According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. reached 58.3 gigawatts of installed solar power capacity
by Q2 2018. That’s enough to power 11 million American homes.
But there are roughly 115 million housing units
in the U.S. That means a large portion of the population isn’t enjoying the benefits and savings of solar energy.
But how much do solar panels save customers who install them? Investing in solar comes with an up-front cost; are solar panels worth it
If you’re considering solar panels for your home or business, this article will help you understand the savings you could enjoy.
How Are Solar Panels Different?
When sunlight hits a solar panel, it causes a chain reaction that results in a flow of electrons. It’s this flow of electrons that becomes solar-generated electricity.
In typical power arrangements, you purchase power from a provider by hooking up your home or business to the grid. You have little control over where your power comes from. Some power companies have a monopoly on certain parts of the United States.
What’s more, you’re subject to power prices. These may fluctuate depending on how your power is generated. For example, if you rely on a coal-fired power plant, your power costs could go up if the price of coal increases.
With solar panels, you can generate all or some of your electricity on your own property. The sun is a reliable source of energy. Installing solar panels mitigates much of the regular costs of power.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save Homeowners Money?
The average electric bill for U.S. homeowners was $111.67 in 2017
. That means the average homeowner is spending $1,340 each year on power consumption.
Solar panels are designed to last. They often keep generating the same amount of power for decades. If you were able to supply your home’s total power needs using solar, you’d save $26,800 over 20 years.
That means solar panels could pay your up-front costs and then some. In some cases, you can even sell excess power back to the grid.
Of course, the effectiveness of your solar panels depends on where you live and how much shading your roof has.
Even if you don’t intend to stay in your home for much longer, solar panels can increase your home value
. According to one study, homes outside of California that have solar panels can sell for $15,000 more
than those without.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save Businesses Money?
If you’re a business owner, you may be skeptical about commercial solar. The market can be a confusing place, and capital investments in solar may be low on your to-do list.
Most businesses want to see a return on every investment. Even if it makes sense to spend your money elsewhere, you can rest assured that an investment in solar will pay off.
And it isn’t just Fortune 500 companies adopting solar power. This technology is available to small businesses, too. In fact, small businesses stand to benefit the most from solar power.
Across the U.S., the average monthly commercial energy bill was $654.79 in 2017
. Unlike homes, commercial properties vary in size and energy usage. But solar energy can greatly reduce commercial energy bills for even the most demanding companies.
According to one analysis, solar energy can offset a business’s energy use by 75.3%
. Through these savings, businesses can pay off the initial costs of installation quickly. Then, they can enjoy energy savings for years.
What Are the Other Benefits of Solar Power?
Whether your key priority is savings or not, there are numerous other benefits to installing solar panels. For environmentally-conscious homeowners, they’re a great way to act against pollution and climate change.
Many homeowners like the independence that solar panels give them, too. Nobody likes being reliant on a giant utility company. Up until now, there was little homeowners could do to obtain energy independence.
For businesses, solar could be just what you need to start a new green initiative. Not only will you enjoy savings, but your customers will appreciate the fact that you care about the environment. Solar energy can also help you adopt a more tech-friendly business model.
Solar panels are a low-maintenance option for businesses and homeowners. The technology is rapidly changing, too. We can expect new advancements in solar energy to make the process more efficient and more cost-effective in the future.
Of course, the biggest benefit of solar has nothing to do with costs or marketing. Solar panels are an important tool for reducing damage to the environment. Every solar panel installed on the roof of a home or business brings us one step closer to a renewable energy future.
Get Started with Solar
So, how much do solar panels save the average customer? It depends on where you live and what your current energy costs are. It also depends on whether you’re a home or business owner. But solar panels are almost always a good investment.
Some people are concerned about solar panel cost
. Some states may offer tax incentives to help you invest in solar. The federal government has also authorized 30% solar tax rebate through the end of 2019.
It’s best to think of solar as an investment that pays returns or dividends. By searching for ways to offset your initial costs, you can maximize your return. But even without the tax credits, solar may be a worthwhile investment for you.
After the initial cost, you could save thousands on your energy costs. You can even increase the price of your home if you intend to put it on the market soon.
Are you ready to learn how solar energy can reduce your home or business energy costs? Schedule a solar analysis of your property
with Shine Solar today.