Did you know that households in the United States paid a whopping $118.16 average for their April 2018 electric bill?
That’s right! All because the average cost of electricity in the country for that month ran for 12.89 Cents per Kilowatt-hour.
As someone who lives in Missouri, you may have paid a little less (statewide average was at $94.97). But this doesn’t mean that you can already relax. Especially since electricity rates have continued to show an upward trend over the last few years.
This then brings us to today’s big question, “Are solar panels a good investment?” Followed by “How can using solar energy benefit me?”
Don’t worry. All these (plus how it works and how much you can save in the long run) we’ll answer in this post, so keep reading! Just keep in mind all of the numbers quoted below our average numbers based on past performance in the market.
Let’s talk about solar energy first. That way, you can have a better grasp on why solar panels are a worthy investment.
That massive ball of fire we call the sun produces what we call photons. These are energy particles that reach the Earth within 8 1/2 minutes. That’s after traveling a whopping 93 million miles.
Within a span of an hour, the sun sends so many of these particles our way that they’re enough to meet an entire year’s global energy needs.
To use this energy though, we need something to convert it into usable energy (AKA thermal or electrical power). That’s where solar panels come into play.
A solar panel consists of many solar cells. When photons come into contact with these cells, their electrons detach from the atoms. From here, the electrons pass through an electrical circuit, which then generate electricity.
The more solar panels wired together (called a solar array), the more solar energy it can convert. So, the more panels you have, the greater the amount of solar energy you can reap and use.
Think about how less electrical energy you’d have to use if you have a solar set up. Consider that the sun supplies us daily with its photons.
It’s almost like an unlimited supply of photons waiting for you to convert them into energy. Energy you can use for all your household appliances and gadgets!
With your solar panels, you can generate electricity on your own. This means you don’t have to buy it from an electricity company.
Here’s something to put things in better perspective:
The average household in the U.S. consumes about 11,000 kW/h. Last April, Missouri’s average electricity rate was 10.36 Cents. This means that if you were to use solar energy even for only 5,500 kW/h, you can already save about $570 a year!
Make the complete switch to solar, and you can save up to $1,140 a year. Within five years, that’s almost $5,700 in savings.
How’s that for renewable and money-saving energy?
If you’ve always wanted to take part in the green revolution, then going solar is one of the best ways to do that. Through solar energy, you minimize your need for electricity derived from CO2-generating fossil fuels (AKA gas and coal). This can then support all other efforts in reducing the risk and effects of global warming.
There’s also the fact that top-of-the-line solar power systems deliver reliable energy source. So long as the sun keeps shining, your panels will generate electricity. Although MO weather can be unpredictable sometimes, you can predict how much electricity your system can generate.
Furthermore, setting up your home with solar energy can boost its resale value! With so many home buyers wanting green features in their home, they may bid as much as $50,000 more on your home.
With all these benefits of solar energy, you may be wondering why not everyone uses them. For the most part, it’s because many worry about the installation costs.
Indeed, you can expect a hefty bill for your solar panel installation. But factor in all the benefits it’ll bring you, and you’ll see right away that these outweigh your initial expense.
How long is this “long run” though? After using it for about 10 years, you most likely have already recouped what you paid for it. After this, every kW/h of solar energy you use already translates to savings.
What’s more, solar panel technology continues to see huge improvements. Updates that have resulted in solar equipment costs seeing an 80% decrease!
To top everything off, you’ll find financing services that’ll help you have those panels up and running as soon as possible. You can qualify for a loan that doesn’t require a cash down payment. You’d need time to compare service providers though, but it’s all worth it once you start seeing considerable drops in your electricity bills.
All these translate to more affordable installation expenses. So, why not take advantage of it now to start your savings as soon as possible?
You bet they are!
With solar energy powering your home, you don’t have to rely that much on the expensive services of electric companies. You also no longer have to worry about dealing with the potential rise in electricity rates for many years to come. Best of all, using renewable energy sources allows you to become a more eco-conscious individual.
All said, we hope that this brief but concise explanation have answered your question, “Are solar panels a good investment?”. But if you want to know even more about solar energy, then please feel free to check our other resources out!
Solar panels have been around for years, but it’s only recently that homeowners have started to take them seriously and purchase panels for their homes. The use of solar energy almost doubled in 2016 from years prior, and today, its popularity keeps growing.
If you’re not already using this kind of renewable energy in your home, you may be asking yourself “how much do solar panels cost?” After all, it’s nice to help the environment and do something to increase the value of your home, but you have to do so with a certain level of financial responsibility.
You may be surprised to realize what solar panels prices really are. They’re not always as expensive as people tend to assume. Plus, they tend to offer more savings than you expect in the long-run.
Here’s a closer look at how the cost of solar panels adds up – and starts paying for itself.
Before you get into all the specifics of the cost of solar panels, think about the basics. This includes paying for raw materials, covering installation fees, and planning for routine maintenance of your home’s future solar panels.
There’s more to creating a renewable energy system in your home than the use of solar panels alone. You’re also going to need the right support for the panels, proper wiring, and an inverter. Otherwise, you’re just going to be capturing the sun’s energy without being able to convert it into fuel for your home.
Panels are held in place by mounting materials. They are all connected by special wires that carry the energy from the panels to the inverter – the tool that makes the sun’s energy suitable for appliance and other electrical uses. Inverters produce a certain amount of voltage to run everything from your refrigerator and AC unit to charge your phone or keep your TV running.
Once you wrap your head around everything your home needs to convert energy from the sun into useful electricity, you have to estimate the installation costs.
Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dry answer to this. Many variables play into how much the total installation will cost.
First, there’s the difference in installing top-notch solar equipment versus basic materials. Then, there’s the matter of how the roof of your home is set up and whether or not modifications need to be made to create the best solar energy system.
You know all the roof maintenance you have to do for your home after heavy snowfalls or to clear fallen leaves? Well, such situations require a bit of solar panel maintenance, too.
Solar panels aren’t particularly fragile, but they do hold up better when properly taken care of. Investing in basic maintenance means getting an annual inspection of your system, removing any natural build up, and doing other cleaning tasks. You may have to pay for a repair on occasion as well.
After crunching the numbers for the kind of system you want and how you plan to keep it in good shape, start to factor in other things that will affect the cost to install solar panels and keep them running in your home.
The following are some of the main things to keep in mind.
It’s much different to pay for solar panels in Florida or Texas as it is to invest in them in Kansas or Arkansas. Not to mention, the direction your house is facing regardless of the state you live in will have an effect on the total cost, too.
Look into the average cost in your state or county to get a good idea of what you can expect to pay. Consider the average voltage rates each home consumes while you’re at it.
Speaking of the average energy needed to run a home in your area, take a second to think about how much you are like or unlike the normal homeowner.
For example, it’s one thing to run AC at a normal level every day and keep all your appliances running. But, it’s a totally different story if you have a full house that does laundry every day of the week or there’s a gamer under your roof who spends a few hours a day on their console. Such habits use more energy, and they’ll need the proper solar panel system to keep things going.
No matter how much energy you spend in your home, there are some ways you can cut down on solar panels cost.
Get multiple quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your home. Also, take the time to consider the kind of equipment you really need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding one controller versus another or taking the time to decide just how many panels are necessary.
The more attention you pay to every little detail, the more you can manage how much you actually pay when it’s time to cover the costs. Plus, keep in mind that solar panels will eventually pay for themselves!
Investing in panels now means you can significantly cut back on your energy bill later. These savings may not seem like much over time, but they can truly surprise you once they start to add up.
If you’re someone who likes to think in absolutes, you need a professional to help you figure out how much do solar panels cost for your home. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place. Our energy experts are here to answer any questions you may have.
We provide a free solar analysis to help you start figuring out the costs, then provide all the insights and support you need to pick the right equipment and get everything installed in your home.
Ready to see what all the fuss around solar is really about?
Click here to contact us and take the first step towards getting your own solar panels!