Are you getting tired of expensive electricity bills? Are you losing power more and more often? Either way, you are not alone! Millions of people are in the US and around the world experiencing one or both of these problems.
One of the most common solutions many consider are solar panels.
Solar energy is often hyped as a way for homeowners to become energy independent. And more than that, as a way to eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the costs of your monthly electricity bills.
Add to that the environmental benefits, it seems like a great option for many.
But is it really? Are solar panels worth it? Or are they just a lot of hype?
Here in this article, we look at if it is worth it to get solar panels or if you should stick to paying monthly bills from your electric company.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
So, the short answer to that is it depends. There are a few key factors that really matter when it comes to answering this question. And, overall, it really comes down to a case by case basis as to whether they’re worth it or not.
There is no doubt at all these days that solar panels are beneficial. And one of the key benefits they bring to many is the ability to greatly reduce, or eliminate, your electric bills.
Solar panels are also good for the environment and are considered to be one of the cleanest sources of energy. So if you are a person who is conscious of the environment, then going solar may be worth it for you just for that reason alone.
But what about the costs of solar panels? The average costs of a solar panel, along with the installation, runs between $15,000 to $25,000.
What do you get for that? This typically includes the panels, the inverter, and certain housing components along with cables and gears. Metering equipment may also be included if you plan to measure the amount of energy you produce.
The solar inverter is basically what turns the direct current produced by the panel into alternating current that will be used to power the electronic appliances and equipment. The average residential 5kW size system costs between $3 and $5 per watt.
To add to that, solar panels usually have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years before they start to degrade. Even after that, they are still usable. They’re just not as good as they were when they were brand new.
So yeah, all in all, solar panels do sound like they are worth it. However, like what was said earlier, the worth of solar panels really comes down to a case-by-case basis.
When Solar Is Totally Worth It
Solar panels are generally great for your house if you meet these criteria:
Plenty of Sun Exposure
If your house/land gets a lot of sun exposure, that’s a great start. If you live in a part of the country that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, solar may still be worth it. However, it’ll be tougher to generate enough energy to make it pay for itself.
Even if you live in a sunny part of the country, but your house is in the woods or is heavily shaded, that will have a big negative impact on solar too.
Basically, the more direct sun you get beating down on your house, the more efficient the panels will be. And the more electricity they’ll be able to generate. That makes it more likely solar will be worth it for you.
High Electric Costs
If you live in an area where electricity from your local power company is super expensive, then solar will be more worth it for you. For example, the average price of residential electricity in California is 22.44 cents per kilowatt-hour. With rates that high, it’s no wonder solar is so popular in The Golden State.
Reliability of Electricity
Do you live in an area where the electric grid is kind of unreliable? Texas is infamous for this problem. If you live in an area where you lose power frequently and/or for long periods of time, solar panels can be very worth it.
Just keep in mind, you will likely need to have some sort of battery backup with your solar installation to keep the lights on with solar if power to your area goes out.
Solar Incentives and Rebates
Both the federal government and some state governments will offer tax rebates or other incentives for solar. There may be other options to get incentives as well through group buying co-ops. Anything you can do to reduce your cost of solar panels will make it more likely they’ll be worth it.
So are solar panels worth it? In many cases, yes! Though your best bet is to find a solar installer near you to assess your situation and calculate your savings.