Can Solar Panels Really Save Me Money?
Solar panels are by far the most popular form of renewable energy for residential homes, but many homeowners still wonder if they can afford solar energy, and if installing it will really save money. The good news is that the answer to both questions is probably yes.
What is Solar Energy?
Solar is a renewable form of energy that converts sunlight into electricity to power your home. It requires photovoltaic panels installed somewhere on or near your home, plus a converter and a battery system if you want to have a backup. Most homeowners install the panels on the roof, but you can also put them in the yard if your roof isn’t suitable for the panels or doesn’t get enough sunlight.
A battery backup to store the energy you capture is also an option for your solar system. Most homeowners don’t use as much energy during the daytime hours when the panels are generating electricity, so having a battery allows you to capture sunlight in the daytime and use it at night. Alternately, you can choose to connect your solar system to the local utility company and send any extra electricity to them during the day, then use energy from the grid at night. Most will offer some form of a credit (called net metering) for the excess energy you provide during the day to go toward your nighttime energy usage, reducing or eliminating your total bill. You can also get a hybrid model with a battery backup and grid connection.
Cost Savings from Solar Panels
The cost of energy varies from one place to another, but it has increased steadily over the past 20 years and that is projected to continue in the future. Most every household can benefit financially from installing solar panels, although it’s important to understand that some of the savings are going to be mitigated by the initial cost of installing solar panels. A typical residential solar system costs about $15,000-$25,000 up front. Depending on your power needs it should eliminate most or all of your bill, but your break-even point won’t come for a few years as those savings are offset by the cost of your system.
There are tax incentives that can defray some of the initial costs, but those are declining and are set to expire after 2021, so homeowners who want to get the most out of tax incentives should consider installing solar right away to get the most benefit.
Who Benefits Most from Solar Energy?
People who will get the most energy savings from solar are those who:
- Live in a location with a high number of days with abundant sunshine
- Have a section of property with unobstructed access to sun to capture energy
- Use a significant amount of power
- Live in an area where energy is more expensive or where your prices tend to fluctuate a lot, making your power bill unpredictable
Most everyone will benefit from solar energy, both financially by lowering your power bills each month and by reducing your overall carbon footprint. To learn more about how easy it is to get solar installed on your home, contact Intermountain Wind and Solar today.