Solar Panels: A Strong Investment Or Waste Of Money?
With the world moving towards more sustainable energy production, it’s not surprising that homeowners are beginning to see the countless benefits of installing solar panels in their homes.
In terms of finances, solar panels can actually be the best decision for anyone’s wallet; drastically reducing energy consumption and saving a significant amount on monthly electricity bills.
Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity using solar cells, and when sunlight hits the cells, electricity is generated. Solar panels can be used for various industries and purposes: as remote power systems for telecommunications equipment, and as electricity generator in residential areas and commercial establishments.
Cost spikes in electricity are inevitable, and having solar panels on your roof can stabilize your monthly expenditures on utilities and keep more money in your family’s pocket!
Solar panels are not only an investment that will save you money on an ongoing basis, but will also increase the value of your home. A study from the Appraisal Institute in Chicago says that a typical residential installation of solar panels could increase a home’s value by $30,000.
This means that for every $1 dollar that you save from electricity consumption, an additional $20 goes to your home value. The accumulated savings over time eventually offset the initial cost of installation, with a return on investment in as little as 5 to 7 years.
However, solar panels have other benefits that go beyond money. For one, solar panels make your home ‘off-the-grid’. This means you can protect yourself from unpredictable sources in energy rate. You also get to enjoy cheap energy throughout the day, making your home energy-independent.
Suffice to say, solar panels improve grid security. Each home that utilises solar panels work as a small independent power plant and provides security during natural and man-made disasters.
Not only this, but installing solar panels helps do your part for the environment. Solar energy is a clean and green energy source, drastically reducing your carbon footprint. And unlike other sources of energy production, solar doesn’t emit greenhouse gases or other harmful substances into the environment. Solar power is totally self-sufficient and is one of the greatest contributions to sustainable development.
Putting The Control Back In YOUR Hands
Furthermore, solar panel roofs allow you to be in control of your energy consumption. You will be consuming energy that is domestic, as opposed to electricity that needs to be transported from power plants through networks and providers. Solar panels also largely reduce service interruptions (there is of course, no power outages!)
In the UK, solar power creates more jobs and encourages economic growth. Thirty-five thousand people were employed in the solar energy industry in 2015, and the photovoltaic (PV) panel installation market continues to grow.
Meanwhile, US residents 30% federal solar tax credit to commercial and residential properties – some government states offer additional tax credits, too. A residential federal tax credit allows you to claim 30% of your installation costs. Suppose you placed this service in 2019, the credit will drop to 26% in 2020, and will expire in 2021. Though it may not sound like a lot, these tax credits help decrease your monthly spending costs.
Obviously solar energy works when the sun is out… So what happens when the sky is overcast?
In such cases you may draw from the grid, OR install a solar battery. And although the full benefits of using solar panels may not manifest for now, you’ll definitely enjoy the fruits of your initial investment much later.
How Many Solar Powers Can Power a Household?
You can use a solar calculator to determine the best sized system for your home. It’s easy to use – you’ll just have to enter your postcode and how much you pay for energy consumption.
For example: a 2,000-square foot household would need a solar array of 4,000 watts. That would translate to around 17 or 18 solar panels. Remember that this is just an estimate of your energy consumption, which will vary depending on your electricity provider.
How Much Can You Exactly Save?
The amount saved by utilizing solar panels depend on a few key factors. As solar panels generate their own power, they can offset your monthly electricity expenditures. Keep in mind though, that energy rates and usage are volatile!
When the price fluctuates, the amount of saving does also.
One cannot really say how much – for a fixed price – you can chop off your electricity bill every month. Reviewing your own electric bills will more or less give you insights on how much you could save.
Another important consideration is to evaluate your sunlight exposure. Some states in the US are blessed with more sunlight than others. California and Arizona, for instance, get more sunlight hours in each day.
You also have to check the location of your home – its position toward the sun, its roof type, and the amount of shade it gets. A Solar-Estimate Calculator can estimate the efficiency of solar panels in your area depending on your exact location, average energy cost in your bill, and electricity provider.
While solar panels may require an initial investment of anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000 on average, the benefits and savings that they offer make them an important consideration for any family. With low maintenance and a long life, solar panels can provide your family years and years of free energy, saved money and a reduced carbon footprint.
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