Are solar panels worth it for your home in 2020?
Written by Andrew Sendy
Updated August 12, 2021
5 minutes read
Are solar panels worth it for your home? We cover everything you need to know about these energy-saving elements.
According to research, rooftop solar reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lowers electricity costs.
Want to learn more? In this guide, we're going to ask the question, are solar panels worth it? They raise the value of the home, save on electricity, and help the environment.
Want to learn more? Keep reading!
Are solar panels worth it?
Solar panels can save you a lot of money. Let's look at how they can and why you should consider getting them for your home.
How long do solar panels for home last?
Solar panels for home last at least 25 years and some now have 30 year warranties.
How much value will solar panels add to my home?
Solar electricity adds value to a home so even if you move home in a few years you will still be ahead. The first reason for this is that the federal tax credit currently pays for 26% of your system cost and so this means you only have to save enough on your energy bill to cover 74% of the price of solar. The cost of solar panel installation is now at a level where it is common to get enough savings on utility bills to pay off a solar system in 5-8 years.
So let’s say you moved house in 2 years time, the solar tax credit would have covered 26% of the upfront cost of the solar panels for your home, you would have saved a further 30-40% of the cost of the solar system so you would only be owed 30-40% of the system cost.
A study the the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of approximately 22,000 homes solar with PV solar panels showed that these homes sell for approximately $14,000 more than equivalent homes without solar. The premium was actually greater in California. This means that even if you sell your home after two years you will make a profit on your solar panels for home.
Installation costs vary
Depending on what solar company you choose, the installation cost will differ. Cheaper solar panels might seem enticing. Yet, it's best to buy higher quality equipment. This is an investment and should last years. You want to make sure not to cheap out. Even if the startup cost seems more attractive with the cheap option. Review what options you have. This will help you determine the right choice for your home.
Did you know that individual states offer incentives and rebates if you get solar panels? Research and find out what is available where you live. The federal government provides a solar tax credit, and most states have extra incentives.
How will you pay for your solar panels?
Aim to save up so you can buy your solar panels. You'll save more in the long run. You won't have a high-interest loan. Your savings could be in the thousands.
Try and avoid solar leases and power purchase agreements. If you lease solar panels, you will pay a monthly rent for up to 20 years. You may have to still pay for the solar panels if you want to keep them at the end of the lease, or the company will come and remove the panels.
How much do you pay for electricity?
Electricity bills are a significant factor for people when considering solar panels. Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) you use, you pay your utility company for. The rate depends on where you live. You might pay as low as 8 cents per kWh compared to 20 cents or higher in places like California.
If you decide to go solar, you're installing a little power plant on your roof. This replaces the power plant that your utility gets its power from. Homeowners with high electricity rates will save a lot when switching to solar power.
What rates will my utility pay me for the amount of solar energy I feed into their grid?
About 35 states in the United States have a net metering law which pays you either the full retail value of each kilowatt-hour of solar electricity you export to the utility company for a rate very close to it, as is the case with NEM 2 in California.
Colder areas of the United States
People might wonder if it's worth it to get solar panels if they live in colder states. Homes in the Northeastern U.S. with their harsh winters can still gain from solar panels. The sun still shines! These states have high electricity costs. There are also fantastic incentives in these areas. It will make it worth it for people to invest in solar panels.
Tips for homeowners interested in solar panels
Consumers should make sure they compare as many solar options as possible. You want to make sure you aren't paying an inflated price from a popular installer in the solar industry.
Research and talk to people who have purchased from companies in your area. Consider working with a smaller contractor. They usually offer a lower price. Local companies tend to provide a free quote.
Biggest solar company isn't always better
Don't get fooled by the big and flashy companies that sell solar panels. Considering all the options is essential. There will be individual companies that rise to the top. This is due to a significant investment in advertising.
Large installers will cost more than smaller solar companies. If you have an offer from one of these bigger companies, compare it with the quote from a local installer. Try comparing solar panel prices online.
Compare equipment options
Large-scale companies might not have as many solar equipment options. This can impact your system's electricity production. Collect a diverse group of solar bids. You can see what packages are available for you. Some panels will have higher efficiency ratings compared to others.
Renewable energy helps the community
Energy from the sun is used through the solar power system. If you install solar panels in your home, you are fighting greenhouse gas emissions. This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. Traditional electricity is from coal and natural gas. Fossil fuels burn, and they produce electricity. The setback is they release harmful gases. This creates air pollution which isn't good for the environment. They also aren't an infinite resource.
Fossil fuels are a finite resource. This is why the price fluctuates all the time. You may have seen this before. One day you go to work and gas has increased by a ton since the evening before. Using renewable energy like solar power helps public health. You won't be relying on natural gas and coal plants that produce air and water pollution. You can reduce early mortality and health care risks. The other positive is, solar power does not need a ton of water resources. Fossil fuel production requires major water resources and can strain the supply.
Increases home value
Getting solar panels for your home increases the value of your house. They tend to sell quicker than non-solar homes. Solar panels increase the value of the home.
As people become more educated about solar power, there will be a higher demand for solar panels. People who have this already installed in their home will have a competitive edge on the market.
Contact us today
Are solar panels worth it? We hope you found your answer. You will save a considerable amount on your electricity bill and increase the value of your home.
Want to learn more about solar panels? Try out our calculator to find out everything you need to know about going solar.