What Rebates And Incentives Are Available
Rebates and incentives significantly reduce your cost of solar and can actually put money into your pocket each month, translating to substantial long-term savings. The best solar incentive is the investment tax credit , which allows you to deduct 26 percent of your solar installation cost from your federal taxes theres no cap on its value, but your individual tax liability will determine whether youre able to take full advantage of this incentive.
Depending on where you live, you may also qualify for other various incentives that help you save more: in addition to the ITC, local incentives like state tax credits, cash rebates, solar renewable energy certificates , and performance-based incentives can increase your solar savings up to 50 percent!
Other Solar Payment Options
As previously noted, individuals who do not want to purchase a system but are interested in using solar power may consider solar loans, or solar leases and power purchase agreements . Solar loans are similar to many home improvement loans. Homeowners may borrow money from a bank or solar installer, agreeing to pay it back plus interest in monthly installments over the loan term. Solar loans can be secured or unsecured and work similarly to a typical loan.
As a second alternative, solar leases and PPAs allow homeowners to rent a solar panel system from the solar panel company that owns it. Homeowners receive the energy they produce, but do not own the panels themselves. As a result, households choosing this option will not receive additional solar incentives since those are solely given to the owner of the solar panel system in this case, the third-party owner.
Would It Be More Cost
Similar to the question about the payoffs in 5 or more years, the question of should I install solar panels now or wait five years is also important to figure into your overall financial picture.
The cost of installing solar power systems has been steadily falling as the technology for creating the panels and installing them has dropped over the past several decades.
Since the 1970s, when solar power became a thing available to the general public, the costs have dropped significantly.
At that time, 1-watt of solar cell power cost about $100 from just a bit before to only $20 per watt. Now, the cost is closer to $1-$2 per watt.
Even since 2010, the cost for a solar energy system has dropped by about 70%. Thats pretty massive for only nine years time.
Of course, that ever-dropping cost gives us the dilemma: are solar panels worth it in California or any other state with significant sunshine levels or places like Seattle and Juneau with low levels of sunshine on average?
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You Can Still Make Money And Save On Energy Bills With Solarbut Not As Much As Last Year
A typical install will currently cost you around £5-8,000, down from £8-12,500 a few years back. So even with declining government feed-in rates, the actual return on investment is pretty good thanks to an ample supply of panels, thus reducing increasing competition and lowering prices. Most experts predict that even without the FIT rates, costs will drop enough to achieve grid parity for solar within the next few years.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Power My House
When asking yourself how many solar panels you need for your home, there are again a number of variables to take into account. The most significant contributing factor here is how much energy you use. While there’s no single answer, a good rule of thumb is that it takes roughly four solar panels per kilowatts needed.
Most solar panels produce around 250W every four hours of full sunlight. So how does this all play out reality?
A 3kW PV system will be sufficient for roughly three residents, according to average energy consumption. Using this formula, a system of this size would use about 12 panels on average.
A more common size for homes in the UK is 4kW, which can provide for three to four residents. If you use the same formula, a 4kW system would need an average of 16 solar panels.
You can always use a solar PV system to power some of your home instead of all of it. That would certainly lower the number of solar panels you need, but may not be as profitable in the long run.
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The Economics Arent Right For You
There are several factors, some of them discussed above, that can negatively affect the economics of solar. If these factors apply to you, you could find that you stand to save little to no money by going solar.
Here are the factors that adversely affect your financial return from installing solar panels:
- High upfront costs for your solar energy system. This is usually because solar equipment and/or installation costs are expensive where you live.
- Space restrictions mean that you cant install a solar panel system large enough to deliver adequate electric bill savings.
- Roof issues such as shading or non-ideal direction or angle negatively affect your homes solar potential.
- Low energy costs – you dont spend much on electricity to begin with.
- Unfavorable financing: Your solar loan comes with a high interest rate or onerous conditions .
- Lack of incentives: Youre not eligible for solar incentives that can substantially reduce system costs, such as the solar tax credit or SRECs .
The combination of one or more of the above will reduce your monthly savings as well as the overall payback period of a solar investment.
Now, its entirely possible that despite these factors, you can save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your solar panels just make sure that this is the case before you take the plunge.
Keep An Eye On Trade Policy
Changes in government trade policy also impact prices. In January 2018, President Trump imposed a four-year tariff on imported solar cells and panels that started at 30% and was set to drop 5% each year until February 2022. In 2020, the tariff rate for the fourth year was raised from 15% to 18%. The tariff resulted in a 16 cent per watt increase for the average consumer in 2018, which translated to an overall increase of $960 for a six-kW system, according to EnergySage.
The cost of foreign-manufactured panels may still drop, lessening the tariffs effect over time.
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Does My Roof Have To Face Due South For Solar Panels To Produce Enough Electricity
While solar panels facing due south do produce the most overall electricity, its perfectly fine to have panels facing southwest and southeast.
As solar prices continue to fall, panels are being put on west-facing roof spaces even though they produce about 15% less electricity.
This is especially common for those with time-of-use electricity billing, who wish to move their solar generation to later in the afternoon in order to save money on their electricity bills.
Do You Need A South Facing Roof
Yes and no. A south facing roof will usually give you greater returns, but a south-west or even west facing roof could still make solar panels a great investment. If you have a standard two sided roof, one side will always face one of these directions as shown in this illustration.
Your roof should be mostly free from shade during 10am 4pm for the maximum return on investment, some light shade is usually acceptable.
Does my location effect payments and ROI?
If you live in the south then you can expect higher payments than further north. However, even with cloud cover all of the UK is capable of proving amble sunlight to give good returns, and electricity generation year round.
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Is It Worth Getting A Battery In 2021
The payback period for solar batteries typically sits around the 10-year mark, about the same time as the life of the battery. For many, buying a solar battery is not so much an economical decision as it is a lifestyle choice. For many, the key reason to invest in battery storage is power back-up functionality.
At this point in time, there are no indicators to suggest that battery prices are going to decrease significantly in the next 2 3 years. Therefore, it is not worth waiting for battery prices to come down before investing in solar panels.
It Is A Cleaner Energy Source
By installing solar panels on your home, you have a green energy source that does not contaminate the environment with pollutants. Considering the alternative, where the electric power sector contributes up to 28% of all emissions nationwide, having solar energy leads to a much lower carbon footprint.
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The Best Solar Panels For High Temperature
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Solar panels produce electricity from sunlight thanks to the photovoltaic effect.
They perform best under full sun exposure. Consequently, their surface is subjected to high temperatures.
The main active material of a solar panel is silicon. Silicon is what gives the panels their typical dark-blue color, and like any dark object exposed to the sun, they can become very hot.
High temperatures decrease the efficiency of your solar panels.
So, this begs the question: What are the best solar panels for high temperatures?
Not all solar panels are created equal when it comes to high temperatures. Therefore, this article will provide you with 15 of the best solar panels for high temperatures.
- Renogy 30 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- SOLPERK 50 Watt Solar Panel
- RICH 60 Watt Portable Solar Panel
- Chafon 60 Watt Portable Solar Panel
- Paxcess 60 Watt 18V Solar Panel
- WEIZE 100 Watt Solar Panel
- TOGO 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel
- Renogy 200 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Renogy 320 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Additionally, there will be a discussion on the effect high temperature has on the power output of your solar system followed by some advice on how to cool down your solar panels in extremely hot conditions.
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Are Solar Panels Worth It In 2021
In every Australian state, no matter your electricity consumption, solar panels are worth buying in 2021.
While there are many variables that impact the cost, savings and payback of solar panels, the upshot is that in Australia they are a good investment. Typically, solar panel systems will payback within 5 6 years and it is not uncommon for systems to pay for themselves within 4 years.
If you buy well, a good solar power system should deliver you savings for 25 years.
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Initial Cost Of Residential Solar Panels
The average cost of a solar power system in Canada is between $15,000 and $30,000. That cost is dependent on several factors, and can be furtherbroken down per province. That price range applies for a 7,500kW system , but changes depending on the size of your custom build.
Additionally, output on the panels is guaranteed for 25 years, so you may need to replace your shingles before installing new panels.
It is a significant investment to be sure, but the up front cost allows you to take comfort in the energy and environmental savings for years to come outlined above.
Balance the initial cost of residential solar panels with the long terms savings.
Purchase From Reputable Brands
Generally, solar panels are divided into three categories:
- Tier 1 solar panels
- Tier 2 solar panels
- Tier 3 solar panels
Tier 1 solar panels are the best and the highest quality. They have large modules and are designed and manufactured by established manufacturers. They are linked with large-scale solar production firms. These solar panels design and build, pass the required tests, and can last over 25 years. However, Tier 1 solar panels tend to be expensive.
Tier 2 and Tier 3 panels are designed and manufactured by smaller and newer companies. These companies can lack considerable credibility. As expected, they are cheaper than Tier 1 solar panels. Tier 2 and Tier 3 solar panels typically do not have a track record, mainly because they have not passed the 25 years lifetime test.
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Solar Lease Vs Solar Ppa
Solar leases and solar PPAs are very similar financing options for residential solar systems but they do have differences. In both cases, a solar company installs a panel on your roof that you do not own.
A solar lease allows you to rent the panels for the duration of the contract in exchange for a fixed fee. With a solar PPA, the company installs its own system on your roof and sells you the electricity it produces. In both cases, the monthly payment should be lower than what youd otherwise pay on your electric bill .
Which is better? Hard to say. Different companies offer different terms and conditions and you should do some quick calculations to see which one will work out best for you. Dont blindly follow whatever the salesperson tells you -get feedback from people who used the solar installer in the past.
Solar Power For The Home: Costs
Solar power is capital intensive, and the main cost of owning a system comes upfront when buying the equipment. The solar module will almost certainly represent the largest single component of the overall expense.
Other equipment necessary for installation includes an inverter , metering equipment , and various housing components along with cables and wiring gear.
Some homeowners also consider battery storage. Historically, batteries have been prohibitively expensive and unnecessary if the utility pays for excess electricity that is fed into the grid . The installation labor cost must also be factored in.
In addition to installation costs, there are some further costs associated with operating and maintaining a PV solar array. Aside from cleaning the panels regularly, inverters and batteries generally need replacement after several years of use.
While the above costs are relatively straightforwardoften a solar installation company can quote a price for these for a homeownerdetermining subsidies available from the government and/or your local utility can prove more of a challenge. Government incentives change often, but historically, the U.S. government has allowed a tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s cost.
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Explore Various Financing Options
Finally, to ensure you get the best deal out of your solar panel installation, it is essential to choose the right financing option that will save you money. For those who cant afford to buy a solar panel outright , having the right financing option is crucial.
A vast majority of solar companies offer to connect you with a financing service. However, it is recommendable to ascertain if youre eligible for a credit home equity line . HELOCs tend to have lower rates, averaging at 4.5% to 5.5%.
Other financing options, such as unsecured solar finance, have slightly higher rates averaging at 6% to 8%.
You can also consider PPAs or a solar lease. While they translate to lower savings for you, theyre a suitable financing alternative if loans or outright purchases are not feasible options.
How Does Solar Power Work
The first thing to understand is how solar power works and whats involved in a solar panel setup.
Solar panels are made up of a series of . These cells work as a single unit, drawing in sunlight which may be either received via direct sunlight or through daylight and converting the solar energy into electrical energy.
This electrical energy is then translated into useable electrical energy that can be used to power any number of electronics, appliances, or even a power system running multiple units at once.
The solar panel itself is made up of a frame usually metal that has these solar cells placed within the frame. The cells are typically made of glass and silicon.
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Top Rated Solar Power Banks 2019
If youve made it this far in your research, youmight as well look into a few of your options. Weve picked out five of ourfavorite solar power banks on the market today. It is hard to choose just fourwith so many options today, but this can be a good place for you to jumpstartyour digging.
The four best solar power banks ranging fromsmall compact batteries to portable power stations:
How Much Can You Save With Solar Panels
Taking a look at the initial costs of installation and the amount I make each year from the solar panels it will take 13 years before Im into profit. Actually, its not quite so bad. Each year, my FIT payment will increase which means I make more from selling my electricity to the grid. Plus, the cost of electricity will rise over this period too, which means I will save extra. But even with that taken into consideration, I would be surprised to see a profit within 12 years.
To be honest, the figures arent as great as I hoped. Yes, I plan to be here for the long-term and I am helping the environment, but Im not convinced that I would install them in another property.
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The Further South You Live The More You Can Make
While you don’t need a summer home in Hawaii to get some juice from solar panels, the further south you are can make a difference when it comes to their effectiveness. Remember, this is about daylight, not hours of sunshine. Northern homes get slightly less, so where you live needs to be factored in.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that panels in Manchester could save you between £95 and £230 each year on your electricity bills, compared with around £100-£240 in London and £90-£220 a year in Stirling. See Does buying solar panels add up? below for full analysis.