Electricity is required for powering your home. With more people than ever working remotely, electric rates and bills continue to skyrocket to all-time highs.
Control your utility bill and access numerous financial benefits by creating a solar-powered home. A solar power system is a major investment that requires strategic planning and calculations.
Determine whether solar power is a worthy investment for your home by evaluating important concepts, price considerations, and alternative options.
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Solar Power Explained
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into usable electricity.
Harnessing solar power is accomplished using solar panels either arranged on a rooftop or spacious outdoor area. Each panel is constructed of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing, special film, and wiring.
Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, absorb sunlight during the day. When light enters the cell, the cell becomes energized and creates an electrical current using the cell’s semiconductor.
Electricity generated is called direct current (DC) electricity; however, the majority of homes are powered using alternating current (AC) electricity. A solar panel’s inverter is responsible for converting the DC electricity into AC electricity.
Once the energy is converted, solar power is distributed to the electric panel and throughout a home or business.
Understand the concept and process of solar power to learn how solar energy works in homes.
Price Considerations of Solar Power Systems
Accessing solar power is a major investment. Learn about the expenses involved to discover whether solar power is beneficial for your home.
Evaluate each price consideration to ensure you make a worthy investment.
Installation costs for a solar power system varies depending on location and size. Determine the system size and number of panels required to completely cover your home’s energy consumption by calculating the kilowatt-hours of power needed.
An average homeowner needs about 28 to 34 solar panels, which costs approximately $10-25,000 for equipment and installation.
Two primary methods exist for installing a solar power system: Purchasing a self-installed system or hiring a specialty contractor.
The DIY approach is possible with limited construction knowledge and skills, saving you thousands of dollars in labor expenses. Because wiring the panels is the most challenging step, consider hiring an electrician to complete the final task for you. Otherwise, find a quality contractor skilled at properly installing solar power systems by comparing quotes to discover the best rate for your budget.
Analyze the installation costs of a solar power system to thoroughly understand the upfront expenses involved.
Return on Investment
Calculate your return on investment by understanding the billing process.
Net metering is a billing system that credits solar power system owners for electricity they contribute to the power grid.
Solar panels generate a surplus of energy during the day. A solar power system connected to the grid delivers the excess electricity created to the power grid. As a result, the utility company pays the supplier of solar energy through credits that appear on the electric bill.
Credits earned are subtracted from the utility bill, effectively reducing your monthly expenses. The more credits you receive, the lower your bill becomes.
Gradually, the savings you receive, approximately $1,450 per year, work to cover your initial investment costs over the span of several years. Once you’ve earned back the installation costs, you’re essentially making money by not paying electric bills.
Numerous tax incentives and credits are available for solar power system owners depending on your location.
The investment tax credit, otherwise known as the solar tax credit, allows you to receive 26% of the system installation costs back on your federal taxes, earning you a greater return on your initial investment. Claim the tax credit by including the information when you file your yearly federal tax return.
Additionally, certain states offer tax incentives or rebates for solar power system owners. For example, New York offers a credit that permits system owners to receive an additional 25% or $5,000, whichever is less, back of their installation costs. Research local policies to find money-saving benefits in your area.
Advance your solar power system investment by educating yourself about the tax incentives available.
Increased Property Value
Installing solar panels increases your property value to earn you greater financial benefits over time.
On average, a solar power system increases a home’s value by $20 for every $1 saved in annual utility bills, potentially boosting your property value by $20,000 depending on the location and system size.
Consequently, a home’s resale value is benefitted by a solar power system. Solar panels are viewed as a valuable upgrade, offering a home’s new owner amazing savings. Homebuyers are willing to pay about $15,000 more for homes with pre-installed systems, increasing a home’s resale value by $5.50 to $6.40 per watt.
Improve your property value by installing a quality solar power system.
Solar power systems provide long-lasting value for homeowners.
Solar panels have a guaranteed lifespan of 25 to 30 years, meaning you’ll receive financial and environmental benefits for many years to come. On average, solar panels degrade at a rate of 0.5% every year. Fortunately, properly maintained solar panels can operate at about 80% of their original capacity even after 25 years.
Tips for securing the longevity of your solar power system include:
- Hiring a trustworthy, professional installer to guide you through the installation and maintenance process
- Clearing debris, such as leaves, dirt, pollen, dust, and branches, to minimize damage and ensure the panels are functioning at maximum efficiency
- Performing regular maintenance to guarantee the equipment is operating properly
Recognize the long-lasting value of a solar power system to justify the initial investment.
Community Solar Opportunities
Community solar is an excellent alternative to installing a personal solar power system.
Community solar refers to a group of people sharing electricity generated by solar energy. Other terms for community solar include shared solar, energy sharing, and solar farms or gardens.
Shared solar projects are funded and operated by third parties, typically utility companies or small businesses, who decide to install numerous solar panels in a specific area. Electricity produced is delivered to the power grid and distributed by the local utility company.
Joining community solar is as easy as locating a nearby solar farm and subscribing to the service.
Virtual net metering is the billing system utilized for community solar. As a member, you continue to receive a monthly electric bill from the utility company, and energy produced by your share of solar panels is accounted for on your bill in the form of credits. Credits are subtracted from your total to reveal a substantially reduced utility bill. Virtual net metering is similar to net metering, with the primary difference being the energy is not produced at the actual home.
Community solar offers incredible benefits for members, including guaranteed savings of 10% on electric bills, bypassing the installation costs, promoting environmentally-friendly energy, and providing access to solar for renters or home’s lacking ideal conditions.
Receive instant solar in NY by becoming a member of a community solar project.
A solar power system is a major investment, requiring serious research and considerations.
If you’re contemplating switching your home to solar power, evaluate the overall price, specifically installation costs, the return on investment, tax incentives, property value increase, and long-term value, to determine whether it’s a worthy investment.
Consider community solar as an alternative to receive similar benefits with less investment stress.
Reap the financial benefits and improve the environment by creating a solar-powered home.