Pro Tip #: Maximize The Amount Of Solar Panels During Install
One of the biggest regrets homeowners have after their install is that they wish they would have installed more solar panels when they had the chance. They see the amount of power produced, and they want even more especially if it means they can connect to a home battery like the Enphase IQ battery or the Tesla Powerwall to store excess power or sell it by way of net metering.
If you decide at some point after your install that you want more panels, it will be complicated and expensive, while adding additional solar panels to the original quote can be surprisingly cheap. Even though it may be increased initial installation costs, its a smart thing to consider.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?
If you want to lower your monthly electricity bill, there are so many energy efficient upgrades you can make. But when it comes to solar panels, how many you need will be determined by exactly how much you want to lower it.
If you just want half your electricity use to be reduced, your solar panel system will probably be smaller. A great first step is learning how to read your electricity bill to find out how much energy your home is using.
And if youre looking to cover all your electric needs, youll probably need a larger solar panel system, which means of course, more solar panels
However, if you have limited roof space you could instead use higher efficiency solar panels. This would mean fewer solar panels, but greater generation rates.
Your Electricity Costs Are Already Low
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 96% of homeowners have installed solar, or are considering doing so, to save money on utility bills.
This makes perfect sense. Many American households spend hundreds of dollars every month on their power bills and solar panels are often the most effective way to slash that amount. Financial modeling by SolarReviews shows 25-year bill savings in the amount of $62,803 for solar panels installed in San Francisco in 2021, for instance.
However, some homeowners dont spend very much on electricity. This could be because of one or more of the following factors:
- You have a small home
- You have a small household size
- Your home and appliances are energy efficient
- You enjoy low electric rates from your local utility
If thats you, and you pay $50 or less a month for electricity, then installing solar probably isnt worth the time and effort.
Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home
You Might Be Leaving Money On The Table By Not Going Solar
In theory, using solar energy in private homes has always been a no brainer. Why pay the electric company an arm and a leg every month when sunlight is free? Unfortunately, putting theory into practice hasnt always been that simple. In the past, high installation costs meant very few people could actually afford to make the switch. And the ones who could afford what solar cost still had to ask themselves, is solar worth it?
Luckily, thats not the case anymore. The average cost of installing a solar energy system has plummeted by 70 percent over the last 10 years, from about $40,000 in 2010 to roughly $18,000 today. And that doesnt even include the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit , which, as of 2019, knocks an additional 30 percent of the cost. So the question today isnt how much money does solar cost? but rather, how much money am I going to lose if I dont go solar?
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The Cost Of Solar Panels Vs The Cost Of Doing Nothing
Sticker shock can be common when looking at solar proposals. But it’s important to understand that by purchasing a solar system, you’re essentially paying for 25 years of electricity upfront. So make sure to think about what you’d spend on future utility bills to see whether solar panels are worth it for your home.
For example, taking an average monthly electricity bill of $125 , I could theoretically expect to spend $46,837 on conventional energy over the next 25 years if utility rates continue to increase around 1.8% each year, the current average according to the EIA.
To put this in perspective, based on the average cost of solar per watt in Louisiana, a solar system that offsets my energy usage would cost around $15,214 after the tax credit .
Granted, not all solar systems will offset 100% of your energy use each month, but a modest solar array can be expected to offset at least 50-75% when properly designed and installed. How does that compare to spending $50,000 on dirty and unreliable energy over the next few decades?
Are Solar Panels Worth It If Youre Not In The Sunny Southwest
Solar loves the sun, but you dont have to live in the sunny Southwest to achieve solar savings! In fact, solar systems can sometimes cost more in these areas because you need a larger system to cover your electricity needs due to air conditioning. Certain climates, even though they can be less sunny than others, are better suited for solar. Many factors go into whether solar is a good fit or not sunshine is just one of them! Some of the states with the most installed solar in the country are in the Northeast even though theyre more famous for their cold snowy winters than their sunny summer days! These areas often have higher electricity costs and better local incentives than other states, leading to greater savings down the line.
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Determine Your Home Electrical Consumption
To find out the required size of the solar energy system, you need to determine your home electrical consumption as well as daily solar peak hours.
Your utility bill would give an accurate idea about your energy consumption.
Lets do some maths. A resident of Texas consumes an average of 1,200 kWh per month or 40 kWh per day. There is an average of 5.0 solar peak hours per day in Texas. Therefore, a system size of 40/5 = 8 kW would be required.
Solar Energy In 202: The Facts
Solar energy is here to stay. With many cities and states adopting aggressive renewable energy goals by 2050, the topic of solar energy is only becoming more important. And with good reason: its the leading source of renewable energy that puts power directly in the hands of homeowners across the world. Solar is the first step towards energy independence and utility companies are intimidated.
Here are the facts about the current state of solar energy.
In the last decade, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 42% . And with each year of falling prices, solar continues to expand into new markets as well as more and more homes across the world. SEIA reports the cost to install solar has dropped by around 70% over the last decade which has fueled much of this growth.
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Youre Our First Priorityevery Time
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So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.
Solar Panels 2022 Guide: Are Solar Panels Worth It
Welcome to the most complete guide to going solar in 2022.
What youll learn:
- Why everyone is talking about solar energy right now
- Why brands matter when it comes to your solar system
- Solar trends for 2022 and why you should buy sooner rather than later
- Lots of pro tips on going solar and choosing wisely
- Solar Smart tips that you wont hear anywhere else
So if youre thinking about switching to clean solar energy this year and have a hundred questions, this guide is for you.
And even if you already know what solar is, this guide for 2022 will give you the most up-to-date info on solar out there.
Lets get started.
Solar will be a hot topic in 2021. Dont get burned by missing out.
You ready to dig in? Lets start with the basics.
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How Long Does It Take Solar Panels To Pay For Themselves
The financial benefits of installing solar panels is becoming more and more obvious to many Americans. Solar energy is a way for homeowners, businesses, industries, governments, and even utility companies to invest in huge energy savings that will add up quickly and save them money long into the future.
But the main question most people want an answer to is, How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?
There are many factors that factor into the payback period of your solar panel installation. Some are easy to calculate, others not so much. Thankfully, Green Ridge Solar can help breakdown these factors and give you a clearer picture of your solar panel payback period.
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What Are The Benefits
An obvious benefit is the environmental impact of going solar. As we grow more concerned about climate change and our consumption of finite resources, harvesting renewable, infinite energy from our Sun is a step in the right direction.
True as that is, there are also very real financial benefits:
Because you are using energy your solar panels produce, you are using less energy from the grid. Translation: your bills are lower.
If you generate more energy than you need, you can even sell it back to the grid. Rates vary by state, but you can literally profit from creating and storing energy. To be clear, though, this is usually not cash sent to you but instead reflected as a reduction in your bill. Also, as we noted before, its usually more beneficial to you if you use the energy instead of selling it back.
How Efficient Solar Power Is In Your Area
First off, the climate, terrain, and surrounding factors will greatly determine how efficient youll find solar panels to be.
Obviously, the sunnier your climate, the more effective solar panels will be.
Long winters think the far north of Alaska produces much lower efficiency rates in solar power, as well. For these locations, off-the-grid power should definitely be a combination of solar and wind power for full coverage.
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The Cost Of Solar Is Going Down
The cost of solar electricity has been steadily dropping. Now, more than ever, homeowners are finding that installing solar panels is worth it. For example, ten years ago in Florida, solar energy costs were close to $7.00 per watt. Now, most Florida residents pay only $2.88 per watt.
As the price of solar panels has gone down, the number of installed systems has increased. Once one home in a neighborhood has solar, that homeowner can attest to the savings theyre experiencing. Soon, the entire neighborhood will be asking, are solar panels worth it? The answer is a resounding,yes!
Is Texas Ideal For Solar Energy
Texas is an ideal-ish type of place for solar investment. It has the highest estimated solar potential in America.
Sunlight is what solar panels crave. A 5-kW home solar system installed in Texas will generate much more kilowatt-hours as compared to the same system working in Ohio. Therefore, smaller systems are sufficient to power homes in Texas.
The handy net-metering facility is not available for Texans, state-wide. Net-metering allows to roll over extra units of solar electricity to the grid. This offsets the utility bill and makes savings. However, a battery-backed hybrid system can be deployed. Extra solar kilowatt-hours can be stored in the battery bank for later utilization.
Federal solar tax credit or Investment Tax Credit offers a straight 26% cut on your installation costs. Some local utilities such as Austin Energy, Oncor, CPS, etc. offer local solar rebates in Texas.
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The Federal Solar Tax Credit And Taxable Income
Why does taxable income matter? If you earn taxable income, you can save up to 26 percent off the total cost of your installed solar array through 2021 . However, on average, the typical residential solar customer is still working and qualifies for the taxable income portion of the solar screening process via their place of employment.
The solar ITC would have phased down to 22 percent in 2021, but in 2020, Congress renewed an extension. Homeowners who install solar by 2022 are now eligible for a dollar-to-dollar tax credit worth 26 percent of the total system cost. Those who install solar in 2023 are eligible for a 22 percent credit. While four percent may not seem like much, it can add up quickly if your home’s energy usage is high enough to warrant more solar panels than the standard 12-to-15-module roof-mounted system.
Because the solar ITC represents a large amount of savings for those interested in solar, we at Go Solar Group discourage those who dont owe federal taxes from going solar. Solar becomes much less affordable without these incentives.
How We Guarantee Your Solar Investment
At Bright Planet Consulting, we carefully design our solar installations to deliver payback periods of 8 years or less â 100% guaranteed.
There are never any surprises and the breakeven point of your solar investment is set in stone.
In addition, we can also help you:
- Qualify for affordable solar financing â whether you want to use cash, a loan, or PPA.
- Apply for relevant solar incentives to help drive down the total cost of your installation.
And for qualifying PV systems, weâll even throw in a free electrical panel upgrade.
The question isnât whether you can afford to go solar. Itâs whether you can you afford NOT to.
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Putting It All Together
Convinced yet that solar panels are worth it? Ready to move on to why youll probably, but most definitely want a solar panel battery with those panels.
- Why to consider a solar battery backup
- How to protect your home from outages
- Top benefits of a solar battery
- What brand of solar battery is best?
Ready to see what the fuss is all about?
Comparing The Costs Of Solar
If solar is getting cheaper, and the technology is improving all the time, does that make it a better investment than other options? To answer that, its not enough to compare the cost of solar against historical benchmarks. We have to look at how clean energy stacks up against alternative methods of delivering power to your home because solar panels are really only worth the investment if they can outperform the other options on the market.
For grid-tied systems, the math is pretty simple: you compare the cost of solar against the cost of buying power from the utility company to estimate the grid-tied rebates payback period.
These calculations can also be applied to evaluate off-grid systems. instead of utility power, though, youll need to compare solar to the costs of running a power line to your property or look at alternative power sources, like wind, hydro, or a trusty generator. Sometimes a combination of methods may be the smartest option.
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How Solar Energy Works
During the day, cells in solar panels convert sunlight to energy via what is called the photovoltaic effect. This energy is in direct current form. A feature called an inverter transforms this energy into alternating current form, which is what most appliances use. After that, a switchboard routes the AC energy to household appliances.
You can use the solar energy instead of buying energy off the grid. Alternatively, you can sell some of that converted energy back to the grid, but it is usually more efficient to use the energy rather than sell it.
An optional feature is a solar battery, which stores extra energy so you can use it during the dark hours when no solar energy is being created. This lowers your bills even more, but it has some drawbacks, namely the additional cost which increases the time for the return on your investment to occur. In fact, sometimes the batterys life is about the same as the time needed for the system to begin paying for itself, often negating its value. In some circumstances it is a wise choice, but as always, you should carefully consider your needs before making a decision.