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Sizing a PV system
There are several factors to consider when properly sizing a solar PV system for a home. Contrary to popular belief, these factors do not include the square footage of the home or the number of occupants living in the home. When sizing a PV system, the most important variable to consider is the anticipated electricity usage of the home on an annual basis. A system designer should gather historical electricity consumption from 12 months of previous utility bills for an existing home. For a newly constructed home, we suggest acquiring a HERS score from an energy rater to accurately predict the future electricity usage of the home. A good rule of thumb: size a PV system to offset no more than 85% of anticipated annual kWh consumption. Due to future energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades, the home could require less electricity than what it is currently using today. In states like Louisiana, there is no economic benefit to a homeowner for overproducing electricity from their solar array. The two most important factors in this decision are the anticipated kWh consumption of the home, and the estimated kWh production from the solar array. Other factors to consider include unshaded south facing roof space, the project budget, and available economic incentives from the utility company or the state in which the system is installed.Replies