How Much Solar Do I Need For a 2000 SqFt. Home?

Hi. I’m Amy at the altE Store. Probably
the most frequently asked question we get here is, “How much solar does it take to
power my 2,000 sqft home?” My answer is always the same. “I don’t know. How much
power do you use?” I’m not trying to be flip, I honestly don’t know. The power usage
for different homes are going to be so wildly different, there is no way of knowing how
much power someone uses based on their square footage. Is the house located in the north
with bad insulation and electric baseboard heaters? Or is it a house with a tight building
envelope and gas heat? Is it located in the south with the highest loads being air conditioning
run 24/7, or is it in a mild environment with a couple of fans occasionally? Are you heating
your water with an electric water heater, or an oil furnace? Do you have family members
who find it challenging  to turn off a light when they leave the room (you know who you
are)? Are you lighting with incandescent or LED light bulbs? The best way to determine how many solar panels
you need is to look at your electric bill and see how many kWh a month you buy. You
can then go to our grid-tied calculator to see how much solar would be needed to offset
a percentage of your bill. Here’s an example of my electric bill. It
shows 13 months of usage, so I can compare the latest month with the previous year. It is amazing what you can learn by studying
your electric bill. By comparing the usage in different months, I can see my biggest
use is in the summer, with the air conditioner running all day because of the home office.
You can see that my usage dropped significantly from August 2013 to August 2014, as well as
from July to August in 2014.We went away every
weekend in August 2014, and turned the AC off while we were gone, saving us $85 from
the previous year. But unfortunately, we went away for a week that July and forgot to turn
down the AC, so it stayed on high, cooling an empty house all week. You can see that’s
the highest usage in 13 months, and was completely preventable. That mistake cost me about $160.
In November we switched the mini-split from AC mode to heating mode to delay turning on
our oil heat, bringing our electric usage back up. It cost an extra $135 to heat the
house with electricity that month, but saved us at least that much on our oil bill. By
December it was too cold for the heat pump to work, so we turned it off and turned on
the oil, dropping our electric use. So even in the same house, with the same people, behavior
changes the electrical use dramatically, thus changing the answer to the original question,
“how much solar do I need to power my house?”  I recommend you look at your monthly usage
and analyze it, what was your big energy user each month, and could a change in behavior
reduce it? Once you understand your electric use, then you can start to figure out how
much solar you need. Our average use is about 1,500kWh a month.
I used that number in our on-grid calculator and decided to see what it would take to make
all of our power with solar, netting us down to 0. That would require around a 13,000 Watt
solar system for my area, around 50 solar panels. This chart shows my last 30 months
of electric use, and the estimated output of a 13kW solar system on my house for that
time. With Net Metering, I can use any power I generate
during the day, and sell the extra to the grid. Then at night, when my system isn’t
generating any power, I can buy it back from the grid, spinning the meter back and forth.
Any additional power I need gets bought from the grid, same as usual. Likewise, with months
that I make more power than I use, like in the spring, I can bank the credits to use
them in the summer and winter when I don’t make as much as I use.  Today’s average
costs would be around $26,000 to buy the equipment to install it yourself, or about $52,000 to
have one professionally installed (depending on equipment and location). A combination
of federal and local incentives could cut the cost by ⅓ to ½ in the US, depending
on your location. This system could pay for itself in about 8 years for me. After that,
and for the next couple of decades that my system keeps humming along, the $3000 a year
I was paying to the electric company stays in my pocket. Plus with rate increases, that
savings is bound to grow over the years. But a nice thing about net metering, and staying
connected to the grid, is I don’t have to make all of my power like if I was off-grid.
I can instead decide to make half my power, or less, and buy the rest from the grid, resulting
in  a lower monthly electric bill. You can see from this graph that charts both
my monthly use and my projected monthly solar generation with a 6.5kW solar system, that
for a couple of months I actually would make all of the power that I use, but on average,
I would make half of the power I needed, cutting my power bill in half. That still gives me
a significant monthly savings. Solar isn’t the silver bullet for reducing
my electric bills. We’re also working on further reducing our power use. We recently
replaced all of the shop lights in the basement with LED tubes. This brought that power use
from 2500W down to about 250W! And the light quality is actually better now than with the
old lights. We’ve replaced all of our incandescent light bulbs throughout the house with LED
as well. We’re also trying to get smarter with the programming of the air conditioning,
cutting down on our biggest power user. So you can see why the most common question
we get asked here is also the most complicated and personal question to answer. Grab your
electric bill, go to our calculator, and find the answers for your home.   I hope this was helpful. If so, give us a
like and a share. And check out more of our videos here. Also subscribe to our altestore
channel so we can notify you when more videos come out. Also go to our website at,
where we’ve been making renewable do-able since 1999.

76 thoughts on “How Much Solar Do I Need For a 2000 SqFt. Home?

  1. I have a hybrid water heater, all lights are led, energy star frig and freezer. But when the electric dryer was installed, big jump in the bill, almost doubled. not no much my usage as my daughter… kids!

  2. I just checked my latest electric bill. My Dec usage went from 1361kWh last year to 846kWh. December tends to be a big month for working in the woodshop. I think this drop may be a combination of the unusually warm weather and the LED shop lights. Going to the grid tie calculator,, the difference in energy use means if we keep up with that improved energy use, we could install 4,000W less solar due to the reduced power consumption.

  3. thanks for another great video Amy I agree with the fact electric clothes dryers are energy Hogs, I'm going to try and install a natural gas dryer that way all I have to do is run Solar basically to turn the electric motor inside the unit and gas will do the rest I have a gas water heater however I'm very interested in these little 12 volt water heater elements, by the way what do you think about a 12 or 24 volt forklift battery either new or reconditioned they look to be long lasting heavy duty and cost-effective and you can get different models with different amp hours I have also heard of some people buying a 36 volt forklift battery that is used with some bad cells and tearing it apart to salvage or make one big 12 volt battery the drawback would their size batteries are heavy and you would have to have this battery this type of battery delivered by a semi truck and put into place with a forklift or electric pallet jack most likely probably in a garage unless you bought a bad one that you were going to tear apart and salvage and then you can carry it where you wanted it one 2 volt cell at a time and then reassemble it where you want it,I'm going to try using a Yamaha 1000watt little generator converted to natural gas to run 2_one room air conditioner,one in bedroom,and one in the living room,one at a time of course,and only when I'm home,I dont really see how I can go off grid without Nat.gas I will have to order a good 12 __24volt well pump that can lift water from my shallow well from about 25___30feet,have even looked at having a nice bras and cast iron hand pump installed at the kitchen sink,does your store sell a small pump,like mabe a sure flo something like that,that is capable of lifting water 25___30feet out of a shallow well I don't really care about pressure I would use it intermittently to fill a storage tank up stairs,then let gravity do the rest,well thats about it,sorry so long,as you can see I'm very passionate about this thats why I love to watch you're videos amy, you seem to be as passionate about the subjects as the rest of us and very involved with what you do there as I've said before we are very fortunate to have you do these videos that are very informative I learn something new every time and we have your store to choose from a long list of different products to help us along the way you and your family have a nice holiday Amy and everyone at your store to as well,,,thanks once again:::regards old man Bill Ruby…………

  4. Great Informative Video Amy / Alt E Store I'm Running All Electric 95 % Except For Cook Stove Range LP And Whole House Electric On Demand Tankless Hot Water Heater And Hot Tubs Etc, And Swimming Pool In Summer My System As You Know You Helped Me With It Is 2.7 KW With 2 KW Of Wind And A 1200 Sqft Shop Plus My House Is 1500 Sqft Very Good Video Here In Virginia Electric Is The Most Cost Effective Heat And Air Natural Gas , LP, Oil Jump In Price It Is Not A Stable Price Effective For Energy Check Out My Video Amy Your One And Only Kenny Viar Cheers Amy

  5. Great video Amy. You nailed it. THIS is exactly how I manage my system. I actually did a video on my electric bill. My latest electric bill: $50…more than a 53% reduction from last year. Back then…didn't have many solar panels or transfer panel. I DIY…save $$$…and learn how to conserve. With $$$ money saved on my electric bill and my YT Channel…making my investments count! And…no pollution.

  6. good video but you did not mention the best tool for tracking individual component energy usage. 20 dollar investment the killowatt meter. you can test every. 120 volt item for 48 hours and log this to see exactly what is using how much power then sizing a RE system is more accurate and you can then change your habits or appliance for less power consumption. i was told i need 5kw system to run my home but in actuality i only need 1680 watts to run my home.

  7. Thanks for sharing. Yes I think the average US household requirement might be around 10 kWh panels, close enough to your 13 kWh personal requirement for your current situation. Perhaps more insulation and higher-economy-rated white goods might lower your requirement to 10 kWh without impacting your lifestyle.
    I suspect that electric vehicles are going to be a game-changer when developers consider new off-grid solar-powered house projects. Not only are the Tesla battery prices expected to drop from $190/kWh to $100/kWh over the next few years, but having the car battery to compliment the house battery (economy of scope) might further reduce the solar panel requirements per household, and this could significantly lower solar-powered scheme costs via economy of scale towards the magic 2 year payback mark.

  8. The amount of solar power you need has absolutely nothing to do with the size of your home but purely to do with how much electricity you use.

  9. there is no way presently to run that kind of home with its likely 2-4 kids and 2 parents computes games systems ovens microwaves big screen tvs ect ect ect unless you have mega bucks,and that is if you live in an area that gets the right angle of the sun.they are tallking about getting a ballpark amount for an average about you pick an area and calculate a avereage price its likely you have many ppl in yer office that can pick a house that represents an area firly well and just do it saying we cant is just being laszy.on top of these things net metering is not allowed all places and as far as after 8 yrs you get frre pwr,is not accurate every few years you have to replace the panels and with your senario you might break even at best with much more headache and work.

  10. I remember about 10 years ago me and my brother set out to lowering the power consumption in our house without changing how we live and after just about 5 years of natural replacements of items around the house and taking power consumption into account, we managed to cut the power consumption in half and yet we still live the same way, use the same kind of tech and appliances, we've lowered it even more after that but didn't keep track of it from then on, but it goes to show if you put some thought into it you can lower the power consumption and still live the same as you've already do.

  11. When you go solar you sell the electricity back to the electric company at a huge lose. They take much of the profits. I think if you can develop a system that makes hot water and heat in the winter, in the day time only, and runs my AC in the day in the summer along with some lights and hot water, the savings would be the same. You have to make it customer installable, otherwise it is too expensive. I pay about 6000 dollars a year on energy. If I can pay half, it might make it acceptable, but only if it cost less than 20K to install.

  12. No responses from Solar City or
    Hello GrapeSolar,

    Please return formal verified responses.

    1 How many kWh required required for production of the GS-P60-265-Fab2?

    2 Is production of the GS-P60-265-Fab2 powered produced by Grape solar panels?

    3 Bill of materials for production of GS-P60-265-Fab including chemicals.

  13. What if ones roof goes bad due to age or is storm damaged to the point where 100% replacement is recommended. I'm talking a typical asphalt shingle roof which has a life expectancy of about 18 years? …what is the cost to take down and reinstall the PV Panels? Should folks consider a new roof along with those new PV Panels simultaneously or at least near simultaneously?


  15. It would make more sense if you have enough solar panels to power your whole house to just leave your electric company

  16. Hello thanks for the video.  Hopefully I didn't miss the boat.  Do you have  any word on 2017 incentives in the USA?  Seems like they all expired Dec 31st 2016.

  17. BS. Hydro companies have data on millions of homes and can tell you the average consumption of a 2000 Sq ft house. A separate calculation can be made for heating costs based on average temperature for a given area.


    wonder why every else in the business couldn't do the same – no one can ever explain this in layman's terms…….

    Thanks again for the great info !!

  19. if am i furgurine this right my kilowat hours for 31 days is 2153 if i divide it by 31 days 70 kilowat hours per days how many panels would i need

  20. turn off hot water heater off when not useing hit breaker.put timers on them off at night when you turn one on the others go off any thing

  21. Look you could estimate based on the footage. Power usage is not that different. Its also not 'wildly' different. Its not like one house will use 6000kwh per annum and the one next door will use 12000kwh. The difference will be about +/-20%. Unless one of the houses has three washing machines on 24 /7.

    So simply average it based on sales.

    But just in case you think it really does vary.. well fine…

    So let's rephrase the question… What is the average scale of solar install for home 2000 sq/ft?

    That won't vary… because its an average. I'd be sure you know what the average is? no?

    If that doesn't work then y'know someone else worked it out… and it available online I'm sure.

  22. Dear Sir, i want to use 02 Charge Controllers 30amp and 06 PV [email protected] 3 Panel with each Charge Controllers and 02 Batteries 200ah in 12 volt Dc. I want to use only DC power in my all rooms with 6guage Wire, DC Fans and Dc lights. My question is how i handle 02 Charge Controller 12 volt dc.
    1. Can i joint both Charge controllers with same batteries 2x200ah bank? Boht charge controller will charge the batteries at the same time?
    2. Can i use Dc power for use of my appliances from both charge Controllers on same time as parallel or use Dc power from Batteries for house uses.
    My appliances Load will be not more than 34Amp 408watt.
    Please guide me if possible.

  23. i am surprised somebody using 2400 kw/month .Few years back when i started changing things around the house it is a 4 bedroom house to save energy i was using 350 kw /month and that sounded too much so changing all lights to led and getting rid of high usage electronics i brought down to around 250 kw/month we use gas heat so for heating we do not use electricity just hot water pump uses some electricity and as we are in New York it is pretty cold around the year . Further more my careful usage has reduce my usage to 150 kw/month one of the way is i more use internet and watch my favourite shows on my chrome book though we use about 5 computers in house and two tvs only in hot days we use fans than usage goes up by 8 to 9 kw per day meanwhile i have been checking usage by big 25.2 sq. ft refrigerator which is using 2 kw/day which i am changing to 5.1 sq ft chest which uses about .75 kw/day bringing down usage to about 100 kw/month now i am thinking solar panels and if i am using 3.3 kw/day only 4 of 250 watt panels to grid tie with average 4 hours/day light i will be energy neutral customer for PSEG.

  24. It's great that you could generate so much power that you could sell it back to the grid. The only problem is that the grid pays you pennies then sells it back to you during peak times or at night for boatloads more. At least that's how it is in Florida. They get you coming and going.

  25. I have a 2200 sq. ft house in south Texas. I would really like to go solar power. Do you have a monthly payment plan? I would like to purchase and have it professionally installed. Thanks for the video.

  26. Solar Companies Using ‘2008 Sub-Prime Lender’ Tactics To Sell Panels

     Posted By Andrew Follett On 2:42PM 07/19/2017

    The consumer group Campaign for Accountability (CFA) asked the
    Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Wednesday to investigate rooftop solar
    companies for misleading sales practices targeting senior citizens and
    other vulnerable populations in the same manner sub-prime lenders did
    before the 2008 financial crisis.

     CFA sent a letter
    to the FTC after reviewing consumer complaints about companies that
    install rooftop solar panels. The letter states that solar companies
    have engaged in false and misleading behavior to market and sell panels
    and asks the FTC to investigate.

     “We see some tactics similar to 2008 sub-prime lenders,” Daniel
    Stevens, executive director of CFA, told The Daily Caller News
    Foundation. “These companies will go out and find seniors or low income
    vulnerable populations. They can easily convince them to sign up.”

     Stevens said that in one case a solar company held a free dinner to
    lure senior citizens into a complex contract they couldn’t understand.

    CFA reviewed more than 1,200 complaints to the FTC that showed a
    widespread pattern of apparent fraud and abuse by solar companies.

     The complaints state that solar companies deceived consumers about
    the true costs of installing solar panels by luring them in with low
    price quotes that later proved to be false, required them to sign
    confusing contracts, and promising energy savings that never
    materialized. This often led to consumers being forced to pay the
    companies large amounts of money.

     “When they sign a 20-year contract, the financial situation doesn’t
    work out,” Stevens said. “They end up paying more for energy than they
    paid for the solar panels. The consumers are being hurt.”

     Seniors and the poor are more vulnerable to issues like this because
    they tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on
    basic needs like energy while living on fixed incomes. Elderly
    individuals and the poor are much more likely to sign a complex contract
    without understanding that it may require them to pay a large amount of

    “In one situation we saw, the person who purchased the solar panels
    died,” Stevens said. “Somebody who’s father had passed away was trying
    to pay off the remaining contract. The company wanted $25,000 to cover
    the costs of the panels.”

     “These contracts are structured in a way so the consumer doesn’t know
    if it will be in their financial interests to sign up,” Stevens said.
    “They can’t tell what they’re signing up for in some cases. A lot of
    this is variable. They don’t know how much sun will hit their roof
    during most periods.”

     Solar subsidies end up hurting the poor 1.4 to four times more than the
    rich, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

     “Subsidies are one thing that causes solar companies to do this,”
    Stevens said. “Consumers will set a rate at which they have to pay the
    company. If the panel doesn’t produce enough electricity to cover the
    costs of installation, the consumer has to pay for it.”

     Solar subsidies were so lucrative that solar-leasing companies installed
    rooftop systems, which run at minimum $10,000, at
    no upfront cost to the consumer. Stevens says that the consumer can end
    up paying thousands of dollars in hidden fees buried deep in the

     “A lot of these consumer complaints indicate bad practices
    are actually happening,” Stevens said.”Consumers are reporting in these
    complaints that they’re getting scammed.”

     The FTC hosted a public workshop last summer about consumer
    protection issues in solar energy. The workshop concluded that solar
    leasing contracts that contain confusing wording about energy tax
    credits and falsely promised saving on utility bills. Some contracts
    effectively made consumers unable to sell or buy homes that had solar
    panels installed.

     “The FTC can enforce the law,” Stevens said. “If they conducted an
    investigation and find that these companies are misleading consumers,
    they can hold them accountable for that. The FTC has said they’re
    interested in looking into this.”

     Stevens said that the threat of an FTC investigation could force
    rooftop solar installers to enact reforms, such as simplifying contracts
    or publishing example legal documents. These reforms could make it much
    harder for fraudulent behavior or unethical business practices to pay.
    Solar and wind power collect 326 and 69 times more in subsidies than
    coal, oil, and natural gas, according to 2013 Department of Energy data
    collected by Forbes. Green
    energy in the U.S. received $13 billion in subsidies during 2013,
    compared to $3.4 billion in subsidies for conventional sources of energy
    and $1.7 billion in subsidies for nuclear, according to data from the
    Energy Information Administration.

     Even proponents of solar power recognize its reliance on subsidies.
    Without high net metering payments, rooftop solar “makes no financial
    sense for a consumer,” Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, told The New York
    Times last February 2017.

     Follow Andrew on Twitter

     Send tips to [email protected]

     Article printed from The Daily Caller:

     URL to article:

  27. Young lady your video is impressive, a lot of information. I come away with knowing 100 watt solar panel, is a minimal power for survival use, and looks a bit expensive as the wants become higher…thanks so much for the information.

  28. You are 100% right, Amy. Its all based on the consumption of electricity. Also, there are loads and fairly substantial ones at that such as the fridge, freezer, washing machine, etc, you can put on Solar and some that are not as practical. Central air conditioning and an electric stove/oven come to mind. One of the loads that is not widely discussed is diverting power to a DC element in an electric hot water heater as a "dump load," once batteries are in "Float." It doesn't matter if the solar diversion is not able to bring the hot water to the full temperature desired. Even if the solar dump raises the temp say…. +20 degrees, its energy you don't have to pay for to increase the water temp meaning you'll pull that much less from the grid to achieve full temp. Heating water is just another way to store energy and I don't see it discussed all that much.

  29. Watched a few of your videos, you explain things clearly with a lot of information I'm able to retain and put to use. Wish you was my math teacher. I only able to concentrate on the minutes being subtracted as the clock ticked letting me know class will be ending… 👻

  30. Great video! I'm a Solar Consultant and Clean Energy Advisor in Florida, Puerto Rico, and 12 other states that offers just $1.86/watt, fully-installed prices (cash option, 1-story, asphalt shingle roof in Florida) BEFORE the 30% federal energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with a 32 year old company. To see how much $ you can save with ZERO-down solar PV, grab your electric bill and go to

    Call 786.441.2727 | text 305.297.9360 | e-mail [email protected]

  31. Hi
    I want to use a clothing machine and a heater, how many solar panels and how much watts inverter do i need?
    Only at day not from batteries. Direct from solar panels.
    Plz help me.

  32. Nice video but you need to make a new one for people on Time of Use or TOU. I live in California and our power company PG&E switching customers to TOU rate plans. Our rates have to be the highest in the county. Some rate please have us paying $0.85 kWhr. (Yup almost a $1.00 kWhr. This also means any electricity we sell to the power company we sell for $0.82 kWhr and then buy back that same kWhr for $0.12 later in the day. Just by switching to a TOU plan we’ve been saving $40 per month.

    Ant idea how much Solar City charges to install a 50 panel system in California? It’s around $80,000.

  33. I go to my friends house to eat dinner only to sit there and sweat. I figure if I have AC I'm going to use it to keep cool know matter what the cost is. I conserve on water, lights etc but not on AC. I can't sleep if the AC is not keeping me cool while I sleep. We already sleep with 3 fans in the master bedroom at night and a ceiling fan in the master bath. I cannot sleep when its hot.

  34. about 25 to 30 thousand dollars for a system for a home that uses 2000 kw per month. How does this save money? 2500 per year for electric company vs. 10 years of no maintenance with solar? Are they life time or do the batteries need replaced? I think maybe it needs at least 450 volts to 700 volts and that would mean about 50 batteries at 150 apiece replaced at the cost of 6000 dollars when they go down?? How often??

  35. I think i will wait for the electric companies realize they need to drop the KWPH cost due to competition of solar so i will benefit from them. Right now i am paying about 15 cents per KW usage. I want to see it down to about 5 cents PKW.

  36. Great videos…sadly, especially here in corrupt Ontario the hydro company is now charging various “fees” like delivery charges that amount to hundreds of dollars every month even if I had zero grid use. The only answer is to disconnect entirely. The challenge here in Canada (a general challenge) is the storage and cost of this storage. Hopefully these costs will be driven down with more competition.
    Thanks for the information and I subscribe and enjoy your videos.

  37. Homes need 40-60% of their energy usage for HEAT – solar THERMAL can save way more than solar photovoltaic. the key is a thermal battery like this

  38. The cost of the first purchase and later maintenance ends up making a bigger carbon footprint that just using coal. Someday, when panels last longer and they produce at least 3 times the energy at the same build cost, then they maybe a reasonable solution.

  39. IMO Job #1 when considering solar is to perform an energy survey (most utilities have on line self directed evaluations), and make all the practical improvements possible. In the South the most emotional aspect is AC thermostat setting…. People can acclimate to a higher setting, say 77F over a month or two, and their savings will be significant… There are many other easy and inexpensive means, like proximity switches, programmable thermostats, water heater settings, LED lighting, and just good ole insulation and gap elimination. For some replacing an old air conditioner first is a better choice than installing solar

    After making an honest effort (this should be year one) to reduce energy consumption, review the electric bills and size your solar system.. Even if you decide not to do antyhing else, those energy savings will payback rather quickly.

  40. Says A mild environment and shows mid west were temperatures range from 102 to -15 sometimes in the same week because weather is crazy.

  41. Shit for truth in disclosure. The rest of you morons don't see the sales tactic. Never answers the title question.

  42. You've said that you would need 50 solar panels for a 13kW system. May I ask the wattage rating of each panel e.g. would they be 100-watt or 300-watt panels? The reason I'm asking is that I would want to get a 13 kW system for my garage (and I don't have room on the garage roof for 50 panels rated for 300 watts), and I would want to run a fridge, A/C, tools, a 240V mig welder (which would require a 50-amp double-pole breaker, and of course, a radio and some lights. Thanks.

  43. one led solar panel is all you need. They create 40 to 100 thousand volt but the machine that the individual ten to 80 volts per 2 square inches of leds is probably very because of the huge amount of voltage.

  44. I love your videos.

    I was glad to know you are looking into energy conservation before looking into energy production. This might save you a few multiples of $10K.

  45. I'll ask him more pointed question. On average, how many kilowatts are you getting per square foot of solar panel available to the average homeowner?

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