As an electric customer, you see the business end of your electric bill. It’s a big dollar sign and you pay that bill every single month.
The bulk of your electric bill is your usage charge. It’s based on how much power was consumed during the billing cycle. The power company figures that out by reading the meter and recording how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you used and then multiplying that number by the rate they charge.
kWh is important to solar because 1) it is how you are billed 2) it is how solar is sized (if going for the maximum) and 3) it is how solar proves itself once it is installed.
Having the annual kWh usage for your house is the best way to design solar.
How do you get this information? It’s simple.
First, you can always call the power company and ask. They will either read it to you over the phone or send you an email
Second, log into the utility’s web site. Depending on the utility, they may have a bar graph you can hover over to get the kWh for each month.
Third, many utilities have a bar graph on the paper bill. If so, it will likely be on the front (I know at least one puts it on the back). If you snap a close up of the bar graph and send it to me, I can take it from there!
Here are some examples of what the information looks like: