Solar Panels Require The Right Environment
Your roof is a vital consideration when considering solar panels. If there is too much shade from trees or nearby buildings, it will not receive the adequate sunlight needed to harness power.
You also want to consider potential regulations in your neighborhood. If you live in an area with a homeowner’s association, you need to seek approval before installing a system. And it is not a guarantee they will allow you to have one. If you don’t have an HOA, you still should check with your city, as many require permits before work begins.
How Long Will You Stay In The Home
The final question to ask when determining if solar panels are worth the investment is how long you plan to stay in the home.
Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years, which means they will likely last the entire duration of a conventional mortgage.
People who are planning on living in the same home for many years experience more security in the payoff of their investment. Electricity prices are trending upwards nationwide, so owners will already be positioned to reap exponential savings.
Theres still a chance for returns for owners who plan to sell sooner rather than later. Experts have found that homes configured with solar panels sell for prices that are, on average, $15,000 higher than their equals.
With most solar set-ups costing around $12,000, theres a good chance that solar panels will be worth it for people looking to sell their homes soon.
How To Choose A Solar Panel Installer
When browsing for the best solar companies in your area, look for the following qualities during your search:
- Years of experience
- Types of solar panels used for installations
- Optional additions, such as solar batteries
- Warranty coverage for the solar panel equipment and its performance
- Reviews from current and former customers
- Better Business Bureau ratings
- Financing options offered, including up-front costs, interest rates, and payback period
- Customer service availability
Also Check: How Much Energy Can Solar Panels Store
Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels For Your Home
Like most things, solar power has its benefits and drawbacks. At the same time, some economic costs may be defrayed by the social benefits to the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, which may be more important to you than a purely monetary evaluation.
Green energy that lowers your carbon footprint
Net metering allows you to sell back excess energy produced
You may be eligible for certain tax breaks
Installation and maintenance costs are still high
Solar only works when the sun is out
Parts of the system need to be replaced every few years
Some tax breaks may have expired or will be expiring
What Are The Benefits Of Solar Panels
Solar panels take advantage of one of natures most powerful yet free resources the energy produced by the sun, said Attila Tamas Vekony on GreenMatch.co.uk. They use semiconductor technology to convert energy from sunlight into electricity that can power your household. There are two main types: photovoltaic panels, that produce electricity, and solar thermal panels, that are used for heating purposes.
The key benefits of solar panels are:
- Electricity all year round
- Increase the market value of your property
- Earn money from excess energy you generate
Cutting electricity bills is another key benefit of solar panels, said the Energy Saving Trust. Sunlight is free, so once youve paid for the initial installation, your electricity costs will be reduced.
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How Many Solar Panels Are You Installing
The number of solar panels installed on a home will directly impact the size of utility bill savings. The more panels there are, the more electricity they can produce, and the more savings homeowners will find in their monthly electric bills.
However, homeowners need to compare the upfront costs with the long-term savings to decide if solar panels are worth the investment. More solar panels also equate to higher upfront costs for installation. Naturally, fewer panels cost less to install.
The most successful solar investors strive to strike a balance between the cost of installation and the energy required to recoup the initial expenses.
The cost to install solar panels varies by state. The national average is $12,000, with a range of $5,000 to $40,000.
The price per solar panel can range from $2.50 to $3.30 per watt, although the price will drop for customers purchasing wholesale. That means the overall cost might be cheaper for fewer panels, but the cost per panel is cheaper when you buy more panels.
When purchasing a larger quantity, its essential to ensure proper roof space first. Failure to do so could leave you stuck paying for panels that cant go on your roof.
How To Calculate Overall Solar Panel Return On Investment
Here’s how to calculate the overall return of investment for solar panels over the course of the systems lifetime to determine whether the solar panel return on investment makes sense for your particular needs:
- Lifetime cost of electricity lifetime cost of solar = Solar ROI
Lifetime cost of your system include things like installation, permitting, equipment, grid connection fees, minus the rebates and incentives you qualify for.
To keep this simple, we are assuming the installation cost in our example above covers all lifetime costs of the system. Put into real figures, it can look something like this:
- Lifetime cost of electricity = $1,500.10 x 30 years = $45,003
- Lifetime cost of solar = $14,800
- $45,003 – $14,800 = $30,203
Assuming you continue to pay the same electricity rate, youll save about $1,000 a year or 67% for a lifetime return of nearly $30,000.
You can also use a solar panel ROI calculator online to figure out how much you’ll save.
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Theres Nowhere Else To Put Solar Panels
The roof is the most common place to put solar panels but its not the only place they can go.
You will find homeowners placing solar panels in other places, such as in their backyard or on a secondary structure on their property.
However, if both of the circumstances below apply to you, then youre out of luck.
- Ground-mounting isnt possible for you: Ground-mounted solar refers to solar panels installed on the ground using special mounts to angle them towards the sun. While this may be an option for farms and ranches, it is rarely feasible in cities and suburbs where there is less open space to work with.
- No other structure is available: The last option to consider are buildings like carports or sheds, or backyard structures like gazebos, pergolas and patio covers. If you dont have any of these, or they lack suitable surface areas, it means that you’ll have to hold off on solar panels for the time being.
Are 9bb Solar Panels Worth It For Camper Van Life
Because of their increased cost, you may be thinking whether or not 9BB solar panels are worth the investment. After all, converting an entire camper van isnt cheap and money isnt unlimited.
If you can afford the higher price, 9BB solar panels are worth the extra cost. Not only are 9BB solar panels more efficient at converting sunlight into power but they also degrade at a slower rate, compared to 5BB panels, due to their nine bus bar construction. This gives them a longer life span.
But due to their increased price compared to 5BB panels, these newer 9BB solar panels are not an obvious choice for every circumstance. If you are on a tight budget or do not care for the more compact dimensions of a 9BB panel, then these newer solar panels may not be the best choice for you.
But in our opinion, if you are looking to install solar panels on your camper van or RV and your budget allows it, these 9BB solar panels are absolutely the best choice. That is because roof space is limited on mobile homes. And oftentimes you can only fit two, maybe three, solar panels on your roof.
But having smaller solar panels may allow you to better fit your panels on your campers roof. Perhaps you can now fit three 9BB panels whereas you might only be able to fit two 5BB solar panels.
To help you plan your solar panel arrangement on your camper vans roof, check out our step-by-step solar panel layout guide.
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You Will Need A New Roof Soon Or You Have A Metal Roof
If you are planning to get a new roof soon, then its perfect time to consider installing solar panels. In fact, it probably makes sense to coordinate the re-roofing work with the installation of solar arrays.
While most homes are covered with fiberglass composition shingles aka asphalt, there are some roofs that are covered with metal and/or a single-ply membrane like EPDM rubber, PVC or TPO membranes that are commonly installed on low-sloped roofs.
Why Are Solar Panels Worth The Value
Leasing options do exist, but if you want to own your solar panels, youll need to pay out-of-pocket, take out a loan, or find another financing option.
While todays solar panel system costs may seem high, you are actually getting an incredible deal! Solar power system costs have plummeted 60% over the last decade, while efficiency rates have climbed dramatically. That means todays solar panels systems work better than ever and cost less money!
Of course, that might not make you feel better if youre looking at a hefty price quote from a solar installer. Where are all these costs coming from?
Is Solar Power Worth The Cost For My Location
In addition to the excellent resource provided by Googles Project Sunroof, there are other ways to determine if your homes location is suitable for solar panels. Here are some resources that pinpoint the best locations for solar power, where solar energy is already being embraced, and ways to advocate for solar power in your city:
- The Top 30 Local Government Entities That Use the Most Green Energy SolarPower.guide
Many wonder if colder, darker climates such as the Northeast are viable for solar power. Is solar worth it in the Northeast? While places with consistent, reliable amounts of sunshine are ideal, you may be surprised to find that solar energy is worthwhile in states such as New York, New Hampshire, and Maine. Since this region has some of the highest utility rates in the nation, solar energy is a fantastic way to help offset costs and protect the environment. If you live in New York, you are in luck: Its considered the top location for solar power potential in the Northeast. Its ranked 10th in the nation in terms of solar power. When you look at countries that produce the most solar energy, you may be surprised to find that many European countries, which are notorious for rainy days and long winters, lead the way. This all boils down to the question, Is solar power worth it in all climates and locations? Quite possibly, so it is worth it to do the research! Check out the states with the most solar installations so far for additional insight.
Solar Rebates And Incentives In 2022
The federal government provides benefits to households that install renewable energy systems including solar panels through small-scale technology certificates with a redeemable value.So how does the Government work out how many STCs your solar system qualifies for? Theres a straightforward calculation thats used to work this out: System size x deeming period x zone ratingThe zone ratings are as follows:
|Darwin, Northern NT, Townsville and top of QLD
|Sydney and most of NSW, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and SA, Northern Vic
|Melbourne, Southern Vic, Tasmania
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Home Resale Value Increase
Were often asked if solar panels increase property value. Since a solar energy system is an asset just like any other, it does add to the value of your home.
However, this is only true if you own the system, rather than lease it.
A well known Zillow study shows us that homes with solar installations tend to sell for about 4.1% more than homes without.3 The value added will depend on the system size, quality and age of the installation.
As a bonus, if your state offers a property tax exemption for a solar installation, you wont have to pay the additional property taxes on the boost in property value provided by solar.
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, whether due to low electric rates or low usage, means you dont spend much on electricity to begin with.
- Unfavorable financing: Your solar loan comes with a high interest rate because of poor credit history, or imposes onerous conditions such as a first-priority lien.
- 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 increase the overall payback period of your 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.
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Is Solar Pv A Good Investment
Buying solar panels is a long-term investment that should help cut your electricity bills and carbon footprint. But will they pay for themselves and earn you money?And could they affect the value of your home? Read on to find out more.
Solar panels are often marketed as a way to save money on electricity, and sometimes as a way to make money too. This is because you can get paid for the electricity they produce and you don’t use.
Keep reading to find out how long it’s likely to take to break even if you buy in solar panels, and how much you could earn from them.
Plus our unique survey of estate agents reveals the effect solar panels will have on the value of your home.
If you’ve decided to go ahead with solar panels, use our solar panel brand reviews to find the right solar PV option for you.
Value 4 Protecting The Environment
Lets take a step back and consider the value of solar panels outside of the financial realm. Yes, its great to have a nearly non-existent energy bill each month, but solar panels can offer value in much more powerful ways. Like, helping you save the planet at least a little.
Californians are already dealing with the effects of climate change. Our summers are growing hotter, and wildfire season has turned into a year-round event. Were still recovering from the devastating 2017-2018 wildfire season even as flames rage across the state this summer, forcing Californians from their homes and stealing lives far too soon.
Solar panels use the clean, abundant energy of the sun to produce power, and by investing in solar panels, you can dramatically lower the carbon footprint of your home. In essence, investing in solar panels is an investment in a clean, stable future for yourself, your family, and all the generations to come.
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Solar Panels Are Not Worth It For You If
- Your home doesnt get enough sun exposure: If you know anything about how solar panels work, it wont be a surprise that darker areas benefit a bit less from this renewable energy source. If your roof tends to be shaded for long stretches of the day , then your solar panels may not get the sun exposure they need to generate a solid ROI. That being said, solar panel efficiency in cloudy regions may surprise you and fun fact solar panels are actually slightly more effective in the cold.
- Youre ineligible for incentives and rebates: Certain municipalities and utility companies offer incentives on top of the federal tax credit, which can have a big impact on your solar payback period. If your local government or power company doesnt have its own incentives, or has a poor or non-existant net metering policy, a solar investment may not be worth it for your home.
- You have low costs for electricity: If your electrical bills are already fairly minimal, then installing a residential solar system will yield more modest savings.
- You dont have the right kind of roof: Certain types of roofs just arent as well-suited for solar power installation. For example, older or historic homes, homes that have overly tiled roofs and homes that have larger skylights may not be good matches for solar energy. Homes that arent facing the best direction for solar exposure may not be the best candidates.