Should I Get A Battery Backup For My Solar Panels
Solar panels are great for providing electricity when the Sun is out, but what about at night? Many solar panel installers also provide the option of adding a battery backup, so that when the Sun goes down, you can still draw the benefits of your solar panels and not use power from the grid. A battery backup will add at least $5,000 to the overall cost of your system, but will provide you a source of power in case there’s a power outage in your area, without requiring a noisy generator.
Should I Install Solar Panels On My House
With energy prices and energy consumption trending higher many homeowners think about the idea of installing solar panels on the roof of their home in order to save money on energy bills and possibly boost the value. Like real estate solar is also location dependent and those homeowners in states with higher average annual sunshine will see a quicker return on investment than those with lower average sunshine or in areas where the sun may be blocked by trees or other geographical features. The type of solar energy system installed can also dictate whether a homeowner will realize a boost in home value in addition to the savings on the energy bill.
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.
Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home
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How Can I Find The Best Deal On Solar Panels
If you’re considering installing solar panels at home, it’s worth finding out if you could be eligible for funding or financial help. Elliot Clark, project officer in the home energy team at the Centre for Sustainable Energy, said: Start with your local council as authorities may be awarded funding to install solar panels on suitable houses, although it is likely to be reserved for homes with a lower household income or those in receipt of mean tested or disability benefits.
The Microgeneration Certificate Scheme provides a list of accredited installers. Clark adds: We recommend going onto the governments Trustmark website where you can search by area and solar panel installer. Theres also the Renewable Energy Consumer Code which installers can sign up to.
Does Removing A Tree Negate The Environmental Benefits Of Solar Energy
Some people believe that removing trees to create solar energy is a bad tradeoff for the environment. They believe it creates a net negative impact. After all, trees remove carbon dioxide from the environment by storing CO2, and we emit CO2 when manufacturing solar panels.
In reality, solar energy production has a net positive benefit on the environment even when you need to remove trees to install your solar panels.
Energy Sage actually did the math on this one. They cited data from the US government showing that one tree stores 0.5 metric tons of CO2 over its lifetime. Manufacturing a 5 kW solar panel system, on the other hand, produces 10 metric tons of CO2. That means when you remove one tree from your property and replace it with one solar panel, your net negative impact on the environment is 10.5 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
In other words, for the removal of one tree to make sense , the net CO2 reduction from that solar panel must exceed 10.5 metric tons.
Now lets look at the positive effects of solar panels. Panels generate 6,000 kWh of electricity per year for 25 years. Over a lifetime, that means a panel generates over 150,000 kWh of free electricity, eliminating 103 metric tons of CO2 that would have been generated from traditional energy sources.
Thanks to Energy Sage for doing the numbers on that one.
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Pro : Solar Panels Increase The Value Of Your Home
Its pretty well known that a smartly done renovation, such as a kitchen or bathroom upgrade, can more than pay for itself. If you spend, say, $30,000 on upgrading your kitchen, the increase to your home value could be a lot more than $30,000.
The same goes for solar panels. According to one study, solar panels add $4 to the value of your house for every watt. This means that if you install a 6 kW solar array, you could be adding $24,000 of value to your home. This means that, right away, your solar may have paid for themselves, even before considering the value of the electricity they will generate.
Important note: this doesnt apply if you obtain your solar panels with a lease or power purchase agreement, which can actually make it harder to sell your home. This is one reason why we advise people to avoid these financial products.
Can You Buy And Install Your Own Solar Panels To Save Money
It is possible to buy solar panel kits and then organize the installation, permitting, and inspections yourself. Doing this could save you between $2,000 and $3,000 – potentially more.
However, there are some potential pitfalls to install solar yourself. The installation of solar panels is dangerous, as it requires you to do electrical work at great heights. Its also possible that you could damage the equipment, and it can be very difficult to claim a solar warranty when you install on your own. DIY solar projects typically suit those who are contractors, or those who know a qualified solar electrician to help them out.
If you order a DIY solar kit, you can contact a local solar contractor to assist you if you are not comfortable performing the installation on your own. In some cases, however, installers will charge you more for the installation of a DIY solar kit, making it cost the same amount it would have if you hired an installation company to do all of the work. If this is the case, it might not be worth it to install solar on your home with a DIY kit.
Therefore, if you are considering DIY solar panels, we suggest that you get at least one quote from a full-service solar company that will supply the equipment, perform the installation, and handle permitting.
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Calculating Solar Power Costs
Once the above costs and benefits are determined, a solar system can theoretically be evaluated using the discounted cash flow method. Outflows at the beginning of the project would consist of installation costs , and inflows would arrive later in the form of offset electricity costs .
Rather than using DCF, the viability of solar power is usually evaluated by calculating the levelized cost of electricity , then comparing it to the cost of electricity charged by the local utility. The LCOE for household solar will typically be calculated as cost/kilowatt-hour – the same format commonly used on electricity bills. To approximate the LCOE, one can use the following equation:
LCOE = Net Present Value of the Lifetime Cost of Ownership / Lifetime Energy Output
The useful life of a PV solar module is generally assumed to be 25-40 years. The cost of ownership includes the maintenance costs, which must be discounted to find the NPV. The LCOE can then be compared to the cost of electricity from a utility remember, the relevant price is that which occurs during times at or near peak PV solar production.
Why Choose Solarise Solar
Over the years, Solarise Solar has helped many thousands of Colorado residents obtain the best value on solar panel systems and installation. Our residential solar energy experts will customize the ideal system design for your needs and the budget you set for the project. Our installation specialists will deliver the solar industrys highest standard of workmanship.
Other outstanding benefits Solarise provides our customers include:
- Zero upfront cost and low-interest financing
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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
Things To Consider Before You Buy Solar Panels
Here’s what you need to know.
Powering your home with a renewable energy source like solar panels offers plenty of benefits. You will be able to reduce your carbon footprint, shrink your utility bill and feel comfortable knowing you are contributing in some small way to the overall health of the planet. To make matters even better, there are incentives to encourage you to install solar panels.
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You Can Cut Down Or Trim Trees
As we found above, cutting down a tree to install a solar panel leads to a net positive impact on the environment. Of course, many homeowners can get away with simply trimming the tree they dont need to totally remove the tree, which means you can boost your net positive environmental impact even higher.
Some people have ignored solar energy because they live in a heavily wooded property. However, with a few small adjustments, you can ensure your solar panels are exposed to maximum sunlight throughout the year you might not even notice the disappearance of a small tree or branch.
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.
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Can A House Run On Solar Power Alone
Practically, it is not often possible. This is because solar only works when the sun is shining – which means when it is cloudy or nighttime, they do not generate electricity. There are some battery solutions to provide power during these times, but they still tend to be quite expensive. Most homes with solar panels still rely on the grid from time to time.
Determine Your Solar Potential
There are a few things to consider when scoping out your home for rooftop solar. One factor to consider is the direction and tilt of your roof although this is not a hard and fast rule, rooftop solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees.
Its also important to know how much sunlight your roof gets throughout the day. Solar panels need sunlight to produce electricity, so if your roof is shaded or otherwise obstructed by trees, chimneys, or anything else, that will impact how viable solar is for you. Try out our Solar Calculator to see your unique homes potential for solar panel savings.
A common concern for homeowners who are considering solar is, What happens if I move after installing solar panels? A typical solar panel system lasts for 25 to 30 years. If you dont plan on owning their house for that long, you may wonder if solar still makes sense. The good news is that solar increases the value of your property and can actually expedite the process of selling the property when the time comes. The housing market is filled with buyers excited by the prospect of acquiring a solar home that comes with the benefit of zero utility bills.
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Trees Arent Leafy All Year Round
Another thing to consider is that trees can change their cover throughout the year. Leaves fall off during the colder months. That means your solar panels might be perfectly effective throughout half of the year, while partially effective throughout the spring and summer when the tree is in full bloom.
How Do You Keep Up With Solar Panels
Theyre easy to forget about once theyre on top of your house, but solar panels need to be cared for to last a long time. There are some simple ways you can clean your solar panels to increase their longevity and power your house for years to come.
Installing solar panels can be the best choice you make to save money on your electricity bill and decrease your carbon footprint. However, making the purchase is actually a much bigger decision than most people realize, so its important know everything you can about the panels before you go ahead and buy them.
If you do your research right, youll be helping the Earth and putting some extra money in your pocket in no time.
This is a guest post written by Megan Ray Nichols.
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Is My Roof Suitable For Installing Solar Panels
There are a number of factors that determine how suitable your roof is for solar panels, including:
- The size of your roof
- The direction your roof faces
- The pitch of your roof
- How much of your roof is shaded
When trying to determine if solar panels are worth it for you, consider the size, direction, pitch, and the amount of shading your roof has. Large, unshaded, southern-facing roofs are the most ideal for solar production.
What About Net Metering
Net metering is one of the most important solar policies and incentives in the residential solar industry. Essentially, it allows you to store any excess energy produced by your solar system in the electrical grid for use at a later time. With net metering, you wont receive a monthly payment: instead, you will receive utility bill credits for the electricity produced by your solar panels. Its important to note that not all states offer net metering, so youll want to check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency , which tracks net metering and other policies.
What Are Solar Panels
Solar panels essentially convert sunlight into energy. Most can be found on rooftops, but they can be installed almost anywhere where theres a steady source of sunlight. Thats why the panels on the best solar lights can sometimes be found directly on top of the light.
The generated energy can either be stored in a dedicated battery and then used directly in your home, or fed back to the main electrical grid, which in turn provides credit to your account. In either case, you save on your bills.
What Is The Roi On Solar Panels
You can calculate the return on investment for installing solar panels by calculating your total payback. Calculate the amount you spent to install a solar panel system and then figure out the amount you will save on energy bills monthly. These two numbers show how quickly your savings will cover your initial costs. Electricity rates will vary by region, being higher in the Northeast than in the Northwest. Solar tends to be more cost effective where electricity prices are high and sunshine is abundant.
40 percent of homeowners
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