Saving money isn’t easy when it comes to utility bills, especially if it means compromising your comfortable lifestyle. With changes in seasons, bills fluctuate. Summers and winters have many appliances needing to sap more electricity just to function. It’s a frustrating situation. You don’t want to spend more in bills, but there’s always a limit to how much you can cut down on using appliances. Sometimes your hard efforts just don’t cut it. So what can you do in a seemingly helpless situation? The answer is literally right above you. It might sound crazy at first, but if you’re sick of what you’re paying for utility bills, now’s the perfect time to invest. It’s time to invest in solar panel installation. Harnessing the sun provides you with a clean, renewable, and reliable source of electricity that ultimately pays for itself. You’re not just helping the environment; you’re helping yourself, considerably.
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For converting sunlight into energy, solar panels have a fairly simple design. The panel, made of glass, protects the solar cells inside, which is what converts sunlight into electricity. Those cells are wired together and make one solar panel. There’s usually an array, or row, of multiple solar panels, which are either installed on top a homeowner’s roof, lawn or attached to a pole. There’s an inverter which converts DC power into AC power, and a battery to store any excess electricity generated. There are also two different types of solar panels, off-grid, and grid connected. Off-grid solar panels are best for isolated communities that typically don’t have much access to utility companies. Homes that run on off-grid solar panels can be entirely self-sufficient, and residents can directly use the electricity generated from the panels. Grid connected solar panels are connected to a grid, meaning homeowners can either use the electricity generated from the solar panels or if need be, use electricity from the grid.
Sounds Interesting Right? But How Does Solar Panel Installation Cut Down Your Energy Bills?
In several ways actually, because solar panels can produce and store a considerable amount of electricity, you can end making money versus just saving money. The solar industry is booming, and by 2016, the US installed enough solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to power 8.3 million homes. States and utility companies go as far as to provide homeowners financial incentives for installing solar panels in their homes. If you ever plan to sell your home, installing solar panels can increase your home value by 17%. Still need convincing? Here’s how solar panels save you money.
- Tax returns and rebates. Within the first year of solar panel installation, you will receive 30% of the cost back in federal tax returns. This means you could earn up to $7,500 for a $25,000 investment. Some states, municipalities, utility companies, or organizations that want to promote solar energy, will provide rebates, it will depend on how much solar is installed and usually only lasts for a limited time.
- Performance Based Incentives. Some states and or utility companies will pay solar energy providers with a per kilowatt-hour credit for the electricity they generate. They’re paid monthly over a 5 year period, and the amount of payment depends on how much electricity is generated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. There’s legislation in some states that require utility companies to produce a certain percentage of their electricity from solar power. Homeowners can earn SRECs if they meet the criteria and sell them to utility companies, which can result in hundreds and sometimes even up to thousands of dollars in income per year.
- Lower Monthly Bills. Homeowners who have solar panels can expect their electricity bills to decrease by at least $100 a month. In 20 years, homeowners can save up to $30,000.
- Solar Purchase Power Agreements. If you’re concerned about the initial costs, solar providers can provide a ‘no cost installation’ option. The solar installers would own the solar panels on your roof, and take care of maintenance and repairs. In return, you simply pay for the electricity provided at a discounted rate. Whereas you wouldn’t have to pay for the electricity generated from the solar panels if you bought them, renting solar panels can still be cheaper than the typical cost of utility bills.
- Low Payback Period. Homeowners with solar panels can expect a payback in ten years or less, depending on where you live. Residents in Hawaii, for example, can see a payback in just 5 years.
- An Increase in Home Value. If you plan to sell your house, solar panel installation will help make your home marketable. A study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory concluded that on average, homes with solar panels installed sold 20% faster and added about $17,000 to the listing price.
Don’t Wait on Those Rebates, Invest in Solar Panel Installation
It’s crazy how much money you can save from solar panels. Both your state and utility company have enough incentive to keep paying you if your home generates enough electricity. What’s even better is a solar panel’s warranty, lasting up to at least 25-34 Years- that’s at least 25-34 Years of lowered utility bills, PBIs, and SRECs. So why wait if you’re already dreading the next bill? It’s time to add to your roof a new accessory.