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Is Solar a Good Investment?

Published On: Sep 20, 2022
Updated On: May 2, 2024

While installing a set of solar panels in the backyard may seem like a sensible idea from a distance, there can be some confusion as you begin to look into the details. Which panels are the right ones for my home? Why are solar panels so expensive? How much will the electric bill be with solar panels, anyway? This research process can be discouraging and time-consuming and is where many people give up on their consideration of investing in solar. After all, solar panels are a considerably expensive purchase. Things need to be done right.

There are quite a few factors, including cost-savings, green initiatives, and environmental concerns which people want to know when going solar. We’ve put together some of the most common questions to help you figure out if solar is a good investment for your home.

Pros and Cons of Renewable Energy

Most homeowners consider solar because they understand there is some level of cost savings. It’s true – the savings associated with installing a renewable energy system often show a return on investment over the lifetime of the home. If you prefer to make environmentally-conscious choices, solar energy brings that opportunity to the table as well.

The most applicable con to the average purchaser is the high upfront cost. Solar energy is also not available around the clock – it takes some planning to get the most out of your system, leveraging the highest production months of the year and keeping a reserve of energy banked. The systems will also take up space and aesthetically change the look of your home. This can be a deterrent, although there are higher quality panels that address this issue through sleek, darker panel construction.

Why Solar Panels are Expensive

The main reason solar panels are so expensive is the overhead costs of the manufacturing process. High-grade silicon and lithium are needed to facilitate the creation of panels and batteries respectively. 

Fortunately, there are tax incentives and other government programs that make going solar more accessible.

Average Monthly Electric Bill with Solar Panels

According to EnergySage, the average solar system can save you between $10,000-30,000 over it’s lifetime. The average monthly electric bill with solar panels is $260 or less.

While there are significant upfront costs in utilizing solar energy, the long-term cost savings far outweigh them. Many solar panel systems recoup the cost of investment within 7-12 years.

If you’re purchasing a new home, it would be wise to install solar panels early to fully realize these gains.

Beyond cost savings, solar panels also increase the property value of your home. They are one of several upgrades you may want to make during any renovations to profit when selling down the line.

Solar System for House Cost

The initial setup costs of a solar system can vary depending on the coverage area, the size of the home to be powered, the style of panel, and other variables. However, the average system will cost you approximately $12,000 in the United States.

Since we know the average solar system can save this amount or more over its lifetime, this means solar systems are likely to provide a return on investment over the life of the home.

Reasons to Not Get Solar Panels

The most common reason people do not get solar panels is that they believe their home is not a good candidate for solar energy. Positioning in relation to the sun, the amount of shade in the backyard created by trees, and other factors can create a less-than-profitable situation for some homes.

If you’re planning to move, and therefore won’t be present to realize the long-term cost savings, this can also be a good reason not to go through with a solar panel installation. Some homeowners already have low costs and don’t use much electricity. If your electric bill doesn’t exceed $50, it may not be worth undergoing this process.

We’re happy to help discuss how a solar system would affect your home. If you’re interested in having one of our solar professionals walk you through the advantages and disadvantages for your unique setting, click here to contact us.

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