The average cost to install solar panels in the US is $11,900 after federal tax incentives.
That’s a lot of sunshine!
You may have heard that solar panels can save you money in the long run because of reduced heating costs and tax incentives.
Are solar panels worth it?
Let’s take a look.
1. Reduced Energy Costs
Solar panels can virtually eliminate energy costs for your home.
When you install solar panels, energy from the sun gets used to power your home in real-time while the sun is shining. When this is the case, regular energy from your local utility service backs up your solar power to fill in on cloudy days and at night. You can also store power for later use with battery backup solutions.
The cost of electricity will vary widely from state to state. Residents of states that get more sun exposure, such as Arizona and California, will save more energy because they will get powered by solar more often. Savings will also depend upon the cost of electricity in your area.
The costs of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, and natural gas, will likely increase year to year. Solar panels can protect you from rising energy costs.
Most systems are designed to last at least thirty years, so you will get back the money you spent on your system and then some.
You will need to do a little research before deciding if solar panels are right for your home. Determine how much energy you regularly consume by looking at your monthly bill. Next, ask a residential solar specialist to help you estimate how much of your regular heating bill will be reduced through solar heating.
2. Tax Incentives
There is a tax credit of 26% for the purchase and installation of solar panels in 2020. This is a significant portion of your costs and it is money you will not have to pay in income taxes because it was used to install environmentally-friendly equipment.
Check with a local installer to see if your state has more local incentives where you could receive additional credits. Other benefits may include a property tax exemption, waived fees, expedited permits, or cash payments from the state or utility.
3. Low Maintenance
Unlike other investments that you may make in your home, solar has very low maintenance costs associated with it. There are no moving parts and most manufacturers warranties cover 20+ years.
4. Increased Home Value
Solar panels can increase your home’s value by 4.1%. They could boost the values of homes in metropolitan areas even more.
Homes with solar energy systems promise future energy cost savings to buyers. The lifetime energy costs of the home can be significantly less over the life of the system.
Remember that solar will increase your home’s value only if you own the system. Other factors that may affect solar panel impact on home value include the part of the country you live in, the type of house you own, and the starting value of your home.
5. Net Energy Metering
Going solar will connect you with your local utility meter. Net energy metering allows you to earn energy credits at the retail value for the energy your panels produce.
If no one is home during the day, you will have energy credits that can get sent back to your grid and your meter will run backward. Your excess energy can be turned into credits.
When you need energy from your grid at night, your utility company can send you credits back. Your meter can keep track of the energy you sent as well as the energy you took back.
At the end of the year, you could have a net-zero electricity bill if you have used as much energy as your panels have produced.
Financing Your Panels
If you want to invest in solar panels because you are attracted to their potential long-term savings, you may be wondering about financing options.
Home equity loans allow you to invest what you have gained in home equity by making your house even more efficient and marketable.
Energy Efficient Mortgages are also available. This mortgage will credit a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself.
Some states also offer Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. The homeowner can borrow money from local municipalities such as the city, town, or county. You pay the money back in higher property taxes over a number of years.
With a PACE loan, you will not need to lose any of your home’s equity.
Peer-to-Peer lending and group discounts are also available. Check with your local solar company about what programs other customers have found valuable.
If you’re still on the fence about financing, check out this guide from our friends at LendEdu.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
The cost of solar panels may seem high, but factors like long-term energy savings, tax incentives, and increased home value make it a worthwhile investment. Are solar panels worth it? The answer is yes.
For more information on solar systems, contact us today.