Jessica PirroDecember 11, 201912731
The past decade has been a key one for residential solar panel installations. Homes and businesses across the country are transitioning away from a fossil-fueled electrical gird, towards a clean energy economy. This is necessitated by emission reduction targets in a time of global climate change. This period of energy reform has made way for solar-powered systems to take off.
Reduce Your Electricity Bill
Regardless if you’re a homeowner or a business owner, the cost of electricity can easily make up a large portion of your monthly expenses. But, if you get a solar panel installation, your solar-powered system will generate electricity for your home's needs. Even if the solar panels aren’t going to produce 100% of the energy for your home, solar power will reduce your utility bills and resulting in money savings.
The Tax Benefits of Solar Energy
There are solar energy tax benefits, commonly called solar energy tax credits. The most popular solar energy tax benefit is known as the federal investment tax credit (ITC), also referred to as 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 tax credit if you purchase the solar-powered system (if you lease your solar panels, these tax credits will go to the owner of the solar-powered system). Where you live will determine the solar energy tax benefits you receive. Some states, cities, and counties are going to offer more complex options that are going to be case-specific - the homeowner should do some research into SRECs and other solar power rebate programs that are region-specific.
The Cost of Solar is Falling
In the past 5 years, the cost of solar has fallen over 34%. An average solar-powered system can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $30,000 when homeowners utilize the federal tax credit. But at the end of 2019, the federal ITC is going to drop from 30% to 26%. If you’re considering getting a solar-powered system, now is the perfect time to do so.
If the initial investment of a solar panel installation is too much, you can pay $0 down by opting to lease your solar panels. However, if you do choose to get lease your solar panels, you won’t be able to take advantage of the solar energy tax credits as mentioned above.
Earn a Return on the Cost of Solar
Though the cost of solar is falling, it is still considered to be a pretty costly investment. But the return on investment (ROI), rivals those of more traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds. But thanks to substantial electrical bill savings, the average American homeowner is going to pay off their solar-powered system in an average of seven to eight years, and they will see an ROI of 20 percent or more. When you factor in the falling cost of solar panels and the reliable performance of the solar panels, the average ROI of a solar-powered system is going to range from 8% to 12%.
Solar-Powered Systems Still Produce Solar Power in the Winter
Many homeowners who live in areas that get snow are a little hesitant to get a solar panel installation due to the common misconception that their solar-powered system isn’t going to work unless it is a warm sunny day. But, lucky for us, that isn't true. While solar power production is going to be reduced, your solar-powered system is still going to produce solar energy.
You Will Break-Even on Your Investment
Most homeowners are interested in calculating the payback period of the solar panels. The payback period is the amount of time it is going to take for the electric bill savings to offset the cost of solar panels. The expected break-even point ranges across the country, but, on average, U.S. homeowners break-even on the cost of solar panels after about 7.5 years.
You Will Still Be Able to Draw From the Grid When You Solar-Powered System is Under Producing
Most residential solar panel installations are going to be connected to the grid. By connecting your solar-powered system to the grid, net metering is going to serve as an efficient solution to the question “how will a solar-powered system provide power at night?” Net metering is a solar incentive, where homeowners will receive bill credits when their solar-powered system is under-producing (such as at night or in stormy weather). They will then be able to use the bill credits to cover the cost of drawing the electricity from the grid.
You Can Store Energy if You Have an Off-Grid Solar-Powered System
If you have an off-grid solar-powered system, you are not going to have access to electricity through your gird. You are going to need to invest in a large solar energy storage system for back up solar power. With a storage system, you can draw solar energy from the storage system to power your home when your solar-powered system is under-producing.
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