A very smart friend asked me today how much power a solar panel makes. He was looking at a picture of a large commercial solar electric system in Naples, FL. I told him 230 watts. He asked if that was each panel or the whole system. The system was over 40,000 watts!
It really strikes me that the typical person has no concept about how much power solar panels produce.
That is the power production side of things, but the bigger picture is our understanding of energy use. All we really pay attention to is the dollar amount in the bottom right corner of our utility bills. When is the last time you checked how many kilowatt hours of energy you consumed? It’s right there on the front of the bill. The utility company is not hiding this information. A kilowatt-hour (KWH), the unit used to bill you for electricity, is simply 1,000 watts used for one hour. It is the same amount of energy as using 100W for 10 hours… or 10W for 100 hours.
Understanding the amount of energy used in your home is the first step at managing your electricity consumption.