What Are the CO2 Savings from Solar Panels?

What Are the CO2 Savings from Solar Panels?

Despite all the financial benefits of a custom-designed residential solar electric system, many of the homeowners we speak with here at Sunline Energy are most interested in the environmental benefits. There is no question that installing solar panels on your roof or property will reduce your carbon footprint, but how much carbon dioxide will you be saving from the atmosphere by using solar energy?

Carbon Savings from Solar Energy

Solar energy’s ability to save carbon varies depending on the household. No two homes are the same when it comes to their sun-facing orientation or how they use energy. Here’s why trusting a local solar installer is so important! Designing the best photovoltaic (PV) system for your home takes attention to detail and a nuanced approach.

Solar PV systems reduce the carbon footprint of electricity produced by your local utility by one kilowatt-hour (kWh). Electricity is generated by multiple methods by California power utilities, some more environmentally friendly than others. Natural gas, a fossil fuel that still generates electricity here in California, does have significantly lower carbon emissions than coal.

The amount of carbon emitted by every kWh of electricity produced in California is 0.879 lbs.

Solar Energy vs. Carbon Emissions

Next, we’ll do some math (which we discussed previously). If you live in a home that gets ample sunlight all year round, and you want to reduce daytime electricity consumption, you have a good option. Residential solar systems typically produce 9 kW and about 10,000 kWh annually. Multiplying those renewable, carbon-free kilowatt-hours you get:

10,000kWh X 0.879 = 8,790 lbs of CO2

The carbon emissions of 8,790 lbs of CO2 are equivalent to 449 gallons of gasoline, or almost a year of not driving!

Calculate Your Own CO2 Savings

To find out what impact your solar energy system has on the environment, you can use your own solar kWh generation and the lbs of CO2 to calculate how much carbon your system offsets. The above-mentioned 8,790 lbs of CO2 comes in at reducing the carbon emissions of 484,999 smartphones charged in a year, or 163 propane cylinders used for home barbeques. Try it yourself here:

Calculate Your Carbon Savings


A Global Perspective

Through custom solar installation, Sunline Energy strives to help California homeowners and businesses reduce their carbon emissions. Our solar energy systems have accounted for 33,000 kW of power in the past 9 years of operation. That would mean millions of kWh are generated annually! The amount of CO2 that our 4,000 systems offset is as follows:

30,000,000 kWh X 0.879 = 26,370,000 lbs of CO2 a year
That’s equivalent to saving:

  • 27,693 oil barrels
  • 508,944 trash bags of wasted recycled instead of landfilled
  • 1,345,924 gallons of gas
  • 197,781 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

If to take into account the estimated lifespan of a solar energy system being 25+ years, our 4,000 systems to date equal…

900,000,000 kWh x 0.879 = 791,100,000 lbs of CO2 over 25+ years

That’s equivalent to saving:

  • 830,783 oil barrels
  • 15,268,327 trash bags of wasted recycled instead of landfilled
  • 40,377,734 gallons of gas
  • 5,710,687 tree seedlings grown for ten years

Are you ready to reduce your carbon emissions?

When it comes time to convert to a solar energy system, trusting a local solar installation contractor is vital. As the top solar company in San Diego, Sunline Energy will design your solar PV system to fit your energy requirements. Looking for a backup power supply? We are now installing Tesla Powerwalls and Enphase Encharge so that you can store any extra solar energy you generate. As well, we have extensive experience working with solar panel manufacturers, electric utility companies, and more, so we can offer you rebates and incentives to help reduce the overall cost of your solar system!