Are Home Solar Panels Cost Effective?
Aside from the financial benefit of generating your own clean energy, installing solar panels on your home can also provide financial benefits over time. Many states and utility providers offer credits for using renewable energy like solar and wind power. And in most cases, you can sell back excess energy to the grid with net metering. Even if you don’t use all of your energy from solar panels, you can purchase batteries that store excess energy.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission is proposing new rules for solar electric panels. The proposed changes would grandfather existing incentives for 15 years while limiting benefits for new solar owners to ten years. The new rules would also require utilities to pay small energy generators full retail rates for electricity, a move that will help them recover the investment in solar panels. An average solar panel costs about $10,000, so the payments would help offset the cost of the system.
Because home solar panels are often expensive, many states are now offering tax credits or rebates to help homeowners afford them. In fact, New York and Oregon offer up to 25% tax credits for installing solar systems on your home. Other jurisdictions offer a wattage-based credit to homeowners who want to reduce their energy bills. Make sure to check with your utility to see if your state offers any of these programs. Then, sign up!
Cost of installation
The cost of home solar panels installation is based on a number of factors, such as the size of the system and how many panels you want. The size and number of panels will depend on your energy bill and your needs, but the general rule of thumb is five kW per kilowatt of square footage. Depending on your needs, you may only need four kW to power a home of 2,000 square feet, while a large family will likely need eight kW.
An average-sized solar system will lower your electricity bill by 50% and save you up to $30,000 over 20 years. Federal tax incentives make solar systems more affordable than ever. You can even take advantage of solar purchase power agreements, which allow you to purchase solar panels with no money down, and begin receiving utility savings immediately. You’ll be amazed by how much your utility bills will decrease over time. In fact, some homeowners even expect to recoup their initial investment within a few years.
When installing home solar panels, consider the direction of your solar panel arrays. South is the optimal direction to face your panels. This will ensure the most direct sunlight, which in turn will increase electricity production. True south is actually not the same as magnetic south, because the earth’s fluid metal outer core pulls the compass needle away from it. The south that your solar arrays face should be as far south as possible. Using a sun-spot map, you can find the best orientation for solar panels in your region.
The UK is positioned in the northern hemisphere, so our sun rises higher than that of most other countries. Generally, this results in the most energy-efficient placement of home solar panels. Fortunately, the right location isn’t hard to find – you just need to consider the location. When choosing the location, keep in mind that the best placement is the one that provides the most sunlight. If you live in a region with very few hours of sunlight each day, you might want to choose a south-facing location.
Return on investment
There are several factors to consider when evaluating the return on investment of home solar panels. The first is whether you plan to use the power that your solar panels generate during the day to power energy-intensive appliances. If you do, the savings could add up to significant amounts. In addition, a solar panel system may increase the value of your home over time. But the increase in value depends on your location and the surrounding environment.
The ROI of solar panels depends on several factors, including state policies and electricity costs, but the most important is to get multiple quotes before deciding whether to invest. Then, add up the cost savings compared to your current CDs. If the solar panels are not free, you can get up to $2,500 in state and federal incentives. If you are planning on installing a battery bank, make sure you calculate the total cost of the installation. Then, subtract the total cost of incentives offered up front, and add up the financial benefits over the years.