Everyone wants to save money on their electricity bills. But many homeowners don't realize just how much they can reduce costs by installing solar panels. With the right solar panel system and optimization tricks, you can slash your energy costs by 70% or more.

I discovered these solar panel hacks after doing extensive research on home energy efficiency. At first, I was skeptical that solar could save me that much. But after crunching the numbers and trying it myself, I was amazed at the results.

In this article, I'll walk you through everything I learned about supercharging energy savings with solar panels. I'll explain:

How Solar Panels Can Lower Electric Bills

Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into electricity. The solar-generated electricity powers your home's needs, reducing the amount of electricity you must buy from the utility company. Here's a quick overview of how it works:

The more sunlight your solar panels can absorb, the more electricity they'll generate, and the less you'll have to pay your utility provider. Sunnier locations and optimally positioned solar arrays will produce more energy and savings.

orientation, angle, & shading are crucial for solar savings

To maximize your solar savings, it's essential to optimize your solar array's orientation, tilt angle, and shading. Even small adjustments can make a big difference in performance and electricity offset.

Optimal Solar Panel Orientation

Your solar panels will produce the most power when they are oriented to receive maximal sunlight throughout the day. For most northern hemisphere locations, this means facing your solar array south.

Pointing panels south allows them to best capture sunlight during peak daylight hours when irradiance is strongest. West-facing orientation can also work well in some areas.

East or north-facing solar will produce significantly less energy, since they miss the crucial afternoon sun. Use a compass and solar assessment tools to determine the optimal direction.

Best Tilt Angle for Solar Panels

Tilting your solar panels affects how directly they receive sunlight throughout the seasons. The optimal tilt angle depends on your latitude and weather patterns.

But generally, for maximum annual solar production, use a tilt angle equal to your latitude. This provides a good balance of winter and summer sun exposure.

Increase tilt by 10-15 degrees for winter optimization. Decrease tilt for summer optimization in hot, sunny climates. Adjust within +/- 15 degrees for overall best performance.

Avoid Shading on Solar Arrays

Shading can dramatically reduce solar output, since even a small portion of shaded cells lowers the entire circuit's production. Efforts should be made to install solar arrays in full sun locations.

If partial shading can't be avoided, use microinverters or optimzers to mitigate performance losses. Microinverters maximize harvesting from each panel, while optimizers shut down shaded sections.

Proper solar positioning and shading solutions can increase energy production 15% or more. Set up your system to optimize irradiation.

Go Bigger With Solar to Maximize Savings

One of the key solar panel hacks for slashing your utility bills is to install an oversized solar system. Oversizing boosts electricity offset to minimize your power purchases.

Aim to size your solar array to cover 120-150% of your annual electricity usage. This may require installing additional panels, but the long-term savings are significant.

With a 10-15 kW system on my modest home, my solar panels now generate 140% of my total electricity needs. The excess solar electricity helps power my EV, heat pump, and home battery too.

By oversizing my system, I've been able to ** slash my utility electricity purchases by over 70%.** The utility pays me for my net excess solar generation through net metering credits.

Add Battery Storage to Capture More Solar

Adding solar batteries allows you to store solar electricity for use anytime - not just when the sun is shining. This increases solar self-consumption and bill savings.

My Tesla Powerwall battery charges up with excess solar power during the afternoon. We then use the stored solar energy in the evenings to run lights, TVs, appliances etc.

By shifting more of my electricity usage to solar stored in the battery, I've increased my use of solar from 60% to 85%. This further lowers my reliance on the grid.

Batteries do add cost, but federal tax credits help offset the expense. And batteries provide backup power during outages, improving resilience.

bottom line

Implementing these key solar panel hacks has allowed me to dramatically cut my electricity bills. Proper solar panel positioning, oversizing my array, and adding storage have been game-changers.

Homeowners that optimize their solar system can feasibly slash electricity costs by 70%. While solar requires an upfront investment, the long-term savings are tremendous.

Take control over your energy costs. With the right solar panel optimizations, you can maximize savings while harnessing clean, renewable power.