Home improvement

Are Solar Panels Worth It? Analysis of Solar Panel Cost

 

Solar energy can save the world. Sure seems that way, right? As one of the most highly touted alternative energy sources, solar power is hyped.

But are solar panels worth it for your home? See if this financial investment is justified by reading on.

Are Solar Panels Worth It?

The long-awaited future of residential solar panels has arrived. Average costs of the system (plus installation) go between $15,000 and $25,000, says the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Before making such a steep investment in solar, review your electric bill. A higher bill is a good reason to make the switch.

Realize, however, that electricity rates fluctuate. So could your savings.

Next, consider your sunlight exposure. Living in an area with more sunlight means that you can save more money on your energy bills. You should also factor in your home’s amount of shade, orientation toward the sun, and roof type.

Now let’s talk money. Most of the cost of solar panels is due to the purchase and installation. These initial investments can be offset by a reduction in long-term expenses.

Knowing your current energy usage will help you calculate how much you should pay for panels. Compare panels like you’d compare TVs, cars, and other expensive items. Get quotes from three to five contractors.

A Solar Analysis

The good news is that the ostensibly high cost of panels is also offset by tax incentives.

Taxpayers can receive a residential federal tax credit by claiming 26% of installation costs for systems that begin service by Dec. 31, 2020. That credit decreases to 22% in 2021 and it expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

You may get even more credits depending on your location. In some states, you receive a property tax exemption, cash back, expedited permits, and waived fees. Homeowners with solar panels can even sell excess power to utility companies in the area, in some states.

Next up is trade policy. Buying solar panels is a surprisingly complex decision, isn’t it? When government trade policy changes, prices change. Tariffs on imported solar panels and cells can increase the price per watt for consumers.

Such an increase can be compensated for by a drop in the price of foreign-manufactured panels. Note that a shrinking tariff reduces the federal tax credit.

Finally, you’re going to have to make a decision. Solar panels are worth the money if you live somewhere with a passable solar rating and high energy rates. If that’s you, then as a rule of thumb, install them.

Contact a solar company today.      

Here Comes the Sun

Here comes the sun. It’ll be all right. Solar panels are your (expensive) friend, here to save you money and the planet simultaneously.

Whether you like it or not, solar panels are the inevitable future. If you don’t get them now, you’ll probably have to deal with them in your lifetime. That becomes even likelier if you live in a warm state.

Even if you don’t answer “Are solar panels worth it?” with “Yes,” if they’re anything, they’re unavoidable. Prepare yourself for other inevitable developments by browsing the Real Estate section.

 

About the author

Donna Medley

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