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Are Solar Panels Worth It?

2 June 2020

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

Are Solar Panels Worth It? A Guide to Whether Solar Is Right for You

Are you asking, “Are solar panels worth it?” and trying to figure out if you should install them? Read this article to learn more.

The use of solar energy in the U.S is on the rise. In fact, the use of solar energy has doubled since 2008.

The popularity of solar panels is due to the decrease in prices and tax incentives you can receive.

Other reasons people go for solar panels are for the amount of money they save in electricity bills. Knowing that you doing your part by contributing to clean energy is also a great perk.

However, do you still find yourself asking, “Are solar panels worth it?” Read on to learn the answer.

Solar Panels Investment

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels produce energy by harnessing the sun’s energy and turning it into electricity for homes and businesses. Photons travel for 93 million miles from the sun to the Earth roughly every 8 minutes.

Solar panels are made with Photovoltaic materials that create an electrical current. That electrical current travels through all of the panels that are installed. The more panels you have, the more electricity will be generated.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Here is a list of the ways solar energy panels will help you and the planet:

  1. Savings on Electricity

Depending on the amount of sun you get in your area and the surface area and angle of your roof, you can save big on electricity.

Even if you live in an area that is primarily cloudy, you still get from 10 to 20 percent of the energy produced on sunny days.

Since solar panels are generating their own power, they will reduce your electric bill by a significant amount or, in an ideal situation, completely get rid of your electric bill.

  1. Incentive Programs

In an effort to have cleaner energy and less of a carbon footprint, the government is encouraging people to adopt solar power by creating incentive programs that help with the costs of buying solar panels. To have cleaner energy and less of a carbon footprint, the government is encouraging people to install solar panels in Houston by creating incentive programs that help with the costs of buying solar panels.

You can get up to 30 percent of what you’ve spent on the system back as a federal tax credit. This credit is only up until the year 2021 due to the prices of solar panels getting lower.

Separate from the federal incentives, there are usually incentives from state to state and for specific cities. Depending on where you live, you can attain Solar Renewable Energy Certificates that allows homeowners to earn a certificate per every 1000 kWhs that their solar panels generate.

The value of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates varies from state to state, but you can sell these credits to utility companies for a good amount of cash. These certificates exist because some states have laws in place that require utilities to have a certain percentage of electricity to be produced from renewable resources.

Although solar panels cost a lot initially, you will spend minimal money after they are installed and can produce energy for up to 30 years or more.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, it takes about 4-8 years before you break even on the upfront costs of installing solar panels.

  1. Solar Panels Increase Value of Homes

Not only will you be saving money on your energy costs, but installing solar panels also increases the value of your home for a national average of 4.1 percent. That can be roughly $9,300 dollars more for a home of a median value.

The increase in value seems to drastically differ from state to state. In New York City, there was an increase in value for homes of about $24,000 for homes of a median value.

The U.S Department of Energy found that the value of a home increases four dollars for every solar watt installed on the house. This means that with a standard system, you could increase the value of the house by $20,000.

  1. Help the Environment

As we know, most of the energy in the U.S is produced by burning fossil fuels, coal, or natural gas. This has a huge impact on climate change as well as pollution.

By installing solar panels, you’ll know that you’re doing your part by not adding to the pollution and contributing to better air quality and healthier people.

Installing solar panels is the equivalent of you planting 150 trees a year, according to the U.S Energy Information Administration.

Using fossil fuels affects our water supply because it takes a lot of water to generate electricity. By using solar panels for electricity, you don’t need water to power up your home, which means that you are not contributing to droughts.

Will Solar Panels Work for Me?

Here are the steps you should take to see if solar panels are financially worth it for you:

Step 1: Look Over Your Electric Bill

You need to calculate how much you’re paying in electric bills per month. The higher your electric bill, the more you will benefit from installing solar panels.

Step 2: Calculate the Amount of Sun Exposure Your City Gets

With solar energy, it is obvious that the more sun you get, the more energy you get. If you live in a sunny area, it’s definitely worth switching to solar energy. Even in places that aren’t as sunny as Florida or California, solar energy is still worth it.

Germany is the world’s leader for solar energy, and the country mostly has dreary, cloudy days.

Look into your area’s seasons to know if solar energy is truly right for you. Maybe your area is primarily sunny during the summer and cloudy during the winter. Either way, you can still benefit from solar energy.

Step 3: Find Out The Costs of Installation

As you know, the set up of solar panels can be very pricey. Searching “solar providers near me” is a good first step to take so that you can start comparing prices.

When looking into the total price of installation, make sure to take into account the amount of energy you usually use up and the incentives you are eligible for.

Step 4: Find Out How You Will Finance Your Solar Panels

Installation can cost up to 20,000 dollars, depending on the size of your system and where you live. If you don’t have all the cash needed up front, you can apply for a solar loan or lease the solar panels. The downside of leasing is that it won’t increase the value of your home because you don’t actually own the system.

Are Solar Panels Worth It Summary

Solar panels are an investment. If you have the capital and the time to reap the benefits, it is definitely worth it. However, it’ll take about 8 years for the payback period to begin.

Solar energy is a good option for those who care about public health, the environment, and saving money long term. You can also pair solar panels with something like a WattGrid hybrid generator to store energy for use in peak hours or to go off-grid to further reduce environmental impact and long-term saving.

Are solar panels worth it? With research into the incentives your state offers and having a clear idea of how much value solar energy will add to your home, you will be able to determine that for yourself.

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