Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment in 2020?

Millions have thought “Do you save money with solar panels?” or “Are solar panels worth it?” Find out here..

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It Depends On Many Factors. Let’s Talk About Them.

Everyone has seen the rooftops of businesses and homes alike that are covered with gleaming metal panels. Nowadays, solar power isn’t hard to miss.

Solar panels have become an increasingly popular method to generate electricity.

Thousands of people utilize solar power to generate reusable energy for their needs.

It’s better for the environment, but is it better for your wallet?

Millions have thought…

“Do you save money with solar panels?”

or

“Are solar panels worth it?”

The short answer is yes, but it all depends on your current scenario.

Investing in solar panels is a large financial decision and will save you money in the long term, but only if your home or business can make the most use out of them.

Let’s dive into why this is.

Solar Panels for Your Home

Several factors will be in play when determining if solar panels are right for your home.

The Lawrence Berkeley Institute publishes 90% of residential solar power systems installed in the US.

Through this, we can determine solar panels for homes cost $3.37/watt.

If you use the typical 6kw home solar system, you’ll end up paying approximately $19,080.

However, a solar tax credit is available for those implementing the system.

After you claim the solar tax credit, you’ll be paying approximately $14,000.

So, what does your electric bill after solar panels look like? You first need to look at the structure of your roof.

Determining if Your Roof is Suitable

If you want your solar power to be as efficient as possible, you’re going to ideally want your roof free of any shadings.

One solar panel may lose more than 50 percent of its overall strength if even a small portion of the panel is covered by shading.

Ideally, you want your roof to be facing toward the south to receive as much direct sunlight as possible throughout the day.

Weather will also play a large role in determining how efficient your solar panel will be. If you’re living in places where it can be consistently cloudy, you’ll lose a lot of potentials.

On the other hand, if you’re living in places where sunshine is abundant, you’ll be getting the most value out of your solar panels.

In the best-case scenario, you’re going to see your electricity bill reduce to zero. Even in cases where shading and clouds are a factor, you can expect a large drop in your electric bill.

Lowering your electricity bill isn’t the only way that solar panels give back to you.

Where do Solar Panels Work Best?

Often, the public will think of the abundant sunshine that graces the southern US as the most obvious users of solar power. While it’s popular there, you’d be surprised that northern states also boast an excellent track record in regards to solar power efficiency.

New York, Massachusetts, and other northeastern states are known to have plenty of sunlight in the summer months.

In these areas, you may not get a lot of benefits from solar power during the cold, and dark winter months. However, in the summer months, you’ll be receiving plenty of energy to reduce your electricity bill to possibly nothing.

If you’re not in a stereotypical area of the U.S, you should be using a residential solar power calculator to estimate how your home will do with solar panels.

Residential Solar Power Calculator

On average, the US citizen will pay around 13 cents per kWh. Your mileage may vary, so let’s go through the entire process.

The process for determining how solar power pays for itself is relatively simple if you understand the steps.

Using this calculation, we can determine how a lifetime cost of solar power will compare vs a lifetime cost of utility power.

1. Determine the Amount of Money You’re Already Spending

To find out the overall value of solar power, you’ll need to know how much you’re currently spending on electricity.

Look at your most recent bill or look up average costs for your location via a search engine.

2. Determine how much energy you use over 12 months

It should be noted that your electricity bill is going to vary from month to month.

You may use your AC and heat more in summer and winter months so take that into account when calculating your usage over one year.

On average, you should expect to use approximately 850 kWh per month.

3. Determine the Lifetime Cost of Your Utilities

Once you’ve got your average yearly usage, it’s not difficult to find the lifetime cost of utility.

Solar panels are generally good for approximately 25 years before they made need replaced.

Multiply your yearly usage by 25 to find how much you’re going to be spending during the normal lifespan of a solar panel.

If we’re going by the averages discussed, you should be near a cost of $33,000 over 25 years.

4. Determine How Much a Solar Panel System Will Cost

As we’ve discussed earlier, you can estimate the cost of around $14,000 for implementing a solar panel system into your home.

This includes purchasing the system as well as installation costs.

If you choose to install the panels yourself, you can safely take away several thousand dollars in cost if there are no issues in the process.

This is roughly the amount you’ll be spending on providing solar power to your home.

For a more precise price, it’s always better to get a quote from a contractor near you.

5. Remember Repairs

In the ideal scenario, your panels won’t ever have an issue until their 25-year lifespan is expired. However, we know that won’t be the case.

Different parts of a panel are rated to last a shorter amount of time.

You may find yourself replacing the inverter of a panel after the 10-year mark.

You can safely assume that you’ll be spending several thousand dollars in repairs throughout the solar panel’s lifespan.

6. Calculate Your Final Estimates

In the end, you should find that the solar panel will save you thousands of dollars in the long term.

However, it should be noted that these statistics are from solar panel owners who have done the installation process.

These users have likely already determined that their residential buildings were suitable for solar panels and may skew the data to be in favor of solar panels.

It’s still important that you calculate how much energy your solar panels would produce in your current area.

Beyond the long-term savings, installing solar panels can do more for your home as well.

Extra Benefits of Solar Power

Adding solar panels to your home or business comes with a slew of benefits beyond a general reduction in electricity costs.

You’ll increase the overall value of the value of your property by $5,911 per kilowatt of solar installed.

This immediate boost to your investment helps reduce the time it will take to receive gains on investing in solar panels.

Installing Solar Panels Yourself

If the cost of installing solar panels still keeps you asking “Is solar worth it?” you’ll be happy to know you can continue to lower the installation costs with a little elbow grease of your own.

Solar panel kits are available for you to purchase.

You’ll have to go through the lengthy installation, permitting, and inspection process on your own, but the savings can make it worth it.

You can save several thousand dollars by cutting out labor costs, but you’ll need to be sure you do it right yourself the first time.

Any installation mistakes can quickly start racking up a lot of money lost.

You could damage the equipment, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a claim on the solar warranty, and it can be dangerous for yourself as well.

If you’re a handyman with professional experience, it won’t be much of an issue.

However, an amateur may be better off sticking to contractors and professionals.

How Long Will it Take for Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?

In southwestern states, such as Arizona, you could see netted savings within six years. In other northeasterly states such as New York, that number may be closer to 10.

The efficiency of your solar panels will ultimately decide how quickly you’ll be seeing a return on your investment.

In Summary

Can solar panels save you money? Absolutely.

There are millions of Americans across the country that could save thousands of dollars rather quickly by implementing solar power.

However, you need to be sure that your building and location will be suitable for using solar panels.

In the end, solar power isn’t meant for everyone. You should double-check the residential solar power calculator to verify that your home is right.

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