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.
Questions About Your House
Which way does your roof slant? Because of the United States position in relation to the sun, south-facing roofs are the most productive for solar, followed by west-facing and then east-facing roofs. North-facing roofs are the least desirable for solar, and many people rule them out.
Is your roof shaded? Ideally, the sun will hit your panels for at least five hours a day. If trees, hills or other buildings block the sun from reaching your roof, thats a problem.
How big is your roof? You need about 100 square feet of area per kilowatt of solar system. An average residential solar system is five kilowatts 20 panels in size. So, for that, youd need roughly 500 square feet of space.
Whats the angle of your roof? The ideal angle for solar panels is 30 degrees, but they can be installed on roofs ranging from zero to 45 degrees. Solar panels for flat roofs are installed on tilted racks. If your roof is very steeply pitched, the sun may not reach the far side. Study your roof throughout the day to see whats really going on.
What type of roofing do you have? Its easiest to install solar panels on asphalt shingles or corrugated metal roofs. Putting them on slate or tile roofs is more complex and costlier. Your jurisdiction may not allow solar panels on a wood shake roof because thats a potential fire hazard.
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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The Pros And Cons Of Solar Energy
When it comes to solar energy pros and cons, we’ve heard it all: it’s for hippies, it’s too expensive or it doesn’t work. Yet more solar energy systems are being installed on homes and businesses than ever. Here, we explain some key facts about the pros and cons of solar energy and answer the main question for homeowners, are solar panels worth it?
Solar panels are more efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly than theyve ever beenand the 26% federal tax credit makes solar an even more attractive investment for homeowners through the end 2022. However, like any investment, going solar wont make sense for every homeowner depending on their geographic location, roof orientation, and current electricity usage. A free consultation is the quickest way to see if solar is right for you.
In most situations and areas in the US, solar panels are worth the cost of installation and maintenance, providing a good return on investment and benefits to the environment.
Note: Many of these solar cons are applicable to older or less advanced home solar technologies and are no longer an issue.
Should I Wait To Invest In Solar Panels
Is solar going to be a better investment in 2021? We dont have a crystal ball, but here are the things we do know:
- The federal solar rebate reduces each year , meaning that you will pay a little more for every year that you wait.
- If you live in a place like Melbourne, the Victorian rebate is subject to change, whether it be a reduction in the amount or a change to the scheme.
- Solar panels are getting more efficient each year and, their cost is decreasing though the curve is flattening.
The best reason to invest in solar now is that you can save money off your next bill of course, the more energy produced from renewable sources, the better it is for our environment.
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So Is Solar Power Worth It
The message is simple if you have the budget for a good quality system from a reputable installer, solar power is absolutely worth it. When sized up properly, it is possible to get a return on your money in as little as 3 to 5 years and have a problem-free investment that generates clean energy for decades over 25 years with the better brands. A 5kW system can save you up to around $50,000 on your power bills over the life of the system, money that is taken directly from the books of the coal industry.
Furthermore, solar storage is now available, enabling households to run their home almost entirely off solar power. Solar & Storage systems are quickly becoming the norm, as households look to increase their energy independence and maximise the consumption of solar power in the home.
Solaray offers extremely competitive pricing on all of the top brand names from the best Chinese manufacturers right up to the best high-efficiency modules on the market from companies like LG Solar.
Millions of Australian households now have solar power because the numbers simply make sense. When sized up properly solar power costs as little as 5 cents a kWh. Compare that to what you are currently paying and it quickly becomes apparent that solar power is worth the money for most Australian households.
Rapidly Rising Electricity Costs
Lets face it, domestic electricity costs are rising rapidly across the nation, especially in Los Angeles, California where residential electricity rates have increased by over 10% from June 2020 to June 2021. Across California, prices have risen by 7% in the same time period.
There is no reason to expect that the rapid increase in electricity and home energy costs will be curtailed any time soon. In fact, with the rapid adoption of sustainability and ESG policies such as moving away from coal and fossil fuels, domestic energy costs are likely to continue to rise over the next decade, especially in states with limited natural resources.
A growing adoption of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles also puts an increasing demand on the electric grid and existing infrastructure. Expanding and upgrading the existing infrastructure to support rapidly rising number of BEVs and PHEVs on the road will likely continue driving up electricity rates over the next 5-10 years. These dynamics are projected to accelerate as states like Washington, Oregon, California, and others incentivize or mandate policies that foster adoption of electric vehicles by 2030 and/or beyond.
If you are concerned about the rising electricity rates in your home state, then investing in a PV solar power system will help offset the effects of rising energy rates while also reducing or even eliminating your current electric utility bills.
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So Are Solar Panels Worth It
With FIT payments having stopped for new installations, the money-making potential has dropped drastically. Unless the panels drop in price, you could be looking at 25 years + before you see a return in investment. So unless youre in your home for the long run, its just not worth it. And most reports suggest that solar panels dont increase the value of your home and in fact, could decrease it.
Edited to add that since writing this article, we invested in a hot tub. I say we, it was actually my wife. However, solar panels have certainly reduced running costs.
Edited 2022. As we all know, the price of energy has increased sharply over the last year or so. That means you could see a return on your investment far sooner than you would have if prices stayed at 2020 levels. Its certainly worth getting an installer in to give you a quote to how much you could save with them installed.
Is It Better To Have More Solar Panels Or More Batteries
There are indisputable advantages of having more panels or more batteries. Thus, the correct answer to our question highly depends on your needs.
For instance, having more solar panels means you have a higher power production, which increases your energy independence by reducing reliance on the grid, especially if you have a higher capacity battery.
Similarly, purchasing more batteries would mean that you have blackout protection, keeping all your critical appliances such as refrigerators secure.
Additionally, more batteries imply that you can store excess power, especially in sunny seasons. As a result, you can use the stored power during peak evenings or even sell the power back to the primary grid, which can be a source of income.
I am sorry if you are already in a dilemma. Let me help you out!
You can have more solar panels if you want to increase power production. That means, the inverter and other critical components can deal with high amounts of power.
Further, if you have a battery in the setup, you must also ensure that it has a higher storage capacity to store all the power generated.
Similarly, you can purchase more batteries if the solar panels produce more power than the current battery set can store.
Simply, you should consider purchasing more batteries only if the panels generate more power and the battery capacity is limited.
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You Gain Some Energy Independence
Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to harness radiation from the sun. Once converted from a direct to an alternating current, the panels allow your home to use the energy. In turn, you gain an energy source independent from the utility company, saving you money relative to using traditional energy sources for all of your power needs.
You can earn more on your investment through the sale of offsets. Some states allow you to sell your excess energy back to utility companies, which must purchase some of their power from renewable energy sources.
Moreover, if your utility experiences a power outage, you can use the energy stored in solar panels to keep your home powered through the storm. Overall, solar panels give you a level of power stability and financial flexibility not found in traditional sources.
Which Solar Panels Are Best For Home
There are many ways to rank the best solar panels, including by value, efficiency, and performance. These brands tend to have the best overall solar panels:
You can read our expert summary and justifications for the ranking of top solar panel manufacturers in 2021 on our best solar panel brands expert reviews page.
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How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost
Prices have been coming down steadily over the years. The total cost will depend on how many kilowatts of power your array will generate. According to consumer reports, after solar tax credits are accounted for, the cost for a solar panel system on an average-sized house in the U.S. in 2021 ranges from $11,000 to $15,000.
Are Solar Panels Worth It
In this EcoWatch guide on whether solar panels are worth it, youll learn:
- When are solar panels NOT worth it
- What are the benefits of going solar
- How to maximize your ROI when going solar
- What to consider before going solar
This EcoWatch guide has helped thousands of homeowners make the right decisions for their home by providing them with factual, un-biased information on solar panels. Lets get started!
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
Our solar experts have conducted hours of research and collected dozens of data points to determine whether solar is a good fit for homeowners in each state. Weve also unbiasedly ranked and reviewed hundreds of solar installers to empower you to make the right choice for your home.
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In this article, well discuss whether solar is worth it for the majority of American homeowners, but whether you should go solar will ultimately depend on your homes configuration and your energy needs. To speak with an EcoWatch-vetted professional who can help you determine whether solar is worth it for your home, follow the links below.
- Most efficient panels on the market
- National coverage
- Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
- Great warranty coverage
- Customer service varies by local dealer
- Doesn’t offer solar batteries
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What Is The Average Payback Period For Residential Solar Panels In 2021
The solar payback period refers to the amount of time it takes for the electric bill savings from your solar panels to equal the amount you paid for the system. The average payback period for a residential solar system in 2021 is about seven years.
A payback period of seven years equates to a return on investment of approximately 14%. However, this varies greatly by state and even by regions within states.
Calculate the solar panel payback period for your home based on your location, electric use and current local solar system prices
Once you have generated an accurate payback period, you can compare this to the returns you see on other types of investments:
- Long-term government bonds currently have returns between 0.1% and 2%
- Zillow estimates that home prices increase between 3% and 5% annually
- The stock market has risen around 9.5% historically
As you can see, residential solar panels stack up favorably against all of these other investment options – and this is even before we consider the increase in a homes value caused by the solar panel installation.
Consider Lifetime Solar Savings
Its all well and good to look at the short term and weigh up the payback period or the savings you can make off your next electricity bill, but a good system should last you 25 years. Really, you should consider the lifetime savings that your solar panels will deliver. The solar panel prices we publish are based on good quality systems that are designed to last. Cheap solar systems are more likely to fail and need replacing in a much shorter timeframe, they may payback faster , but are not as good an investment.
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What Is The Smart Export Guarantee
Its a scheme introduced by the government that requires all energy suppliers with 150,000 customers or more to pay export tariffs. It started at the beginning of 2020 and its an attempt to make Solar PV panels financially attractive as well as environmentally sustainable.
If youre wondering what the difference is between FIT and SEG, its that SEG only provides payments for the electricity that you export. The previous Feed-in tariff paid homeowners for the energy they created as well as what they exported.
The new rules state that Smart Export Guarantee offered by suppliers apply to solar panels with a capacity of up to five megawatts and that use a meter there is no set rate that suppliers must pay for energy exported to the grid .
Suppliers will be responsible for setting their own SEG tariffs with the proviso that the government will intervene should energy suppliers not provide sufficiently competitive tariffs.
Read our Smart Export Guarantee Article to find out more.
Stagnating Or Declining Local Real Estate Values
While most homes have gone up in value by double digits during pandemic, there are likely to be some stagnating or declining real estate pockets developing within some of the local real estate markets such areas may not make a whole lot of financial sense to invest in because theyve either overshot the rest of the given local market or happen to have too many problems like high crime rates that may eventually force current residents to move out, leading to declining real estate values.
However, as the real estate markets are continually going up, those declining areas are currently few and very far between. But the market winds are subject to change, so always do your due diligence and consider the state of the local real estate market including the specific neighborhoods aka pockets within that market, especially if going solar is part of your property appreciation play.
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