We’ve been doing lots of research on solar panels these days. The idea of saving some money on the electric bill is pretty appealing, right? Are we alone in that?! But one thing we’ve found in our research is that there can be some significant start-up costs when it comes to solar energy. How do you figure out if it’s worth it in the end for YOUR family?
Adding solar panels to a home can save a family above $100 in many states, which, in 20 years can amount to savings of over $30,000. Because it can take a while until your finances begin to show the effects of solar panels, families can be wary to make the switch to green energy. ‘Do we have to put thousands of dollars down?’, ‘How much does it cost to install solar panels?’ or ‘How secure is this investment?’ are a few questions most families ask. In this post, we highlight the ease with which the switch can be made, focusing on ways to afford installation and other costs.
Solar Installations Costs Have Dropped
Between 2010 and 2016, notes Forbes, the cost of installing solar dropped by over 70%, and technological innovations have meant that panels are more efficient and cheaper to own, yet many households still haven’t made the change. Obstacles include the fact that up to 77% of houses in the US are ineligible for rooftop solar panels (because of issues like orientation or building height, for instance). Moreover, upfront costs for solar can amount to thousands of dollars, which can be prohibitive for many families.
Pay as You Go
If your home is eligible for solar installation, you can opt to ‘pay as you go’. In this method, a solar energy provider pays for the installation and maintenance of the system and continues to own the panels throughout; you just pay them for the amount of electricity you use. You won’t make savings as substantial as if you bought rather than leased solar energy, but this is an interesting option for those who cannot afford to pay upfront fees.
Buying is the Ideal Choice
According to Energy Sage, the average cost to install solar panels ranges from $11,380 to $14,990 (after tax credits). This amount is 6.5% lower than it was in 2017. Most homeowners are able to raise finance by refinancing their mortgage or taking out a home equity loan. The loan is certainly worth it, with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reporting that homes with solar sell 20% faster and at a 17% better price.
Accessing More Information about Solar Energy
Project Sunroof is Google’s answer to the many queries it receives on solar panels. The system provides information on everything from costs to installation options to the number of hours your roof would offer and how much you could save. It also provides information on local panel providers and lets you know which of your neighbors are already relying on solar energy. It might sound like ‘peer pressure’, but studies do show that humans are more likely to install solar panels if their neighbors have done so.
Any investment that runs into the thousands takes time and consideration. However, if savings and sustainability are key aims for your household, installing solar panels is the way to go. You can dabble into leasing or other temporary arrangements, slowly building up your savings and learning more about incentives in your state for saving money while making the switch.
Have you made any investments into solar energy yet?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!