Google Nest Thermostat through you guys and utilize that to where when we’re away from home, it doesn’t run my AC or heater when we don’t need it. Then as soon as we get home it kicks on and brings it back to a comfortable temperature, so that’s been a big help in saving energy.”

Google Nest Thermostat

What do you hope to do with this newfound monthly savings?

He explained to us that he’s saving over a hundred dollars on his energy bill every month.

“In a few more years, the panels will be paid off and I will keep having energy credits every month. So it’s going to work out great for retirement. These solar panels will be paid off around retirement time and when that happens I’d like to use the savings to do things such as adding on to both the front and back porch, you know making the house more relaxing so I can relax more. Doing things around the house to make it easier for upkeep or add ons.”

What did you wish people knew about solar panels?

“I want people to know that even on cloudy days my panels still work!”

Kenneth gave an example of the day we were interviewing him, “Like today when the sun has only been out maybe an hour total, I’ve already produced 17 kW hours and exported 13 back to the grid. That’s without direct sunlight! Whenever I go through and look at my app even on rainy days there’s been times that I’ve still produced more than what I’ve actually used.”

What would you tell people on the fence about solar?

“That it’s worth it.

I mean it’s just as simple as that. I tell them if you know you want a cheaper energy bill, then go for it. I’ve also told them if you want to sell your house, it’s going to increase the value of it because whoever buys it will pay more for a house that has a negative electric bill. An additional selling point is that buyers also don’t have to worry about buying the panels themselves because they’re already on the home.”

You Can Achieve A Negative Electricity Bill Too

Achieving a negative energy bill is well within reach for some homeowners. Now more than ever, many people are going solar, and it’s the perfect time for you to switch. Through the year 2022, the federal government is offering a 30% tax break on your federal income taxes if you invest in a solar energy system. After that, the incentive goes down to 22%.  Also known as the ITC, this credit is good for your entire home solar system, even a battery storage system.

Sometimes, electricity bills can be hard to read, likely an intentional move by power companies to confuse you with different charges and fees. With the right installation, you can balance your bill, or even go negative. The average American’s electricity bill is $115, and that number is rising every year. In fact, rates are predicted to rise at least 3% each year.

What does your electricity bill end up being with solar panels? This depends on many factors, including the energy rate in your area, the production of your system, and your home’s energy consumption. An ADT Solar Specialist can walk you through these factors, let you know what to expect, and give you a free estimate of what a solar panel system for your specific situation would cost.

In this ever unpredictable world, you can at least control the future of your energy bills and be certain with solar.