Installing solar panels in your home can be a great way to reduce your electricity bills and take advantage of renewable energy. At the lower end, you can install a 3 kW solar energy system for an average cost of 10.55 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is before considering potential tax incentives and refunds. But what does this really mean for your home? Let's break it down and explore the costs of solar energy. The amount of energy used by your home will determine the number of solar panels you'll need to install to offset your energy costs.
Homeowners can look at their electricity bills to calculate their average daily energy consumption and compare it to the number of panels that would be needed to generate all of their energy needs. The amount of sun exposure your home receives can also affect the amount of energy solar panels absorb and, in turn, the amount of money you can save on your existing electricity bills. Where a homeowner lives can affect the local installation rate, as well as the number of incentives and rebates available in the area. Compared to other home improvement projects, solar panels are a relatively high-cost project. But, in turn, they can increase the market rate of a home and, eventually, offset electricity bills.
In general, solar panels begin to pay for themselves in small increments during the first year. Homeowners can expect broader amortization compensation between five and 15 years, depending on the configuration and where you live. Homeowners use solar energy in different capacities in all 50 states, but some inevitably perform better than others. That's why where you live can be a critical factor in deciding if your home is a good candidate for solar energy. To start calculating your own costs, you'll want to determine how much electricity your home consumes on a daily basis. A solar inverter will need to be installed to transform the direct current (DC) power from the panels into the alternating current (AC) that you can use in your home.
The average household uses 905 kWh per month, or about 10,850 kWh per year, in electricity. That means an average-sized home with a decent amount of sunlight could install a 5 kW to 6 kW solar panel system to help reduce utility bills. You may want to learn about the sun number score for solar energy, which is calculated based on the location of your home and the average exposure to sunlight. Also, explore the different dimensions and sizes of solar panels with your contractor for more context. On the other side of the coin is the resale value of your home.
A Zillow analysis showed that solar panels can increase the value of a home by up to 4.1 percent. Simply put, if your home can take advantage of net solar metering, solar energy that is abundantly collected and not needed in your home will go through your meter and go on the grid. A digital meter in your home records electricity moving in any direction as you enter the house and when you leave. The “net share” of the term means that the homeowner pays the “net amount” for the electricity used by the home minus the extra sold to the grid. There are several payment options that group solar installation costs into the consumer's electricity bill, either as a solar panel lease option or as a power purchase agreement (PPA). Solar leases allow homeowners to install solar panels without paying anything (or much) upfront, reducing the total cost of solar panels. After installing the panels, homeowners pay only a fixed monthly fee which includes installation costs distributed over time and cost of supplying electricity.
It's worth noting that, in most solar leasing agreements, the solar company generally maintains any incentives associated with owning solar panels. But consumers gain other advantages such as a monthly charge below utility rate or one that doesn't increase like utility rates do. At the end of the contract, homeowners can renovate, purchase the system or have it removed from their property. If you decide to sell your home with leased solar panels, you would have to transfer your lease to a qualified buyer which means making sure that they are qualified in order to make an offer on your property. Many potential buyers would prefer not to deal with this extra paperwork which means that homes with leased solar panels stay on market longer than homes with owned ones. Solar energy may be simple in concept but its application can be disconcerting.
The best approach for one homeowner isn't necessarily best for another so take time to gather relevant information about home size, local solar insolation, existing electricity rates and consumption before calculating potential cost of solar energy for your home. Solar panels can not only power your home's electricity for appliances but they can also be installed for other benefits such as heating and cooling your home with solar energy, heating water with solar energy or even heating a swimming pool with it. In general, highly technical installation is best left to professionals. According to consumer reports after accounting for tax credits cost of a 5 kW - 6 kW system in an average-sized home ranges from $12000 - $15000. Solar panels begin paying off in small increments during first year while broader amortization compensation is expected between five and fifteen years depending on configuration and location. In conclusion installing solar panels in your home is an excellent way to reduce electricity bills while taking advantage of renewable energy sources. It's important to consider all factors such as local installation rate, incentives available in area as well as resale value before making decision whether or not it's worth it.