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Residential Solar Panels in 2019

Jessica PirroAugust 16, 20192340

The past decade has been a great one for solar panels got home use. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electricity grid towards a clean energy economy, necessitated by emissions reduction targets in a time of global climate change. This period of energy reform has made way for solar-powered systems to take off. It is time to give credit where credit is due, to solar panels for residential solar-powered systems.

Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels for Residential Solar-Powered Systems

How Much the Cost of Solar Energy Has Fallen

There was a time when the cost of solar energy was considered too pricey for the average homeowner. But because of the rise in the popularity of a solar panel installation in the United States, the cost of solar energy has fallen by 70 percent over the past 10 years. In the past year alone, the solar panels for residential solar-powered systems the cost of solar energy have fallen five percent. Solar power has evolved from a luxury to a reasonable upgrade fro homeowners that millions of homeowners are considering in 2019. Getting a residential solar panel installation will also raise the value of one’s home.  

The Cost of Solar Energy For Homeowners

The answer to this question depends on the solar-powered system size as well as the states the solar panel installation is located. By going to HaHaSmart and using the price checker tool you can get an accurate quote on how much the cost of solar energy will be for you. But another way you can calculate how much the cost of solar energy will be for the different solar-powered systems are going to cost you per watt of available solar electricity production. In 2019, homeowners are paying an average of 2.98/W. Back in 2008, the average cost of solar energy was just over $8/W. The average cost of an 8kW solar-powered system, after the 30% Federal ITC is $16,688, without any additional solar incentives or rebates).

How Does Home Solar Connect to the Grid?

For most of the home solar panel installations, the answer is going to be yes, your solar-powered system is going to be connected to the grid. By connecting your solar panel installation to the grid, net-metering is going to serve as an efficient solution to the question “how will my solar-powered system provide solar power to my home at night?” Net metering is a solar incentive where you receive bill credit when your solar-powered system is producing more solar electricity than your home needs. But, when your solar-powered system is under-producing, such as at night or in stormy weather, you can use those bill credits to cover the cost of your grids electricity.

If you are off the grid, you aren’t going to have access to electricity from your utility. Which will mean that if you want to go completely off the grid, you are going to need to get a large solar energy storage capabilities, an extra-large solar-powered system, and provisions for backup solar power to cover your solar energy needs when your panels aren’t getting enough sun.

The Tax Benefits of Solar Energy

There tax benefits of solar energy are known as tax credits for solar panels. The major tax benefit of solar energy is known as the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which is also commonly called the solar tax credit. The ITC gives you a tax credit that is equal to 30 percent of the total cost of your solar-powered system, but you only get this off you purchase the solar-powered system. It all depends on the state that you live in, the opportunity to receive these tax benefits of solar energy and other solar power programs can be significant. Some states and municipalities are also offering other more complex options that are going to be case-specific - do some research into SRECs and other solar power rebate programs that are region-specific.  

How Much of Your Home Can you Power With Solar Electricity? 

The ideal answer would be 100 percent. But, although solar-powered systems can, in theory, offset all of your energy use, it is not realistic to expect that level of the production of the solar panels daily. A leading U.S. solar manufacturer, SunPower recommends that homeowner factor in a 25 percent cushion when you calculate you're the targets for solar panels offset. The main reason being: solar panels aren’t going to operate at maximum efficiency at all times. There are going to be certain days when the grid connection is necessary to fully cover your power usage. However, the beauty of net-metering is that you can benefit from the excess power that your panels are producing and not pay anything to your utility while still relying on the grid for backup storage.

How Long Until Your Solar-Powered System Breaks-Even?

Most homeowners are interested in calculating the payback period of the solar panels, which is the amount of time it is going to take for the electric bill savings to offset the cost of solar energy. The expected break-even point ranges across the country, however on average, U.S. homeowners break even on the cost of solar energy after about 7.5 years.

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