There are many factors to consider when considering solar panels. The first and most obvious is savings on your power bill.
You can determine the potential for savings by reviewing your past energy bills and local electricity rates. However, the benefits of going solar go far beyond reduced electricity costs.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
The cost of a residential solar panel system can vary widely depending on your home energy usage, location and incentives. However, the average 8-kilowatt (kW) residential solar system costs about $3 per watt with installation.
The price of a solar power system can also depend on the type of panels you choose. Monocrystalline solar panels, for example, tend to be more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels. Polycrystalline solar panels are made from crushed-up silicon fragments, which reduces their overall cost while still providing the same level of energy production.
Regardless of the type of solar panel you choose, the price of your installation will make up most of your overall cost. Homeowners can reduce installation costs by shopping around for a reputable installer. Many online marketplaces like EnergySage compile customer reviews, certifications and Better Business Bureau profiles to help homeowners find qualified contractors.
Another way to save money is by financing your solar panel system. Depending on your financial situation, you can get a loan for your solar panel system or qualify for a federal tax credit that reduces the amount of money you owe in taxes. In addition, some states offer solar power incentives like property tax exemptions, waived fees and expedited permits for homeowners who install a renewable energy system.
How Much Can Solar Panels Save You?
A high-quality solar panel system can generate enough electricity to offset a household’s energy usage and sell excess power to the local utility grid. However, the amount of electricity a solar system generates depends on several factors, including location, electric rates, and the quality of your panels.
To discover how much do solar panels save per month, always ensure that you purchase a high-quality system and install it in the right spot. You should also maintain your solar panels, regularly cleaning them to remove dirt and debris and ensuring that trees and bushes do not block the sunlight. Moreover, investing in a backup battery that can store energy during cloudy weather is wise.
The financial benefits of solar panels are considerable and long-lasting, assuming the system is properly maintained. It can reduce or even eliminate an electricity bill, saving a homeowner thousands of dollars in the first few years alone.
This is especially true in locations with a high electricity rate or generous government incentives like rebates, tax deductions, and net metering policies. Those living in Hawaii, for example, can expect to see their payback period reduced to two or three years and start making money from their home solar system within a few years. This is due to low installation costs, state-based incentive programs, and favorable climatic conditions.
How Long Will Solar Panels Last?
Solar panels are designed to last decades, making them a great investment for homeowners. In fact, with a few preventive maintenance tips, you can keep your solar panels running efficiently for a long time to come. A simple sweep with a broom is all it takes to eliminate debris buildup, which can decrease your panel’s efficiency. Sweeping is even more important in a region with much snow or dirt.
Like any other electronic device, your solar panel will experience wear and tear over the years. They don’t stop working altogether but will lose their effectiveness as they age. The reduction in their output is referred to as degradation. High-quality solar panels will have a lower degradation rate than cheap models because they use better solar cell technology and more durable materials to produce the best power output.
To calculate how much your solar panels will save you, first determine how much kilowatt-hours (kWh) you consume on average monthly. Then, find the average electricity rate for your area, which you can usually find on your electric bill or online.
The next step is to calculate the payback period, which is the time it will take for your energy savings to offset the cost of your solar panel system. It will depend on the size of your system, electricity rates in your area, financing options and any additional incentives or tax credits you may qualify for.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to help save you money while saving the planet. These panels, often called photovoltaic (PV) panels, are made of glass and silicon and mounted on your roof or other area with abundant sunlight. Sunlight is absorbed by these panels and turned into electricity, or power, that can perform all the functions you need for your home’s energy needs.
A conductive wire runs outside each panel and is designed to absorb any electricity generated by the sun’s rays making contact with the discussions. This electricity then flows through the panel and down the wires to a junction box, which converts direct or DC electricity into alternating current or AC electricity.
When you go solar, you can install a battery storage system for your home to store excess energy at night or on cloudy days when the PV panels aren’t producing as much power. Many of the best solar companies offer this additional solution to provide your household with a comprehensive home solar energy system.
The most common residential solar panel systems consist of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon cells, an inverter that turns DC electricity into AC electricity, and other components like controllers and meters. These solar energy systems can produce electricity for off-grid applications or feed electricity back into the grid through net metering programs and earn credits from the utility company for your extra production.