Many times, when energy bills are getting too high, when you are planning on major roof renovations anyway, or if you just want to go energy independent and/or reduce your carbon footprint - solar installation immediately comes to mind.
There's no doubt that producing your own energy directly from the sunlight hitting your roof every day is a big benefit. But how long will it take for a new solar system to pay for itself and start saving you money?
How Much Can Solar Installation Ultimately Save You?
The goal of energy independence and concern for the environment are major reasons to invest in new solar panels. But there's no shame in saving money on your home energy bill by going green either!
Most people spend $100 or so per month on electricity. Over the course of a year, that's $1,200 - most or all of which could be eliminated by installing an up to date solar system. If you live in a state with high electric or gas prices, have a large home, or just use a lot of energy, your savings potential is even greater.
Since most newer solar panels last for 25 years or more, you could easily save $25,000 or more over the life of the system. Even when you subtract the cost of solar installation and maintenance, you are still going to save many thousands of dollars.
How Long Before I Pay For My Solar Panels?
If you can pay for your new solar system upfront and in full, you would immediately feel the full benefits of having solar power. Most people, however, get a solar loan, lease their panels, or use a kind of "rent to own" program.
Usually, equipment purchase and installation costs are paid for in 5 to 10 years, but you are also saving money on power during that time span. Let's say your solar system costs $15,000 total and takes 7 years to pay off - a typical scenario. You save $8,000 in power during those seven years. Plus, you benefit from the 30% solar installation tax credit and state and local incentive programs.
Some people save as much as 50% of the cost of getting new solar panels due to tax credits and incentives. What that means is that a person could effectively have a solar system that has already paid for itself by the time they pay it off and own it in, say, 7 years. Then, they continue to save for 18 more years (or more). The total net savings for an average home could easily be $20,000 when all is said and done. Of course, individual cases will vary greatly, but that should give you a basic idea.
What Are The Benefits Of "Going Solar?"
Solar installation is a big decision, and it's one that can benefit a homeowner in many ways. Here are the 5 most important benefits of solar power: