Solar Panels

Are you ready to take advantage of one of the most valuable investments you can make for your property? Solar panels provide a low-risk, non-volatile return on investment from tax-free savings on your utility bill. With stock market volatility and increasing energy rates, owning solar panels is an important component of any nest egg and retirement plan. Solar panels have numerous financial and environmental benefits, and make homes more marketable and increase the property value too!

Solar Installation Job Examples

Most importantly, owning solar panels provides personal independence. Just like the uncontrollable rise in oil, when your property is hooked up to the grid, you’re subject to the utility companies’ rise in electricity costs. Solar panels eliminate the risk of how much electricity might cost tomorrow, providing a consistent and dependable source of energy. Solar panels can be easily installed on rooftops, ground mounts, poles, or even as a patio cover. Solar panels provide homeowners with the opportunity to self-generate some or all of their annual energy needs, thereby dramatically reducing or even eliminating their utility bill.

How Solar Panels Work

How solar panels convert sunlight into energy in a fairly simple process to understand. The procedure begins when the sun shines on the array of solar panels. The solar panels create a DC current that flows to an inverter. The inverter changes the DC current to AC current, which is the energy that appliances use in the home. The AC current flows to the home electrical panel for everyday electrical requirements. Excess power generated by the solar panels flows out through the utility meter and onto the utility grid where net metering credits are earned to offset future bills. Net metering credits are used on cloudy days, nighttime, and winter months when the sun is not shining as much. But when the sun is out, expect your solar panels to be producing an unlimited and clean source of free energy.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost?  On the surface, this seems like a straightforward question, suggesting an answer that is easily attainable.  However, the concept of “cost” includes much more than the sticker price of a few solar panels.  When considering a solar panels installation, you need to take into account a variety of this, including materials cost, installation cost, maintenance cost, and energy savings, not to mention the added value to your home or building.

Turning first to materials cost, plan on investing about $6-9 per watt of solar energy, which is on the higher side if you are paying for the installation.  The size of your house is largely irrelevant, but you’ll need to look at your recent electric bills and decide how much energy you use in a given month on average and how much direct sunlight you get.  A rough range for the upfront costs including installation, solar panels, inverter box, wiring, etc., is approximately $30-40,000 for a single family house if you are looking to entire replace grid-based electricity with solar energy. Your particular needs may range higher or lower. Many property owners choose install solar panels within their budget, which may not eliminate their energy bill altogether, but will reduce it to pennies of what they were paying before.

Don’t forget, the initial cost of solar panels does not take into consideration any tax rebates or other incentives, which can save you up to 45% of the overall cost.  Even with an 45% discount, many people might still believe that spending $5000-10,000 on solar panels is too expensive. But taking into account maintenance cost and energy savings, along with the increased value of a building with solar panels versus one without, and your investment could be recouped in about 5-8 years.  After you’ve recouped the cost of your solar panels, you’ll find yourself making money.

Considering solar panels’ cost, they pay for themselves relatively quickly. By installing solar panels, you guard against energy rate increases in the future—increases that only the utility companies have control over. You also have the security of an energy source during times that the grid is down. As long as the sun is shining, your solar panels will produce electricity. When you consider that your savings in electricity bills will pay for your system in less than 10 years, you’ll recoup your investment about 3 times over during the solar panels’ lifetime.

The added value to your home as a result of installing solar panels is fairly easy to calculate, using an appraisal tool that has been reliable for the past 30 years.  The Appraisal Journal states that, in the United States, value rises about $20 for every $1 decrease in energy costs.  Thus, if your utility bills run you $500 a year (and you save that much), your home is increased in value by about $10,000.  All of a sudden, the question of how much do solar panels cost becomes a lot less daunting.

To find out how much a solar system will cost on your property, use the free solar calculator to see a customized report for the cost of solar panels.

Overview

Overall, it seems that solar power is simply a more harmonious energy resource. To obtain other energy sources, there is a requirement of harvesting fossil fuels, animal matter, or plant matter. Meanwhile, sunlight continually hits the earth in large amounts regardless of whether it is being utilized as an energy resource or not. It’s estimated that enough sunlight falls on Earth in just one hour to satisfy the world’s energy needs for one year.

Solar power is also an attractive investment due to the added value it gives a home. With the housing market slowing down considerably a solar power system definitely helps add to the desirability and resale value of a home. A home with a fixed electric bill from solar is less expensive to live in, and thus is very appealing to potential buyers. Read more about solar panel benefits.

Along with the advantages of solar power, it is worth remarking upon the disadvantages. These include sunlight not being a readily available resource in some areas of the world. Also, solar cells are still not particularly cheap. Of course, technology for this is improving, and it will continue to improve as the cost of other forms of power increase.

Learn even more about solar panels by watching the free solar webinar online. If you are interested in learning how much solar will cost, use the free online solar calculator tool to learn all about your costs and savings with solar.