Solar is Here!
In the U.S., a solar power system is installed every two minutes–784,000 homes and businesses have now gone solar.
With nearly 200,000 solar workers employed by over 6,000 businesses across the country, the industry has scaled, resulting in plummeting costs for homeowners!
Solar is More Affordable Than Ever
For the first time in our lives, solar energy is not only cost competitive with traditional fossil-fuel based energy, but in many cases it’s cheaper. In the last ten years, the cost to install solar panels has dropped 73 percent! This dramatic decrease in prices can be attributed to a more competitive solar market, as well as federal and state incentives that decrease the cost of the initial investment of solar.
Additionally, many states have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require a certain amount of the state’s energy to be produced from renewable resources by a fixed date in the future. The RPS gives legislators and local utilities tremendous incentives to make adopting solar simple and affordable for homeowners, enabling the state to meet its goals and avoid costly penalties.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have adopted an RPS, but not all RPS are created equal. Even if you are in a state with a weak RPS, you are still eligible for a 30% federal tax credit when you invest in a solar power system. If your tax credit exceeds your tax liability for the year your system is installed, you can carry the credit over to the following year. This credit is in effect until December 31, 2019.
How Much Does the Average Residential Solar System Cost?
The cost of setting up a solar power system in your home varies based on the incentives or rebates that are offered locally, as well as how you choose to finance your system. The cost of your specific system will be determined by your average monthly energy consumption, the size of your home, and your budget for the project. A licensed solar installer can work with you to determine what size system you need to meet your monthly energy needs.
Generally, you can estimate that the average house consumes electricity at the rate of 1 kW per hour (kWh). With 730 hours in each month, and the average price of electricity at $0.10 per kWh, your average monthly electricity bill should be around $73. These averages can vary based on the cost of electricity in your specific state, as well as your average energy consumption.
The cost of a solar panel today is around $3 per watt, and the cost of installation brings that cost up to $5-$6 per watt. Get fast and free solar quotes with absolutely no obligation to purchase!
What Kind of Savings Can You Expect on Your Monthly Electric Bill?
Depending on the size of your system, you can expect to save 50% on your monthly energy bills and perhaps even more if your utility allows net metering. Net metering allows you to effectively “bank” any excess energy produced during especially sunny periods. This excess energy is turned into credits that you can utilize when your solar power system is not operating at peak capacity–perhaps in the midst of winter when heavy snowfall covers the panels, or on cloudy days when your panels are slightly less effective. Depending on your local utility’s guidelines, your energy credits can either expire or be paid out to you as cash payments at the end of the annual billing cycle.
Solar Increases Your Home’s Value
Finally, if you’re planning to sell your home in the future, having a solar power system can really set your house apart in a crowded real estate market. For every $1 in energy savings that you experience, you can expect your home value to go up $20. Additionally, as millennials begin to enter the housing market in droves, studies show that they are willing to pay a premium for homes with energy efficient features–just more evidence of the incredible return on investment from investing in solar.