Are solar panels worth it?
If you’re considering a green home, you may have asked yourself this question. While you shouldn’t automatically believe the sales pitches you hear from solar panel companies (they want to make money!), the answer is yes: Solar panels are a solid long-term investment.
Now, how much you benefit from solar energy depends on a variety of factors, such as your location, your electricity prices, and how you pay for the solar panels. For instance, financing solar energy panels could mean interest fees cutting into your utility savings.
In this article, we’ll go beyond the buzzwords and hype and look at what the math says. Through that analysis, you’ll see the return on investment solar panels can provide you. This will allow you to clearly see whether solar panels are worth it.
How much does solar energy cost?
Market research estimates the average price for solar panels to be between $2.57 and $3.35 per watt. For an average-sized installation in America, that equates to roughly $11,400 to $14,900. Solar tax credits could bring that cost lower. You also must factor in the utility bill savings you’ll get to arrive at a true estimate of the cost.
So, that sounds like a high initial investment. That may have you wondering: Are solar panels worth it?
So, you could pay more than $10,000 upfront for solar panels. However, answering the question, “How much does solar energy cost?”, isn’t as simple as examining the roof installation sticker price. As mentioned above, your calculation should include;
- Any solar tax credits you receive from the federal government and your state and local governments
- For 2020, the federal government currently offers a solar panel tax credit of 26% of purchase and installation costs. Note this goes down to 22% in 2021.
- Example of state incentives: If you buy a net zero home in Florida, you get a 100% residential property tax exemption for a period of time. Having solar panels could save you thousands per year in taxes in the Sunshine State! That’s just one of the many benefits of zero energy ready homes.
- Tip: Search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency to find financial incentives in your region.
- Energy savings the solar panels give you over their lifespan
- Calculations show the savings you get on utility bills enable you to recoup your initial investment in about a decade.
Buying a net zero home with solar panels? Know that green homes typically cost 5-10% more than similar non-energy efficient homes. So, solar panels will add roughly $70 per month to your mortgage payment. However, energy savings can make up for that initial purchase price (more on this in the next section).
Finally, you must consider the industry’s progression. Here’s the good news: Solar panels are increasing in popularity. As this sort of renewable energy technology becomes mainstream, production will become more efficient and costs will lower.
The trend towards solar energy should amaze you.
U.S. residential solar installations have grown rapidly in the past decade. In late 2019, total installed capacity reached 71.3 GW, enough to power 13.5 million homes (Solar Energy Industries Association).
Solar energy growth rates have averaged between 60-80% the last few years.
So, how much does solar energy cost now? Are solar panels worth it?
The answer is this: Most likely yes. But if solar panels still seem expensive to you, chances are they’ll seem less expensive in the coming years.
How much can you get in solar energy savings?
While solar panels require an initial investment, they do pay for themselves—and then some—over time.
Think about this: The average U.S. household uses approximately 914 kWh of electricity per month, according to the US Department of Energy. That equates to around $120 per month. Depending on where you live, you could spend less than $100 per month or more than $150 per month.
Now, what if you could eliminate your electricity bill altogether? You could save $1,400 to $1,800 per year. Over a decade, that’s $14,000 to $18,000 in savings with solar energy!
That’s incredible. Within 10 years, your savings with solar energy will exceed the upfront cost of the solar energy panels. If you live in a state with a good amount of sunshine, you’ll probably come out well ahead.
To give you a clearer picture of your potential savings, look at the following solar energy savings table. The calculations cover every type of purchase and don’t even include rebates and incentives.
As you can see, solar panels have a wonderful cost-benefit, regardless of how you pay for them. So, let’s go back to the question: Are solar panels worth it?
After analyzing solar energy savings in detail, the answer is yes. Solar panels are a great investment.
Do solar panels increase home value?
When considering whether solar energy is worth it, factor in the benefit solar panels have to the value of your home.
On average, solar panels boost a home’s value by 4.1%, according to a Zillow analysis of home sales across America. For a $300,000 home, that’s an increase of $12,300! That means home value appreciation alone could make solar panels worth it.
Going forward, the energy efficiency of a home will only become more important. And you’ll reap the rewards of solar panels in the form of asset appreciation.
“As zero energy home builders in Florida, we consult with many home appraisal experts. Beginning in 2023, they will begin including home energy efficiency in their appraisals. These appraisers tell us energy-efficient homes could have 10-15% higher resale values,” states Robert Kociecki, President of Brite Homes, a leading zero energy ready home builder in Florida.
That’s all the more reason to install solar energy panels today!
Where can I find homes with solar panels?
Now you know: Solar panels are worth it!
As the most cost-effective renewable energy system, solar panels should be a consideration for anyone who’s looking for a home or even owns a home now. Remember: You can always install solar panels on the roof of your current residence.
To get the most savings on the solar panel purchase price and installation, search solar energy marketplaces. And get multiple quotes from vendors and installers in your area. This will allow you to compare equipment options, prices, and more.
Looking to buy a net zero home? Net zero homes produce as much energy as they consume. That means you’ll pay ZERO on utility bills! You can buy a net zero home through a reputable green home builder in your state. Search for builders in your state on the US Department of Energy’s site.
If you live in Florida, you can buy a zero energy ready home with Brite Homes. We have an amazing collection of zero energy ready homes in cities like Palm Coast, North Port, and Palm Bay. We can even build a net zero home on your own lot!
Interested to learn more about Brite Homes? Give us a call at (833) 922-7483 or click the link below.