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Installing Solar Panels at Home – Are They Worth It?

In the past few years, the electricity costs have gone up, right? In addition, the research shows that energy bills take away 40% of our income, which is a huge number. 

Imagine how much money you can save if you don’t have to pay these hefty bills. The best option is to opt for solar panels because they use sunlight to produce electricity that powers your home and appliances in it. Truth be told, it seems like a nice option, something that you should do immediately, right?

However, installing solar panels at home should be a properly thought-out process. For instance, you have to think about the cost and whether your current electrical wiring can be used or not. In simpler words, there are a lot of things to consider. So, to help you out, we are sharing if solar panels are worth it and what you need to know to reap the best outcomes!

The Cost of Installing Solar Panels 

First things first, you have to be careful about the cost because it supersedes everything else. On average, the residential installation of solar panels ranges from $12,000 to $16,000. The final cost depends on the number of appliances you need to support. This price range is after claiming the solar tax credit that’s been set by the federal government. 

According to our calculations, this means less than $3 per watt installation. To illustrate, this makes the installation of solar panels 70% cheaper than costs ten years ago. The best thing about using solar panels is that the maintenance costs are nearly negligible, making it a one-time investment. 

The Cost Based on Use & Location 

Sharing the average cost is not enough because the cost fluctuates depending on your energy usage and location. You’ve to understand how much the solar panels will cost according to the energy use and location. In addition, you’ve to calculate the potential payback period and savings. We recommend using online cost estimator tools because you can enter your utility rates and local weather to get a base idea. 

Financing Options 

It’s important to add that even $12,000 isn’t a small amount to take out. However, with a higher focus on sustainable energy sources, the governments have launched several financing options for people who want to go solar. For instance, there are solar loans available that allow you to install a solar system and save money from bills the moment you turn them on. 

There are solar leases available as well, but the loans are better because you can keep the tax credits this way. On the other hand, if you choose a solar lease, you, the leasing company, will get all the tax credits. If you sell the house, the new owner will have to accept the lease. However, there are no such issues with solar loans because you will own the solar system. 

Benefits of Installing Solar Panels 

At this point, wondering about the benefits of solar panels is natural. That’s because when you are investing so much, you will want to get the maximum value as well. So, with this section, we are going to share the potential benefits of giving up conventional electricity sources. 

1. Good for the Environment

Solar energy is better for the environment because it uses less water. Solar energy doesn’t cause harm to the environment of all the energy sources. There are no carbon gases made, and the water is not polluted. Also, it doesn’t need a lot of water to be maintained, unlike nuclear power plants, which need 20 times as much. A big benefit of solar energy output is that it doesn’t make noise. This is especially true since many solar installations, like home solar panels, are in cities. 

2. Less Energy Costs

If you make your energy through solar panels, you will need less electricity from the utility company. Your energy bill will go down right away because of this. You can also make money by selling the energy you have made but not used back to the power grid. You can get even more out of your green investment by applying for solar panel funds. 

If you make more energy, you will need less from the government source. This will make you more energy-independent. How much energy you can make depends on a lot of things, like how steep your roof is. It is possible to save more money with flat roof solar panels than with pitched roof solar panels.

3. Easy Electricity During Peak Hours

Between 11:00 and 16:00, and then early in the evening, people tend to use more energy. Of course, this is the time when the price of energy is highest. Additionally, solar energy is at its most productive during those times. The value of electricity made at that time is higher than electricity made at night. Prices during those times could be brought down to a level close to those at night if solar energy added more power to the grid. 

4. Widely Usable

As long as there is sun, solar power can be used anywhere. This is especially helpful for places that are far away and don’t have any other way to get energy. There are a lot of people in the world who don’t have power. In those places, separate solar systems could be put in place to make the lives of millions of people better. Along with that, solar energy is used to power boats and aircraft. 

5. Lesser Loss of Energy

This is one of the strengths of solar energy. About 3–5% of the energy is lost when it is shipped and distributed. When there are larger distances between where things are made and where they are sold, more energy is lost. These losses may not seem important, but they can affect how well the system works in places with a lot of people. Having solar panels at your place cuts this distance down significantly, which makes the solar panels work better. 

6. Secure Grid

There are lower chances of electricity cutouts and blackouts if the power plants are properly spread out. There are thousands of energy production centers spread out over a large area in a grid that uses a lot of solar energy. This makes the grid safer in case of an overload or a disaster caused by people or nature.

Different Types of Solar Systems

Now that you know the benefits of installing solar systems at home, you must understand different types of solar systems as well. Over these years, the grid-tied systems were most common because they were the most affordable. The low cost also promised quicker returns or payback. However, since they were tied to the grid, the electricity used to be cut off whenever the utility grid went down. In simpler words, there was no backup. 

For this reason, people have started adding batteries to the system because it helps them create a backup of energy. This means that their homes won’t be drowned in the dark if the grids are down. These are known as hybrid solar systems. 

The third and last type of solar system is the off-grid system. These solar systems are commonly used by people living in rural or remote areas because they can be very expensive. 

Do Solar Panels Help You Save Money? 

No doubt about it, solar panels do save you cash. Panels can often save more than $50,000 throughout their life. After four to eight years, your solar panels will pay for themselves. After that, for 20 years, your solar panels will give you free energy. 

The result of rising electric rates that solar savings can add up to such big amounts of money is called compounding. Over the years, the price of energy will keep going up if you don’t get solar power. Solar panels are like an insurance policy that protects you from rising electricity costs. 

Don’t worry if this sounds too good to be true. Solar is not a scam. Most states have a program called “net metering,” which lets you sell any extra electricity your solar panels make during the day back to your utility company at the same rate you buy electricity at night. This is another great way to save money with solar panels. 

Keep in mind that not all net metering policies are the same. Many companies are trying to cut back on net metering programs if they haven’t already. If you put in solar panels now, you’ll get net metering for at least 10 years. This saves your investment in case net metering changes in the future.

Does Solar Power Still Work When The Power Goes Out? 

A lot of people think that solar panels will keep their lights on when the power goes out. They won’t, though, unless you add battery storage (a hybrid setup). As a safety measure for people fixing power lines, solar power systems turn off immediately when the power goes out from the grid. You can only use solar panels to power your home during a blackout if you also store power in batteries. 

What Do Solar Batteries Do? How Much Are They? 

You can use your extra solar energy when you need it most, like when the power goes out. This is possible with solar cells. When you have net metering, your extra energy is sent to your battery instead of the grid. At the grid, it is kept until you need it again. 

Installing most home solar batteries costs between $10,000 and $15,000. This means that they add a lot to the overall cost of a solar system. It is possible to get refunds in some states that will help you pay less for adding batteries to your solar system. It’s also important to know that batteries can be bought with the 30% federal solar investment tax credit, which cuts the price by a lot. 

Solar batteries used to be very expensive, but now they are less expensive and more common than ever because more people want to be prepared for widespread power outages. About 70% of the people who use our website to get prices from nearby solar companies ask for battery storage. Three years ago, this number was less than 50%. There are more and more blackouts in the U.S., and a solar battery is the best way to keep your lights on. 

These batteries will become more popular over time, especially since more utilities are ending net metering. You would not get paid for all the solar power you make without net metering. If your utility company does not have a good net metering program, you will still get the full value of your solar energy if you store it in a battery. 

The Investment of Time 

If you are sure that investing in solar panels for your home would be a good option, it’s time to focus on the timeline. Fortunately, it doesn’t take weeks to complete the installation. If you choose a reliable company, the installation takes one to three days. However, if the wiring is damaged or complicated, it might take five to six days.

Keep in mind that installation is only one step. That’s because you will have to find the installation company and sign a contract with them. In addition, remember that there might be time delays because you have to get utility approvals and solar permitting. These approval processes can increase the time. The good thing is that reliable solar companies have ways to push for quick approvals, so find the right ones. 

The Bottom Line 

The bottom line is that going solar is worth it if you can find a good solar panel installation company. In addition, you’ve got to make up your mind about the high upfront costs, but the good thing is that these are one-time costs. If you need more help, Solar Company San Diego can offer a quick consultation as well! 

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