If you’re considering a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy source for your home, you may have wondered, “Should I get solar panels?” Solar energy has become increasingly popular in recent years as a viable alternative to traditional electricity sources, and for good reason. Not only can solar panels reduce your carbon footprint, but they can also save you money on your energy bills over time. However, before making the decision to invest in solar panels, there are several important factors to consider. In this blog, we’ll help you answer the question, “Should I get solar panels?”
Understanding Solar Power
Determining whether solar power is financially feasible for your home is easy. Calculate the cost of a solar power system, how much energy it will produce, and how long it will take for your upfront investment in energy savings to pay off. If the system can pay off its debts in five years and you have the capital upfront, it’s likely a good idea. However, things aren’t always so simple in practice, as these factors can vary greatly and cause the benefits and costs of solar power for two homes to differ greatly.
There are tools available to help you make a decision. Solar Reviews offers a calculator that shows you the costs and savings of a solar power system in every part of the United States. We’ll guide you through the factors to consider when calculating the cost and savings potential of solar energy for your home in the rest of this article.
Solar Power Costs for Homeowners
The cost of installing a solar power system in your home ranges from $3,500 to $16,000 upfront. The variation in costs depends on the system’s size and the type of panels you use. Solar power is capital-intensive, regardless of the system you choose. The biggest cost of owning a solar system is purchasing the equipment, with the solar module being the most expensive component.
Additional equipment, such as an inverter, metering equipment, various housing components, cables, wiring gear, and battery storage, may be required for installation. Batteries have historically been too expensive and unnecessary if excess electricity is paid for by the utility. It is also important to consider the labor cost of installing batteries.
There are additional costs involved in operating and maintaining a PV array. Inverters and batteries, if any, need to be replaced after several years.
Determining the available subsidies from the government and your local utility can prove to be a challenge. Solar installation companies can quote a price for the above costs, but historically, the U.S. government allowed a tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s cost.
More information about incentive programs in the U.S. can be found on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website. You can also check with your local utility company to find out if they offer financial incentives for solar installations and what their policy is regarding grid interconnection or selling excess power into it.
Calculating Your Energy Production
Calculating the amount of energy your system will produce is the second factor to consider. This can be a complicated calculation, even for experts. The solar radiation levels in your home and your home’s orientation are both important considerations. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides detailed information on specific locations in the United States showing solar radiation levels.
The size of your system is also important, and the theoretical electrical output potential of solar panels is expressed in watts.
How Much Will You Save?
Predicting the amount of energy savings per year is tricky because it depends on the current price of electricity. Utilities charge residential customers a flat rate of electricity regardless of when they consume it. Instead of compensating for the high cost of peak electricity production, homeowners’ solar power systems simply offset the electricity they pay, which is closer to the average price of electricity.
Many U.S. utility companies have implemented pricing systems that allow homeowners to pay different rates throughout the day to reflect the cost of electricity production. This is why there are higher rates for the afternoon and lower rates for the night. An area with this type of variable rate may find it beneficial to install a PV solar array. Solar power would offset the most expensive electricity.
This will depend on how much rate changes occur under the plan and the timing of them. Similar pricing schemes are used by utilities in certain locations, and these rates can vary according to seasonal demand.
It may be possible for some homes to sell solar power back into the grid to make additional savings. This is referred to as net metering. Under this system, excess energy produced by the solar system is fed back into the grid, and homeowners receive a credit on their electricity bill for the excess power produced. Net metering regulations vary by state, so it is important to research local regulations before installing a solar power system.
Calculating the Payback Period
The payback period is the amount of time it takes for the savings from your solar power system to equal the initial cost of the system. This is an important factor to consider when determining whether solar power makes financial sense for your home. The payback period varies depending on several factors, such as the cost of electricity in your area, the size of your solar power system, and the amount of energy it produces.
In general, the payback period for a solar power system is between 6 to 10 years. This means that after 6 to 10 years, the savings from your solar power system will equal the initial cost of the system. After this point, you will start to see significant savings on your electricity bill.
In conclusion, solar power can be a great investment for homeowners who want to save money on their electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprint. However, it is important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before making a decision. By calculating the cost of a solar power system, determining the amount of energy it will produce, and calculating the payback period, you can determine whether solar power makes financial sense for your home. Additionally, it is important to research local regulations and incentives before installing a solar power system.
Ready for a Solar-Powered Home?
Are you ready to make the switch to solar power and start saving money on your energy bills? ESD Solar can help you make it happen. Our team of experts will work with you every step of the way to design and install a solar system that fits your unique needs and budget. Plus, with our financing options, going solar has never been more affordable.
With ESD Solar, you can trust that you’ll receive top-notch service and the highest quality products available. Our team will work with you to design a solar power system that fits your unique needs and budget. Plus, our systems come with a warranty, ensuring that you’ll enjoy the benefits of solar power for years to come.
Join the solar revolution today and start enjoying the benefits of clean, renewable energy. Contact ESD Solar now to get started!