Beautiful florida home tiled roof with solar panels

Why Should I Consider Solar Panels For My Home

Really, the question is why not. Solar energy in your home may seem like a luxury or simply an expensive way to contribute to caring for the environment. However, you may be pleasantly surprised by the options available to offset the cost. Of course, there is still the question of the age-old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Solar panels may not be as difficult to attain or as needlessly luxurious as you may think, but are they any better than your standard electric service? 

Let’s get into it.

Understanding Solar Panel Cost and Savings

The only real con for solar energy in your home is the cost associated with installation and maintenance. The bulk of the cost of switching to solar energy in your home will be observed upfront due to installation and equipment costs. According to Consumer Affairs, the starting costs of a 6kw system in the US can range anywhere from 13k-20k (depending on your state) before tax credits. This may seem to be a daunting number at first glance, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to come out of pocket for the full cost (more on that later). 

The same article explains that depending on your place of residence, your local climate, and the amount of energy used, your family could save up to 75% on your energy bill. When taking into account the federal tax credit solar panels pay for themselves at around the 7-10 year mark. 

Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels

Using solar energy provides several benefits to the environment, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by consuming non-renewable fuels. As global warming and the human population increase, this importance can not be understated. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an average solar powered home in Connecticut uses 8,288 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, bringing an emission-reducing effect equivalent to planting about 150 trees every single year for the lifetime of the solar panel system and eliminating the number of carbon emissions equivalent to burning 5,000 pounds of coal each year.

Bottom View House Solar Panel Roof

Solar Panels Incentives

While solar energy for the home may come with a large upfront cost, there are also multiple incentives available for home owners to take advantage of upon installation of solar panels on their property. With the rising popularity of “going green”, many organizations (including the U.S. Government!) are beginning to take notice and offer incentive programs for homeowners.

For instance, utility companies such as FPL are allowing their customers to integrate their renewable energy systems (such as rooftop solar panels) into the energy grid in order for customers to seamlessly  buy energy from FPL AND sell excess energy back to support the energy infrastructure. 

In addition, the federal government currently offers a tax credit of 26% for systems installed during 2020-2022, and 22% for those installed in 2023. The tax credit expires starting in 2024 unless Congress renews it (in other words, now would be a great time to consider adding solar energy to your home). 

If you’d like to maximize the incentives you’re able to take advantage of in order to offset the cost of your solar energy system, DSIRE is a great resource. This organization “is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States” and provides a database to help you find information on options available to you based on your state of residence.

The same article explains that depending on your place of residence, your local climate, and the amount of energy used, your family could save up to 75% on your energy bill. When taking into account the federal tax credit solar panels pay for themselves at around the 7-10 year mark. 

Higher home value

A Zillow study found that homes with solar panels sell for on average 4.1% more, while another study found by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory demonstrated a $5,911 increase in resale value for each kilowatt of solar power that was installed. This means that an average 6kw system could add $35,466 to a home’s resell value, which allows a homeowner to not only recoup their original investment in the system but also earn a profit.

Top View Solar Panel Roof

Putting It All Together

A standard 6kw system installation maybe around 13-20k on average in the US, and the bulk of this cost is due upfront. This leads many homeowners to believe solar energy is unattainable or unnecessary for their homes. However, when you factor in the average break-even point of ~7 years (at which time the system will have paid for itself), the plethora of available incentives available to homeowners, the ongoing and increasingly important environmental benefits, and the hike in home value, a solar energy system and solar panels for a home is not only a great home upgrade but also a smart investment.

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federal Tax credit increased to 30% !

The Federal credit amount for installing solar has been raised from 26% to 30% from 2022 to 2032! This includes solar installations and Solar battery storage solutions!

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