Solar panels can be an excellent way to reduce your energy bills in an environmentally-friendly way. If your solar panels produce more energy than you actually need, you may be able to sell the excess to a local utility company for extra money. But at the same time, solar panels might have a high installation cost and because they’re reliant on the sun, they may not be the right purchase for every homeowner.
Before making such a significant investment, it’s a good idea for homeowners to thoroughly research their options to ensure that solar panels are the right purchase for their home. To determine if solar panels are worth the cost, homeowners should consider the following:
Consider the cost of electricity
The cost of electricity varies depending on location. Some states have lower electricity costs than others. For example, California, Alaska, and several states in the New England region of the country have higher electricity costs. The size of your home and how much electricity you use on a daily basis also impact the size of your electricity bill.
While anyone can save money by installing solar panels, homeowners whose electricity bills are higher will see the solar panels paying for themselves more quickly than those with lower electricity costs. The higher your electricity bill, the more you’ll benefit from the energy provided by solar panels. You’ll want to look at your average electricity costs, since the price, as well as your usage, can change from day to day.
Weather and sunlight exposure
The weather can also impact how much return on investment you can get out of installing solar panels. Homeowners who live in sunny areas of the country will get more for their money with solar panels than those who live in areas more prone to cloudy weather. Trees nearby can also impact the amount of sunlight a solar panel can absorb.
You should calculate how much exposure to sunlight your home gets on average. Homeowners living in Florida and California, places that are known to be sunnier, may get more return out of solar panels than those who live somewhere like the Pacific Northwest. Homeowners with a lot of trees on their property can still benefit from solar panels but would need to be careful to place them in the sunniest possible locations.
The cost of the solar panels
The price of a solar panel may vary depending on your location and the company you purchase it from. How much installing solar panels will cost you also depends on your electricity usage and how many solar panels you need. It’s a good idea to calculate how many solar panels you need to power your home as well as shop around. How much each solar panel costs will help you to determine how many you can afford.
You should also look at how much each company charges to install the solar panels.
Because solar panels are so environmentally friendly, there are often government incentives to encourage homeowners to invest in them. If you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your property, it’s important to look for what incentives are available in your area. The available incentives vary depending on the year as well as your location. Some government incentives are from the state government, while others are local. You may also earn federal tax credits for installing solar panels.
Selling energy to the grid
Depending on how many solar panels you install, you may be able to generate more energy than you actually need to power your home. If this is the case, you may be able to sell the excess energy to the grid. Typically you can sell your extra solar panel energy either through an agent or even directly to utility companies. If you’re able to sell extra energy from your solar panels, then not only are you covering the costs of powering your home but you’re also making a profit on top of it.