Solar – Free DIY General Estimator

Solar – Free DIY General Estimator – see the Spreadsheet!

When it comes to Power and Energy, we make it easy!  This information is for the DIY – Do It Yourself solar installations on your Home, RV, Trailer, and Business. We will even provide consulting for you from our years of experience. You can find all the DIY products you need on our Affiliate Discount Products – page.  The spreadsheet link above is a very general estimate.  If we gave you absolutely everything you could consider, it would be so complicated most people wouldn’t waste their time trying to figure it all out. This just gives you a general idea so you can decide if you want to move forward or forget it, as you are not ready or your electric bill is less than $200 a month on a 12-month average, which means most solar companies would not recommend you install solar at this point in time.

100% Energy Independent

100% Energy Independent – That Total Energy Costs Per Year chart above is our spreadsheet you can download, copy and modify as needed for your journey in becoming 100% Energy Independent

100% Energy Independent vs 100% Off Grid – In order to save the most money your goal should be going 100% off grid, while still being connected to the grid for when and if you ever need the grid.  That is easy to do if you are not 100% electric.  Your eventual goal is to be 100% Energy Independent which means 100% electric too, long before all world governments force you there, which is where we are all heading.  Being 100% electric on all home heating, water heating, appliances, EV’s, and everything you can think of, is really saying you are 100% Energy Independent.  This means having all the equipment needed so you do not pay your Electric Company for any of it.  This is a difficult journey as all technology needed to do this conveniently is not even ready at this point in time.  DC to DC bidirectional charging to power your home from your EV should be out by the end of 2023.  You need to do all of this in steps and over the years when it makes financial sense.  We are here to help guide you through this so you don’t invest in equipment that will be obsolete in a few years because you made the wrong choice from poor advice from people who are not looking far enough into the future and/or do not have the experience to even tell you the correct equipment to get you there.  You can Book an Appointment for some Consulting with Dan Ringwald, on your solar plans.  I recommend just booking 30 minutes at a time.  A little consulting here and there will help you over the months and years to stay on track and give you and me the time we need to do some research for your particular needs and situation and make sure you are heading in the right direction.

100% Energy Independent – This is basically your exit strategy when saying good by to the ever-increasing rates from utility companies.  Utilities might eventually join the roof top solar business and offer that to us as well.  They will do this by choice, government regulation, or we could possibly have a lot more publicly owned and operated utility companies, so we all move forward as a team vs battling with outdated utility policies and equipment transmission models.  Everyone will head in the same direction just at varying degrees given their financial ability and desire.  For those that want to start working on it now, we have the spreadsheet and chart above.  You can download, copy and modify as needed to help you get there.  We created it so there is no worry about copy rights as it is a simple spreadsheet example.  Everyone has a different situation and different goals, where they want to be and how they get there is different too.  We understand that and can help each and every person get to where you want to be when the time is right for you.

The Battery Perspective – When it comes to energy let’s look at this from a different perspective.  Everything that stores and generates energy could be considered a battery.  Our body could be considered a battery because it stores and generates energy.  Now let’s look at the 4 major components of energy for your home as though they were just batteries.

The Sun – stores and generates energy for an extremely long time.  You might consider you own the sun as it’s there for free all the time, except when our planet spins away from it at night.
Solar Panels – stores and generates energy for a very short time.  You can rent, lease, or own them through a purchase.  If you have solar panels and no backup battery your utility company acts as your backup battery.  During the day you use your solar panels and during the night you use your utility company as your backup battery.
Backup Batteries – stores and generates energy for a longer period of time.  You can rent, lease, or own them through a purchase.  If you have enough solar panels and backup batteries, you don’t need a utility company and you could be completely off grid.  Going completely off grid sounds good.  We say never give up your options, as they can be handy when you need them, and they could also be another stream of income.
Utility Companies – stores and generates energy for a long time.  You can only rent from them, you can never purchase your city utility company, and the rental price of energy just keeps going up.

Rent, Lease, or Purchase – When it comes to solar rent or lease is very much the same, purchase is very different.  Rent or lease solar is usually for 25 years and a lower monthly payment.  It’s usually best for those that are retired on a fixed income and do not plan on selling their home.  If you do not have a high income, you cannot write off expenses on your taxes.  Young or old, if you do have higher income, from a job or business that you own, you can write off expenses on your taxes.  This means it best for you to purchase and get the federally funded tax incentives which as of 2023 are 30% on most forms of renewable energy.  When you purchase you can purchase and pay in full.  If you purchase with a solar loan, and need a roof, that roof is now included on the 30% federally funded tax incentives, and you can write it all off, on one loan or two separate loans.

Solar Incentives and Rebates for Homeowners (2023 Guide) (

California’s Solar Consumer Protection Guide

Microsoft Chat GPT AI – Answers to your questions and those below

What is the itemized average cost of a home solar installation?

According to Solar Reviews, the average cost of a residential solar panel installation in 2022 ranges between $18,000 and $20,000 before applying tax credits or other incentives that may be available where you live1.

However, Home Guide states that the cost of solar panels to power your house are $4 to $10 per square foot with installationMost installers estimate solar costs by the amount of energy needed, or $2.53 to $3.15 per watt before any tax credits or incentives2.

How much do solar panels cost?
Los Angeles, CA
$0.08 – $0.10 cost per kWh
$2.53 – $3.15 cost per watt installed (residential)
$10,600 – $26,5006 to 12 kW system cost installed

According to, the median size of a new home built in 2016 was 2,422 sq. ft1. However, this can vary depending on the number of occupants. Financial Samurai suggests that for a family of three, the ideal house size is 1,800 – 2,100 square feet2.

What is the average number of solar panels needed in a 1500 sq. ft. home in the USA
Given all this information we at the Personal Power Project are generally rounding it off to 1 solar panel per 100 sq. ft.
1500 sq. ft. / 100 sq. ft. = 15 solar panels needed
This makes for a quick and easy beginning estimate on just the number of solar panels needed to get close to 100% energy needed without needing your utility company and that is also considering you are not 100% electric.  You still use natural gas home heating and water heating, and drive gas cars.  This means you are really only covering about 50% of the cost of all your energy needs.

According to, a home of 1500 square feet would need an estimated 15-18 solar panels to cover its electricity needs1However, The Solar Nerd suggests that depending on where you live, the average 1,500 sqft house will need between 16 and 25 premium solar panels to supply 100% of its electricity needs2.

What is the cost of a 400-watt solar panel?

The cost of a 400-watt solar panel ranges between $230 to $2801However, the 400-watt solar panels are priced between $550 and $600 on average23The price may vary depending on the condition and demand of the solar panels2

What is the average number of solar panels per solar inverter?

I found a source that says a 3000-watt inverter needs twelve 300-watt solar panels to run at maximum capacityAnother source says that a 6kW solar system will need 20 solar panels, each rated at 300 watts eachHowever, the number of solar panels needed for an inverter depends on numerous factors, including where you live, how much energy you typically use, and how much power your panels can generate.

What is the average cost for a solar inverter?

According to my sources, solar inverters typically range between $1000 and $1500 for an average-sized installation12However, as the size of the installation grows, the cost might drastically escalate2The cost of solar inverters usually accounts for about 6% of total installation costs3.

What is the average cost for a solar gateway?

I’m sorry but I couldn’t find any information about the average cost of a solar gateway. However, I found that Tesla lists the cost of one solar battery pack at $7,500 excluding $1,000 for the Gateway1The Gateway acts as the engine of the installation1

What is the national average of solar installations from local solar companies compared to national solar companies?

Searching for: national average solar installations local solar companies vs national solar companies

Generating answers for you…

Dan Ringwald – 805-242-3004 – call or text with any questions.