Photovoltaic solar power absolutely can save you money in the form of reduced electricity bills. These savings will add up quickly over time, and your photovoltaic array will pay for itself.
But how much can you save? When will your solar system reach the point of payback, and how can you push that along?
The answers to these questions depend primarily upon three factors:
A photovoltaic solar power system requires clear and unobstructed access to the sun. Consequently, you’ll need a sunny location to install your array. You also could choose a ground-mounted system, if you have a large, sunny area in your yard. Most homeowners, however, opt for rooftop photovoltaic panels.
If you plan to install a rooftop PV solar array, you need ensure that your roof is in good enough condition to support the photovoltaic panels. Solar power systems will produce free electricity for decades, so if necessary, have your roof repaired before installation. That way, you won’t have to hassle with it later.
Although it is not a requirement, your long-term savings will be even larger (and your payback period potentially shorter) if you improve your home’s efficiency before installing your system.
Electricity prices vary, but homeowners in the Intermountain West states pay roughly 10 to 13 cents per kilowatt hour.
The higher your utility prices, the more you can save with PV solar energy. Your photovoltaic system will provide you with thousands of kilowatt hours of free electricity every year, which adds up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars that stay in your pocket instead of going to the utility company. And as the power company increases its rates (as they all do regularly), your savings grow even more.
If your state has a net metering program, you’ll save even more when you select a grid-tied solar power configuration. Under a net metering program, the utility company pays you the retail rate for the excess electricity when your solar PV system produces more energy than your household uses.
To ensure that you receive the best price and professional service on your solar power system installation, request estimates from only the most reputable and qualified professional contractors.
If you receive estimates from multiple installers, compare the ownership terms, warranties and performance calculations — not just the costs — before deciding which installer to hire. All of these factors will affect the long-term savings of your system.
Your contract should include an itemized list of expenses as well as finance information. Federal, state and local tax credits, rebates and grants also should be considered. If an installer leaves any of this out of the contract, you can’t determine whether you are getting a fair deal.
Intermountain Wind & Solar offers free consultations and estimates for homeowners who want to save money with photovoltaic energy. We serve commercial and residential customers throughout the Intermountain West, and we are the leading provider of alternative energy solutions in the region. Contact us today to learn more about how much money you can save with the adoption of a comprehensive solar power system.
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