Ashleigh AngellSeptember 20, 20183520
The environmental impacts of solar energy sound fantastic, but could it also save you money and provide a beneficial return of investment? Using San Francisco as our example, we’ll look at just how solar energy is capable of providing great, cost-effective value to its consumers, even in one of the most expensive cities in the United States.
Price of the Electric Bill versus Price of the Panel Investment
In the Bay Area, a solar energy will generally cost someone around $18,000. This seems like a lot of money to pay up front, which is why we need to view this from a new perspective. With the size of the panel system example, we can estimate that the house using such a panel would probably pay $150 per month for their electricity. While $18,000 seems like a lot right now, with the huge decreases on that bill, the painful effects of paying such a hefty sum at once won’t be as drastic in the long run. We also have to take even more than just the price per month of electricity when talking about how much a person in San Francisco could save by going solar.
The Bay Area Has Its Own Specific Incentives and Rebates
While the utility bill decrease is nice, there is an additional advantage you can get from your power company: any unused energy that your system generates will be returned to you in the form of credits. These credits can then be used to power your home when it’s stormy, at night, or when your power goes out. Additionally, some solar companies even pay back this unused energy in the form of money. If you have a battery and you don’t need the additional energy, you can check with your power company to see if you can take advantage of a program like that.
Aside from the power companies, there are also incentives and rebates. The Solar Investment tax credit is one example. This tax credit is specifically targeted to solar systems, in which you receive a 30% tax credit just for going solar. While this is a huge advantage right now, keep in mind that the time to get it is right now. With more and more people choosing to go solar, the percentage of this tax credit is steadily decreasing.
GoSolarSF is a city-specific rebate that incentivizes solar panel consumers to install even more panels on their homes. With every kilowatt you add to your home, you will receive a $300 rebate. In addition, if you are a low-income resident, you will get an additional $2000 per kilowatt.
Additional Money Will Be Available When You Sell Your Home
Your home will also become an incentive in and of itself, as the installation of solar panels will increase its value. Having panels already installed will increase the likelihood of selling it, as the installation costs are fairly steep. If a person interested in your home is told the panels are already set up and ready to go, you’ll be able to up your asking price. Not only will your solar energy have saved you money over the course of its life while you were living there, but it will also save you money when you’re ready to move on. Remember, solar panels have a lifespan of around 25 years, so take that into consideration when it’s time for your big moving day, and calculate how much life your panels have left in them in order to get the most value on your home.
When it comes to installing solar panels in San Francisco, the savings speak for themselves.
Want to learn even more about how to save money on solar energy? Check out the HahaSmart blog for more information!
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