how-much-solar-panels-save

The average savings you will make on your utility bills per year are roughly $1,390 based on an average kWh cost of $0.13. This is based on an average U.S. household using 10,694 kilowatt hours per year. The average cost of installing a solar system in the U.S.A. is in the region of $17,000 to $24,000. The average payback period is between 10–15 years.

An average American family can save between $10,000 to $30,000 over the lifetime of their system. The average US family also pays roughly $1,400 per year for their electric utility bills. Through going solar, they will be able to save roughly 90% of these costs and possibly even more. For those asking do solar panels save money, these figures are the key take-home numbers to focus on.

How Much Will Solar Panels Save in a Nutshell?

So, how much do solar panels save you in a nutshell? Let’s simplify it before we start to dive into greater detail about solar panel savings.

 

  • An average family can save between $10,000 and $30,000 over the lifetime of their system. Although in some exceptional circumstances, some American families can save up to $60,000 or more depending on their location and circumstances.
  • As the average American household pays about $1,400 a year for 1,000 kilowatt-hours, then solar panels save the average family up to and in excess of 90% of that amount ($1,260) by relying purely on solar technology.
  • Based on annual increases of roughly 2.6 percent for grid-sourced electricity, the amount of solar panel savings also increases each year for solar users in turn. This means that an average household saves a lot of money by switching to solar technology. Higher electricity costs in your area simply lead to more money being saved as a result.
  • With additional tax credits and rebates, you can make further savings on your tax bill that help to dramatically enhance the amount of money you can make over time from relying on solar technology.
  • It takes the average American household roughly 10 years to cover the upfront costs of a solar system and start making profit. How fast profit can be achieved all depends on your location and the amount of available peak daylight hours in your area.

 

When you read the above points, it becomes apparent pretty fast that the long-term financial implications of going solar are tremendously positive and that the answer to the question does solar power save you money is a resounding yes.

If you happen to be in the right area to maximize the efficiency of solar panels, then they are somewhat of a no-brainer purchase provided you can comfortably afford the upfront costs.

Depending on the state you live in and the number of peak daylight hours in your area, you stand to save more or less than others. This is how much you are likely to save per year and over the expected lifetime of your solar panels if you live in any of the following popular U.S. locations.

Table of Contents

1. How Much Do You Save with Solar Panels?
2. Is Solar Worth It Where You Live?
3. How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save?
4. How Much Can I Save with Solar and Tax Incentives?
5. How Solar Panel Efficiency Impacts Savings
6. Are Savings Estimates Reliable for Solar Panels?
7. Can You Save More by Building Your Own Solar System?
8. Can You Save More by Installing a Solar System Yourself?
9. Do Solar Panels Hurt the Resale Value of Your Home?
10. How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels?
11. Can I Sell Back My Solar Energy?
12. Why Are My Solar Panels Not Saving Me Money?
13. Your Electric Bill After Buying Solar Panels
14. Do You Still Have an Electric Bill with Solar Panels
15. How Solar Panels Can Help You to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
16. How Much Do Solar Panels Save You? – FAQ
17. Conclusion

How Much Do You Save with Solar Panels?

State and city Cost of kWh in this area Savings per year in this area Savings over 25 years in this area Minimum number of years to pay back for a $17,000 system
Mesa, Arizona $0.13 $1,808.68 $45,217 10
Tucson, Arizona $0.13 $1,800.72 $45,018 10
Phoenix, Arizona $0.12 $1,639.08 $40,977 11
Long Beach, California $0.21 $2,759.96 $68,999 7
Fresno, California $0.21 $2,662.60 $66,565 7
Oakland, California $0.21 $2,647.88 $66,197 7
Sacramento, California $0.21 $2,614.80 $65,370 7
Los Angeles, California $0.21 $2,776.52 $69,413 7
San Diego, California $0.29> $3,816.48 $95,412 5
San Jose, California $0.16 $1,968.20 $49,205 9
San Francisco, California $0.24 $3,147.28 $78,682 6
Denver, Colorado $0.14 $1,772.60 $44,315 10
Colorado Springs, Colorado $0.12 $1,622.28 $40,557 11
Washington, D.C. $0.13 $1,447.08 $36,177 12
Miami, Florida $0.12 $1,407.04 $35,176 13
Jacksonville, Florida $0.12 $1,297.84 $32,446 14
Atlanta, Georgia $0.12 $1,359.80 $33,995 13
Chicago, Illinois $0.14 $1,321.80 $33,045 13
Indianapolis, Indiana $0.09 $927.68 $23,192 19
Wichita, Kansas $0.11 $1,345.60 $33,640 13
Louisville, Kentucky $0.09 $969.40 $24,235 19
New Orleans, Louisiana $0.10 $1,061.40 $26,535 17
Baltimore, Maryland $0.12 $1,335.60 $33,390 13
Boston, Massachusetts $0.23 $2,270.12 $56,753 8
Detroit, Michigan $0.17 $1,740.40 $43,510 10
Minneapolis, Minnesota $0.15 $1,703.64 $42,591 10
Kansas City, Missouri $0.11 $1,284.00 $32,100 14
Omaha, Nebraska $0.11 $1,310.96 $32,774 13
Las Vegas, Nevada $0.12 $1,692.64 $42,316 11
Albuquerque, New Mexico $0.12 $1,667.44 $41,686 11
New York City, New York $0.21 $2,107.64 $52,691 9
Charlotte, North Carolina $0.11 $1,277.28 $31,932 14
Raleigh, North Carolina $0.11 $1,304.24 $32,606 13
Columbus, Ohio $0.13 $1,279.72 $31,993 14
Tulsa, Oklahoma $0.08 $1,033.40 $25,835 17
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $0.10 $1,229.40 $30,735 14
Portland, Oregon $0.11 $975.04 $24,376 18
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $0.15 $1,561.88 $39,047 11
Nashville, Tennessee $0.11 $1,233.00 $30,825 14
Memphis, Tennessee $0.10 $1,125.28 $28,132 14
Dallas, Texas $0.13 $1,558.40 $38,960 11
El Paso, Texas $0.11 $1,549.00 $38,742 11
Arlington, Texas $0.11 $1,305.20 $32,630 13
Austin, Texas $0.11 $1,308.08 $32,702 13
Houston, Texas $0.14 $1,586.40 $39,660 11
Fort Worth, Texas $0.11 $1,370.64 $34,266 13
San Antonio, Texas $0.09 $1,062.36 $26,559 17
Virginia Beach, Virginia $0.11 $1,291.68 $32,292 13
Seattle, Washington $0.11 $908.60 $22,715 19
Milwaukee, Wisconsin $0.14 $1,342.64 $33,566 13

Across the board here, we can see that even if you are in a state or city where your utilities do not cost a great deal of money per year, you can still pocket some serious money through having solar panels installed. Even though it is clear that solar panels save money, it is not all profit.

Remember, the average solar system costs between $17,000–$24,000. This means that in some states, if you were to buy a system that cost 24k, you would never actually make your money back.

To give you a better idea, here is how much actual profit you could gain from having a solar panel system installed based on a mean average cost of $20,500, which sits in the middle of the average price range for a solar system in the US.

Is Solar Worth It Where You Live?

is solar worth it where tou live? - how much do solar panels save?
State and city Cost over 25 years Profit margin over 25 years after $20,500 deduction
Mesa, Arizona $45,217 $24,717
Tucson, Arizona $45,018 $24,518
Phoenix, Arizona $40,977 $20,477
Long Beach, California $68,999 $48,499
Fresno, California $66,565 $46,065
Oakland, California $66,197 $45,697
Sacramento, California $65,370 $44,870
Los Angeles, California $69,413 $48,913
San Diego, California $95,412 $74,912
San Jose, California $49,205 $28,705
San Francisco, California $78,682 $58,182
Denver, Colorado $44,315 $23,815
Colorado Springs, Colorado $40,557 $20,057
Washington, D.C. $36,177 $15,677
Miami, Florida $35,176 $14,676
Jacksonville, Florida $32,446 $11,946
Atlanta, Georgia $33,995 $13,495
Chicago, Illinois $33,045 $12,545
Indianapolis, Indiana $23,192 $2,692
Wichita, Kansas $33,640 $13,140
Louisville, Kentucky $24,235 $3,735
New Orleans, Louisiana $26,535 $6,035
Baltimore, Maryland $33,390 $12,890
Boston, Massachusetts $56,753 $36,253
Detroit, Michigan $43,510 $23,010
Minneapolis, Minnesota $42,591 $22,091
Kansas City, Missouri $32,100 $11,600
Omaha, Nebraska $32,774 $12,274
Las Vegas, Nevada $42,316 $21,816
Albuquerque, New Mexico $41,686 $21,186
New York City, New York $52,691 $32,191
Charlotte, North Carolina $31,932 $11,432
Raleigh, North Carolina $32,606 $12,106
Columbus, Ohio $31,993 $11,493
Tulsa, Oklahoma $25,835 $5,335
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $30,735 $10,235
Portland, Oregon $24,376 $3,876
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $39,047 $18,547
Nashville, Tennessee $30,825 $10,325
Memphis, Tennessee $28,132 $7,632
Dallas, Texas $38,960 $18,460
El Paso, Texas $38,742 $18,242
Arlington, Texas $32,630 $12,130
Austin, Texas $32,702 $12,202
Houston, Texas $39,660 $19,160
Fort Worth, Texas $34,266 $13,766
San Antonio, Texas $26,559 $6,059
Virginia Beach, Virginia $32,292 $11,792
Seattle, Washington $22,715 $2,215
Milwaukee, Wisconsin $33,566 $13,066

This data shows that if you have the money to install solar panels, then in some locations you are going to make an absolute killing over the lifetime of your system. What about the inflation of electricity rates though?

Until recently, energy bills were increasing like clockwork at a rate of about 3% per year on average. As of right now and going into the future however, that figure is looking set to be more like 2.8% annually. It is important to factor this annual percentage into the lifetime savings your system will provide.

Even in states where it appears that the savings are not considerable, when you factor inflation into the equation, suddenly the above profit margins look a little healthier. The below table effectively shows the savings you will make over the lifetime of your system with a 2.8% annual inflation rating factored in over the full 25-year period.

How Much Money Can Solar Panels Save?

State and city Profit margin over 25 years Profit margin over 25 years with 2.8% inflation per year factored in
Mesa, Arizona $24,717 $42,018
Tucson, Arizona $24,518 $41,680
Phoenix, Arizona $20,477 $34,810
Long Beach, California $48,499 $82,448
Fresno, California $46,065 $78,310
Oakland, California $45,697 $77,684
Sacramento, California $44,870 $76,278
Los Angeles, California $48,913 $83,152
San Diego, California $74,912 $127,350
San Jose, California $28,705 $48,798
San Francisco, California $58,182 $98,909
Denver, Colorado $23,815 $40,485
Colorado Springs, Colorado $20,057 $34,096
Washington, D.C $15,677 $26,650
Miami, Florida $14,676 $24,949
Jacksonville, Florida $11,946 $20,308
Atlanta, Georgia $13,495 $22,941
Chicago, Illinois $12,545 $21,326
Indianapolis, Indiana $2,692 $4,576
Wichita, Kansas $13,140 $22,338
Louisville, Kentucky $3,735 $6,349
New Orleans, Louisiana $6,035 $10,259
Baltimore, Maryland $12,890 $21,913
Boston, Massachusetts $36,253 $61,630
Detroit, Michigan $23,010 $39,117
Minneapolis, Minnesota $22,091 $37,554
Kansas City, Missouri $11,600 $19,612
Omaha, Nebraska $12,274 $20,865
Las Vegas, Nevada $21,816 $37,087
Albuquerque, New Mexico $21,186 $36,016
New York City, New York $32,191 $54,724
Charlotte, North Carolina $11,432 $19,434
Raleigh, North Carolina $12,106 $20,580
Columbus, Ohio $11,493 $19,538
Tulsa, Oklahoma $5,335 $9,069
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $10,235 $17,399
Portland, Oregon $3,876 $6,589
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $18,547 $31,529
Nashville, Tennessee $10,325 $17,552
Memphis, Tennessee $7,632 $12,974
Dallas, Texas $18,460 $31,382
El Paso, Texas $18,242 $31,011
Arlington, Texas $12,130 $20,621
Austin, Texas $12,202 $20,743
Houston, Texas $19,160 $32,571
Fort Worth, Texas $13,766 $23,402
San Antonio, Texas $6,059 $10,300
Virginia Beach, Virginia $11,792 $20,046
Seattle, Washington $2,215 $3,765
Milwaukee, Wisconsin $13,066 $22,212

Once inflation has been factored in, if you are in a location like San Diego, California, then it is pretty clear that you are going to be loving life if you bank all of your savings over the 25-year usage period of your system.

Even if you are in a different location, the profits look pretty fantastic across the board. Except for those living in Seattle, Washington, where sadly, going solar is not a viable option unless it is for ethical reasons.

In a worst-case scenario, should inflation rates steeply decline well below the 2.8% annual figure, the initial sting of paying the upfront costs for a solar system in some states and cities absolutely would not be worth it unless your primary interest in having a solar system is to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet.

Examples include the aforementioned Seattle and even locations like Portland and Tulsa where the savings over the lifetime of the system do not really justify the upfront spending. Inflation rates for utilities tend to be pretty predictable, meaning that any decline would be very gradual if there were one at all. This means that the above figures are likely to remain accurate for a considerable amount of time.

If anything, inflation rates often increase, meaning that your savings may even be greater than those displayed above. California is the best example of a state where inflation can rapidly ascend. Recent inflation percentages have been as high as 13%! There is (at least in the short term) another savings that you might be able to factor into your solar costs too in the form of an investment tax credit or a tax refund.

These credits allow you to deduct a percentage of the value of your solar system from your payable tax, in some instances up to an unlimited amount. How much you are able to deduct will depend on the year of installation for your system. Here are the percentage ranges depending on the year of installation for the various tax refund incentives.

How Much Can I Save with Solar and Tax Incentives?

how much can i save with solar and tax incentives? - how much do solar panels save?
Systems installed between 2016–2019 Systems installed between 2020–2022 Systems installed in 2023 Systems installed in 2024
Both residential and commercial solar system owners can deduct 30% of the cost of their system from their taxes.


Both residential and commercial solar system owners can deduct 26% of the cost of their system from their taxes.


Both residential and commercial solar system owners can deduct 22% of the cost of their system from their taxes.


No tax refunds or credits will be available for residential solar system owners in 2024. Commercial owners may deduct 10% of the value of their system from their taxes.

It is worth mentioning that the additional savings you will make on your tax return depending on the year your system will be installed is in conjunction with the maximum lifetime savings you will make when using your solar system over a 25-year period.

Again, in certain states, this is hardly going to make an enormous difference to the solar viability in your area, but in others, it is another nice bonus to consider. If you want to access this bonus, you will need to act sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, even if you do happen to be in any of the locations shown in the tables that we have highlighted, the data shown assumes that the panels in your system are placed in an ideal location. This is a vital aspect of how they work and is what ultimately leads to you making maximum savings. We will make a little more sense out of this for you in the next section.

How Solar Panel Efficiency Impacts Savings

So, how does solar energy save you money? It is all about the effective placement of your solar panels. The efficiency of your solar panels is going to directly impact how much money you will be able to save over time when using them.

Solar panel efficiency largely relies on whether they are placed in a position that allows them to directly access the sun’s rays maximally. Optimal solar panel positioning relies on them being south facing and placed at a 45-degree angle.

Efficiency of the Solar Panels Based on Panel and Roof Location and Angle

Panel tilt angle (in degrees) Directly west-facing roof photon ray access efficiency Directly south-facing roof photon ray access efficiency Directly east-facing roof photon ray access efficiency
0 84% 84% 84%
10 84% 91% 84%
20 82% 96% 82%
30 81% 100% 81%
40 78% 100% 78%
50 74% 98% 74%
60 69% 95% 69%
70 64% 89% 64%
80 57% 81% 57%
90 50% 71% 50%

Remember, 100% is the golden efficiency standard. At 100%, your savings are pretty much going to be exactly in line with the figures we displayed previously depending on your location and state. As such, let’s take a look at the impact that a variety of directional efficiencies are likely to have on your overall system lifetime savings (obviously factoring in the 2.8% inflation percentage that we previously outlined).

Solar Panel Savings for the Average U.S. Home Based on System Efficiency

State and city Profit margin over 25 years with 2.8% inflation per year factored in Profit margin when using panels operating at 50% efficiency Profit margin when using panels operating at 60% efficiency Profit margin when using panels operating at 70% efficiency Profit margin when using panels operating at 80% efficiency Profit margin when using panels operating at 90% efficiency
Mesa, Arizona $42,018 $21,000 $25,210 $29,412 $33,614 $37,816
Tucson, Arizona $41,680 $20,084 $25,008 $29,176 $33,344 $37,512
Phoenix, Arizona $34,810 $17,405 $20,886 $24,367 $27,848 $31,329
Long Beach, California $82,448 $41,224 $49,468 $57,713 $65,958 $74,203
Fresno, California $78,310 $39,155 $46,986 $54,817 $62,648 $70,479
Oakland, California $77,684 $38,842 $46,610 $54,378 $69,915 $69,915
Sacramento, California $76,278 $38,139 $45,766 $53,394 $61,022 $68,650
Los Angeles, California $83,152 $41,576 $49,891 $58,206 $66,521 $74,836
San Diego, California $127,350 $63,675 $76,410 $89,145 $101,880 $114,615
San Jose, California $48,798 $24,399 $29,278 $34,158 $39,038 $43,918
San Francisco, California $98,909 $49,454 $59,345 $69,236 $79,127 $89,018
Denver, Colorado $40,485 $20,242 $24,291 $28,339 $32,388 $36,436
Colorado Springs, Colorado $34,096 $17,048 $20,457 $23,867 $27,276 $30,686
Washington, D.C $26,650 $13,325 $15,989 $18,654 $21,320 $23,985
Miami, Florida $24,949 $12,474 $14,969 $17,464 $19,959 $22,454
Jacksonville, Florida $20,308 $10,154 $12,184 $14,215 $16,246 $18,277
Atlanta, Georgia $22,941 $11,470 $13,764 $16,058 $18,352 $20,646
Chicago, Illinois $21,326 $10,663 $12,795 $14,928 $17,060 $19,193
Indianapolis, Indiana $4,576 $2,288 $2,745 $3,203 $3,660 $4,118
Wichita, Kansas $22,338 $11,169 $13,402 $15,636 $17,870 $20,104
Louisville, Kentucky $6,349 $3,174 $3,809 $4,444 $5,079 $5,714
New Orleans, Louisiana $10,259 $5,129 $6,155 $7,181 $8,207 $9,233
Baltimore, Maryland $21,913 $10,956 $13,147 $15,339 $17,530 $19,721
Boston, Massachusetts $61,630 $30,815 $36,978 $43,141 $49,304 $55,467
Detroit, Michigan $39,117 $19,558 $23,470 $27,381 $31,293 $35,205
Minneapolis, Minnesota $37,554 $18,777 $22,532 $26,287 $30,043 $33,798
Kansas City, Missouri $19,612 $9,806 $11,767 $13,728 $15,689 $17,650
Omaha, Nebraska $20,865 $10,432 $12,518 $14,605 $16,692 $18,778
Las Vegas, Nevada $37,087 $18,543 $22,252 $25,960 $29,669 $33,378
Albuquerque, New Mexico $36,016 $18,008 $21,609 $25,211 $28,812 $32,414
New York City, New York $54,724 $27,362 $32,834 $38,306 $43,779 $49,251
Charlotte, North Carolina $19,434 $9,717 $11,660 $13,603 $15,547 $17,490
Raleigh, North Carolina $20,580 $10,290 $12,347 $14,405 $16,464 $18,522
Columbus, Ohio $19,538 $9,769 $11,722 $13,676 $15,630 $17,584
Tulsa, Oklahoma $9,069 $4,534 $5,441 $6,348 $7,255 $8,162
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma $17,399 $8,699 $10,439 $12,179 $13,919 $15,659
Portland, Oregon $6,589 $3,294 $3,953 $4,612 $5,271 $5,930
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania $31,529 $15,764 $18,917 $22,070 $25,223 $28,376
Nashville, Tennessee $17,552 $8,776 $10,531 $12,286 $14,041 $15,796
Memphis, Tennessee $12,974 $6,487 $7,784 $9,081 $10,379 $11,676
Dallas, Texas $31,382 $15,691 $18,829 $21,967 $25,105 $28,243
El Paso, Texas $31,011 $15,505 $18,606 $21,707 $24,808 $27,909
Arlington, Texas $20,621 $10,310 $12,372 $14,434 $16,496 $18,558
Austin, Texas $20,743 $10,371 $12,445 $14,520 $16,594 $18,668
Houston, Texas $32,571 $16,285 $19,542 $22,799 $26,056 $29,313
Fort Worth, Texas $23,402 $11,701 $14,041 $16,381 $18,721 $21,061
San Antonio, Texas $10,300 $5,150 $6,180 $7,210 $8,240 $9,270
Virginia Beach, Virginia $20,046 $10,023 $12,027 $14,032 $16,036 $18,041
Seattle, Washington $3,765 $1,882 $2,259 $2,635 $3,012 $3,388
Milwaukee, Wisconsin $22,212 $11,106 $13,327 $15,548 $17,769 $19,990

Based on the above figures, it is clear that the cost-saving implications can be absolutely enormous if you do not get your initial system installation right. As the installation costs for solar vary from around $700–$1,700, a surprising number of people prefer to install their own panels. However, it is safe to say that the installation costs (even if they are close to the maximum $1,700 figure stated above) are minimal compared to the amount of money that you could lose if you do not get your panel alignment right.

Are Savings Estimates Reliable for Solar Panels?

are savings estimates reliable for solar panels? - how much do solar panels save?

For those asking does solar power save you money, we are happy to say that the solar saving estimates we have provided you with are completely accurate as long as you have factored in all of the information we have provided you with thus far. This is a vital part of answering the question do solar panels save money.

 

Remember these important considerations.

  • All solar saving estimates assume that you are getting 100% of the available power from your system.
  • As you already know, getting 100% of the power relies on a number of factors including your solar panel placement.
  • You are going to need to perform a very accurate assessment of your home in order to be able to determine precisely how much money you can actually save from having solar installed. You have not truly answered the question how much will I save with solar panels without an assessment as this is the only way to properly calculate your likely savings.

 

It is absolutely worth paying to have your home surveyed by a qualified professional prior to going ahead with a solar installation. This could save you so much stress down the line because you will know up front exactly how much money you are likely to save. Having a survey will also allow you to find out more about your upfront solar panel costs. You can discover more information about this subject in one of our other posts, found here.

If you happen to be in a fortunate enough position to have a due-south-facing, 45-degree-angled roof in an area that experiences a high number of peak daylight hours, then it is fair to say that you probably do not need to sweat too much over the finer details.

However, if you are in any way unsure or if your roof is not in the most ideal of locations, alignments, or angles, paying a little money up front for a survey is going to save you thousands down the line if it saves you from installing a system that cannot meet your expectations.

It is actually surprising how many people are willing to blindly part with their money without performing any calculations beforehand. They are then surprised when the savings estimates they have seen listed by solar companies are not being achieved by their homes.

This is all because they did not do their homework prior to installation. The estimates we provided in the last section should give you a much better overview of the realistic savings you are likely to make depending on your panel positions and the direction that your roof faces.

Never buy solar based on the ideal readings provided by solar companies alone. Some of the more reputable companies will even perform a free consultation and tell you the cold hard truth about the realistic energy and money savings that you are going to be able to make.

Can You Save More by Building Your Own Solar System?

Programs like Backyard Revolution are offering how-to guides that will allow you to successfully develop your own solar system. This can seem like quite a tempting option especially when you consider the money that it is likely to save you.

 

Here are some qualities of DIY solar systems.

  • Solar systems that have been developed completely from scratch using raw materials
  • Perfect for off-grid systems to power sheds or motorhomes
  • Completely achievable for anyone with an intermediate or above-average level of DIY skill and knowledge

 

If you want to know more about how you can build your own solar system from scratch, read through our other post here for everything you could ever need to know.

Can You Save More by Installing a Solar System Yourself?

The savings you are able to make when installing your own solar system are actually pretty respectable, and though a reasonable degree of DIY knowledge and skill is required, it is nowhere near as difficult and arduous a process as building a system entirely from scratch. What makes a self-installation solar system attractive, just like with a DIY solar system, is the prospect of saving money when compared to using commercial solar installers.

 

There are some main points to consider with a self-installation solar system.

  • Roughly 10% of the costs of installing a commercial system go to labor and system design.
  • You will keep this additional 10% in your pocket when you install your own system.
  • If you have a friend or family member who is either in the solar trade or has access to it, you might even be able to save on the cost of components.

 

On average, self-installs are going to save you in the region of 10% of the overall cost of a commercial system. To give you a better idea, here is a rundown of the various system sizes and their associated costs from before with that 10% savings factored in for comparison.

System size $1 per watt cost $1 per watt cost with 10% reduction $3 per watt cost $3 per watt cost with 10% reduction $5 per watt cost $5 per watt cost with 10% reduction
2 kW $2,000 $1,800 $6,000 $5,400 $10,000 $9,000
4 kW $4,000 $3,600 $12,000 $10,800 $20,000 $18,000
8 kW $8,000 $7,200 $24,000 $21,600 $40,000 $36,000
10 kW $10,000 $9,000 $30,000 $27,000 $50,000 $45,000
12 kW $12,000 $10,800 $36,000 $32,400 $60,000 $54,000

When you are purchasing a system that you intend to use to provide power to your home, you are going to be able to make savings in the region of $1,000–$2,000 compared to using a solar company. Here is the real question though. When you are using a solar system for something as important as powering all of your home utilities, how much money would you pay for the peace of mind that a professional, fully qualified installation provides?

Some people would say that the extra $1,000–$2,000 saved through a self-installation is completely worth going through the trouble of performing the process themselves, whereas others would consider the extra 10% to be very minimal and a small price to pay to guarantee that the system is safe and fit for its purpose for the next 25–35 years.

 

If you are trying to decide whether or not self-installation is right for you, consider these factors.

  • Do you have an intermediate or above-average level of DIY knowledge?
  • Do you have access to friends or family who are knowledgeable in this area and can advise you appropriately throughout your installation?
  • Do you fully understand how solar panels work including where they should be located for optimum energy uptake?

 

If the answer is no to any of the above questions, then it is safe to say that you should seriously consider paying the extra 10%. After all, if you have not performed the installation properly, then you are going to lose significantly more than the 10% additional outlay over time when your solar panels do not deliver the energy necessary.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have taken a look at either the DIY or self-installation process for placing solar panels onto your home and still have serious doubts that you are able to perform either properly, it is probably time to enlist the help of an individual or company who can.

Do Solar Panels Hurt the Resale Value of Your Home?

do solar panels hurt the resale value of your home? - how much do solar panels save?

This is one of the major aspects of going solar that so many people seem to overlook. Often, it is assumed that going solar is not only going to save you money but that it is also going to be a worthwhile investment. It is a known fact that when you lease solar panels, this can be very detrimental to the value of your home because whoever buys your home is then going to have to take on the lease too.

However, when you purchase a solar system outright, there are going to be no additional costs after the installation. As such, because solar provides a source of constantly renewable energy, it only makes sense to assume that any prospective buyer of your home is going to see your solar system as advantageous.

In The US, having solar panels installed on your home can potentially have these advantages among others.

  • They can increase the resale value of your home by roughly 4.1% on average.
  • Owning solar panels can make your house-selling process quicker and easier as the prospect of having no energy bills can be incredibly attractive for some buyers.

So, not only did your solar system provide you with some amazing long-term energy savings when you installed it, but it also turns out that in some instances having it on your property might actually net you some serious extra money when it comes to selling your home.

If your system has already covered its costs, then clearly, having an additional 4.1% added to the value of your home is going to be a welcome bonus when it comes time for you to move on.

To give you an idea of what this would look like, here is how much an additional 4.1% of your home’s value represents across a variety of typical house values.

House value 4.1% of value
$100,000 $4,100
$150,000 $6,150
$200,000 $8,200
$250,000 $10,250
$300,000 $12,300
$400,000 $16,400
$500,000 $20,500

As you can see, the higher the value of your home, the more money you potentially stand to make from having a solar system installed on it. When your home is worth $250,000 or more, this is where the returns really start to ramp up and where you are able to almost immediately make back every penny that you spent on the initial installation of your solar system.

Should the value of your home go past this point, then you are likely to make some serious profit. Imagine if your home were worth (for instance) $500,000 and you had only paid $12,000 for the installation of your panels. You would net yourself a nice bonus of $8,500 on top of the value of your home.

4.1% is just an average figure. In some states, it is significantly higher than this. Here are the top ten states (other than certain areas of California) where solar systems can dramatically increase the value of your home and how much of an increase you can expect.

State Potential home value increase percentage
New Jersey 9.9% (a $32,000+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Pennsylvania 4.9% (an $8,500+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
North Carolina 4.8% (an $8,900+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Louisiana 4.9% (a $7,000+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Washington 4.1% (a $15,900+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Florida 4% (a $9,400+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Hawaii 4% (a $24,500+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
Maryland 3.8% (a $10,900+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
New York 3.6% (a $10,900+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)
South Carolina 3.5% (a $5,800+ average increase for the average-valued home in this area)

If you would like a really outstanding, optimistic example of just how much solar might increase the value of your property, then we should take a look at the resale increases that people are able to achieve in some areas of California. This is the most populous US state and also happens to have an abundance of annual sunshine and peak daylight hours. It is one of the most favorable locations for solar panels anywhere in the world.

Not only is it possible, but it is actually entirely common for homes to achieve an increase in their value of $6,000 per kilowatt in some areas of California. This would mean that if you had a 10,000-kilowatt system, you could increase the value of your home by up to $60,000 or even more. Of course, it all depends on how much you pay for your system in the first place and precisely how much you are able to make per kilowatt.

Using figures like those found in New Jersey and some areas of California as a golden benchmark, it is quite apparent that in some areas, you will be able to make considerably more when selling your home than the guideline 4.1% figure mentioned in the previous table as the national average.

Should you find the right buyer, having a solar system can actually enhance your home-selling experience considerably and make it immeasurably more lucrative. Sadly, this will not always be the case. You also need to consider what can happen if you do not find the right buyer. Solar is actually a very preference-oriented market, and unfortunately for every person that thinks solar technology is wonderful, many others simply do not feel the same.

What happens when this is the case? Well, you are going to have to remove the solar panels if you are serious about selling your property. In some instances, you might not actually find a buyer who is willing to complete the house sale while the panels are still attached. Even if a buyer is willing to go through with the sale, they might only do so provided they are able to deduct the cost of removing the system from the overall value of the property. How much does removing a solar system from your home cost though? Let’s take a closer look.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Solar Panels?

Although your main concern is how much money do solar panels save, you will have to factor in some potential losses to get a true reflection of your savings over time too. If you need to remove your solar panels in the future due to selling your house, then remember that this is going to have a negative impact on your lifetime solar panel savings as follows.

Job required Cost
Removal of panels and disconnection from the grid $400–$600
Shipping the panels off site $200
Removal of mounting hardware $600
Roof repair costs $800
Total potential costs: $2,200

It is important to factor these figures into your overall savings calculations.

Can I Sell Back My Solar Energy?

can i sell back my solar energy? - how much do solar panels save?

Even though you might have heard of schemes like solar buy-back or feed-in tariffs and are possibly thinking about all of the extra money that you might be able to make from them by harnessing and selling excess solar energy back to utility companies just through having a solar system installed, sadly, it usually does not quite work like that.

 

Consider the following facts.

  • Your excess solar energy will likely go back into the grid to feed into other homes in your area.
  • Even though your excess energy will get used elsewhere, ultimately, it will still come back to you.
  • Your excess energy is usually stored as something called solar credits, which allow all of the excess energy produced by your system to be credited to your account.
  • As solar systems may not be able to generate as much energy as normal all of the time, these credits can ensure that your energy remains constantly free.

 

If you were expecting lots of excess income from selling your energy back to the utility company, then disappointingly, this is not likely to be the case. It is very rare now to find companies that are actually willing to reward you with financial incentives for your excess solar energy.

However, solar credits are a vital part of ensuring that your energy remains free. From time to time, solar systems are not going to be able to work quite in the way that you expect them to.

 

This can be due to a wide variety of reasons.

  • Reduced effectiveness over time
  • Damage to your solar system
  • A reduction in peak daylight hours
  • Some kind of temporary obstruction to your solar system
  • Extended periods of bad weather

 

It is during these periods that you are going to need to make use of your available solar credits in order to ensure that you can continue not to pay for your energy usage. Otherwise, if you do not manage to generate any excess solar credits, you will actually have to pay for the energy you used during these unfortunate periods as your solar panels would not be able to cover all of your energy costs.

With that said, some companies that pay you for your excess solar do still exist. In order to find them, you would have to search by state for the feed-in tariffs available in your area. On average, here are the potential rates that you are likely to achieve when selling solar back to a utility company.

  • 7 cents per kilowatt on a fixed agreement tariff
  • Between 7 to 26 cents per kilowatt on a variable tariff

As such, it is definitely possible to make a little extra money from selling your excess energy back to a utility company. What is the problem with this? If your system cannot cover all of your energy needs for any of the reasons previously mentioned, the extra energy that you draw from the grid is going to have to get paid for out of your own pocket.

Realistically, this would probably nullify what little extra income you would have managed to generate from taking part in a feed-in plan. For this reason, many people believe it is simply better to make use of solar credits to avoid any inconvenience when using solar technology.

Though both routes can ensure that you keep your energy costs low after installation, solar credits are a much more convenient, seamless means of doing this without you ever having to spend money in the process.

Why Are My Solar Panels Not Saving Me Money?

You are already aware that the placement and angle of your panels make an enormous difference in the amount of money that you are able to save when using them, but there are many other factors involved in maximizing your solar savings too.

 

These factors also play an important role.

  • Miscalculation of energy requirements
  • Ineffective installation
  • A lack of regular inspections and maintenance
  • Not regularly cleaning your solar panels
  • Damage to your solar system

 

An issue in any one of the above areas can lead to a dramatic reduction in the effectiveness of your solar panels and therefore also a huge reduction in your cost savings. We will now explain how each of these areas can impact the savings you make over the lifetime of your solar panels.

Miscalculation of Energy Requirements

Calculating your energy requirements accurately is an enormous part of ensuring that you are actually going to be able to save the amount of money that you expect to be able to save when using solar technology. However, it is very easy to get this aspect of using solar panels wrong. This is precisely why so many people turn to commercial installers to perform this process for them.

You can view a table in one of our other posts titled “How Many Solar Panels Do I Need” that shows you exactly how much energy numerous household items are likely to use. If you are planning to make the calculations entirely on your own, then this table will prove vital for you to calculate exactly just how many panels you are likely to need.

Based on this initial calculation, you can then start to factor in the total installation costs followed by the subsequent amount of time it will take to make this money back based on the information we have provided you with previously in this post. If you are in any way unsure about this process or do not trust yourself to get it right with pinpoint accuracy. This is when it is time to invest in professional installation in order to achieve total peace of mind.

One misstep can lead to you under or over equipping your system. Either way, this is going to prove costly especially if you under equip it as you are not going to be able to cover your energy costs adequately.

What is the solution?

Calculate your requirements exactly. Use the table we mentioned to individually add up the separate wattage ratings of all of your household items, or alternatively, pay a commercial solar company to evaluate your energy requirements.

On occasion, you can actually receive a free solar consultation from one of the larger solar energy firms. If you are a business-minded individual, it would not harm you to take them up on the offer to determine precisely how big your solar system needs to be before then using this figure to base your cost calculations on. This is going to allow you to determine exactly how much money you will be able to save after the installation costs have been covered.

Ineffective Installation

This is another fine example of why people choose to pay commercial solar companies to install their systems for them. An effective and safe installation process is going to be key if you want to have a solar system that will stand the test of time while guaranteeing long-term cost savings. Sadly, for every reputable solar company out there, there are numerous individuals and groups who claim to know what they are doing but are under-equipped in the skills and qualifications department.

Considering that the initial cost of solar is high, it only makes sense that people are attracted to a low price point when it is offered. However, you need to ask yourself why the price is so low when you find a solar deal that looks too good to be true. Consider that the following is necessary prior to having a solar system installed.

  • Planning permission (depending on your type of system and its location)
  • A roof assessment and building audit
  • An energy usage evaluation

If you find anybody willing to offer you a solar system without mentioning any of the above elements, then the truth is that they are probably just trying to make some quick money. Even if you were to go through with the offer, you would then likely face a multitude of problems. Obviously, the lack of a permit would lead to an immediate request to remove your system if discovered. This would be a costly problem in itself.

The main issues would be likely to come to fruition in the form of reduced efficiency due to several components of your system not functioning properly. These issues could be structural (your roof) or related to the way that the system itself was wired in. It goes without saying that every aspect of your system has to flow smoothly and synchronize perfectly in order to work as it should.

When it does not, you encounter energy bleeds. This takes place when you lose solar energy as a result of the system not being able to maximize its potential energy uptake capacity. It is hard to give an exact estimation of how much energy you could potentially lose if a problem like this were to arise, but to say that it could be substantial would be an understatement depending on the severity of the issues your system turned out to be facing.

One of the main problems with an energy bleed is that it can be quite hard to detect if it is not substantial. For instance, you would definitely notice if suddenly your system started operating at 50% capacity, but a 10% reduction would be harder to detect. That 10% reduction over time can easily lead to a great deal of money being lost. This is why using a solar monitoring system is so important. It can provide you with live feedback about how your system is operating at any given time.

With a monitoring system, any drop in efficiency is rapidly detected, and you are able to then isolate and fix the issue as opposed to spending months wondering why you are not able to achieve the savings you expected when using solar technology. Structural issues relating to your roof can also cause massive long-term problems. If your roof has not been assessed, this could mean that it is not actually suitable to house your solar system.

What is the outcome? Potentially nothing and potentially a roof collapse are both possible. Obviously, the cost of carrying out roof repairs of this magnitude would be enormous. Even if your roof did not sustain any damage, the efficiency of your panels could immediately be nullified if the roof has not been assessed to determine whether or not it is in an ideal position in the first place.

What is the solution?

Always ensure that you work with qualified professionals to acquire a full planning permit. Then, have a property assessment and building audit performed prior to any work commencing to be certain that you do not lose significant money in the long term. If you are performing a self-installation, go through the appropriate channels to make sure that these audits have been performed and that your permit has been granted prior to commencing work.

You should also make use of solar monitoring systems to provide yourself with total transparency and visibility of the performance of your system. This will allow you to detect any potential energy bleeds and remedy them before any serious money is lost.

A Lack of Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Let’s face it; we are all guilty of not maintaining expensive items like we should once we have paid for the initial upfront costs. Cars are a prime example, and property can also be another. Inherently, most people simply do not like to spend more money than they have to at any given time.

However, just like with a car, the less you spend, the more it can end up costing you in the long run. If you are fortunate to have education or training in mechanics or engineering and have the knowledge to be able to determine whether your car is working as it should or not, then you are in a good position to evaluate and maintain it.

Is the same true of relevant engineering or structural education or training relating to solar panels and solar systems though? Well, if you happen to have this, you can probably maintain your own solar system effectively without a worry. What happens if you do not have this education or training? Then, problems can begin to arise. It is surprising how many people are not willing to pay for annual inspections and maintenance on their solar systems. Usually, this leads to enormous issues arising down the line that then cost a significant amount of money to repair.

Since solar inspections only cost around $150 per year, you should ask yourself an important question. Why wouldn’t you pay that amount? The alternative is that no inspections take place. If you do not have a solar monitoring system installed, you will simply never be able to spot issues arising as they develop.

Inevitably, just like with motor vehicles, this often leads to disastrous consequences when something goes seriously wrong and repairs have to be carried out. Sometimes, this costs thousands. Consider this. Not having an annual inspection could actually cost you anywhere up to a third or even more of the total value of your system over time due to damages that could have been avoided through some simple checks from a qualified and experienced individual.

What is worse still is that many issues relating to solar panels can actually be avoided through regular cleaning. This is the primary form of maintenance that a solar system requires. There will be more on that in a moment, though.

What is the solution?

Always have an annual inspection carried out to ensure that your system is operating as it should. Even if you have a monitoring system in place, a pair of human eyes is often the best way to be certain that everything is A-OK. Considering they only cost $150 on average, why risk your future savings and not pay this small fee? It only makes good economic sense in the long run.

Not Regularly Cleaning Your Solar Panels

Not regularly cleaning your solar panels or having them cleaned is foolish for one particularly important reason. Solar panels rely on photon ray absorption in order to produce as much energy as possible. Considering that you are already aware that solar panel efficiency can be reduced when they are obstructed by trees or buildings that block the photon rays as they travel to the panels, surely it only makes sense that dirt on panel surfaces also is a major obstruction.

Since the weather can be unforgiving in certain areas, every few months you may find that your solar panels get coated with a thick film of dirt. What is the end result? They are going to operate with less efficiency and save you less money. Because this is completely avoidable, you should really do everything that you can to make certain that your panels remain clean at all times.

You might raise the point that rainwater will clean them naturally, but as rain does not scrub the surface of the panels hard as it falls, it only makes sense that you are going to need a more direct form of intervention to do the job properly. It is theorized that panels that are cleaned thoroughly operate with 12% more annual efficiency than panels that are cleaned purely through natural rainfall. This means that you could lose 12% efficiency every year if they are not cleaned.

To give you a slightly more hard-hitting overview, this means that by the time you reach the 10-year mark where some people are looking forward to fully covering the costs of their solar system, you will have to catch up for an extra 1.2 years to be able to cover costs because you did not take the time to clean your panels.

This is only based on not cleaning them for one year too. What happens if you rely on natural rainfall to clean your panels for three years? You could lose up to 36% efficiency if the dirt build-up is high enough. This is a serious problem.

It is also a problem that will only get worse for every year that it is left. You should definitely consider paying the annual fees for cleaning, or if you are capable on a ladder, perform the cleaning yourself. There is no intricate work involved in cleaning solar panels. It is certainly a task that the average person is more than capable of performing. If you are not confident on a ladder, the annual cleaning fees are more than worth it.

What is the solution?

Clean your solar panels at least once per year. If you are confident doing it yourself, do it biannually or even monthly. Remember, for every month that your panels are not cleaned, they can lose up to 1% efficiency. This is a big deal over time!

Damage to Your Solar System

It should go without saying that damage is going to lead to reduced solar panel efficiency, but we have mainly covered the kind of damage that occurs as a result of human error. Sadly, there are many other forms of damage that can occur over time that may potentially lead to substantial energy bleeds and a loss in savings over time.

  • Weather damage (mainly from debris)
  • Damage due to power surges
  • Damage as a result of wildlife
  • Damage due to human interference

Unfortunately, some of the above issues are completely unforeseeable. Ultimately though, the damage that they present is also entirely detectable. Whether you are able to discover issues with your system largely relies on how regularly you check your system and how closely you monitor its performance.

For instance, if a curious critter in your area managed to bite its way through one of the power cables on your solar system, this is going to be immediately detectable when you have a monitoring process in place. If you do not, you will only discover the issue when you start to lose energy and subsequently also savings. It is the same for weather damage from falling branches or similar. If you have a monitoring system in place, you should be able to detect immediately if there is an issue.

If you do not use monitoring and provided you have annual inspections or regularly clean your panels, then you are likely to be able to spot and isolate any problems of this nature quite rapidly.

The key to solar system damage is to catch it as early on as possible so that you can keep energy bleeds to an absolute minimum. Once in place, you should never just leave your system and its efficiency to chance. Just like motor vehicles or household utility items, they need to be regularly checked over.

What is the solution?

If you do not have a solar monitoring system, perform regular checks of your solar panels where possible or pay for a professional to perform these checks for you. This will allow you to spot and repair any damage quickly. Where monitoring systems are installed, they should enable you to determine rapidly whether your system is running at full capacity or not and therefore isolate and fix problems related to damage.

It is also sensible to insure your solar panels. Often, you can insure them as part of your general household insurance. This is absolutely worth doing in the event that your system sustains serious damage. The cost of repairing damage in some instances might be close to the value of the system.

Your Electric Bill After Buying Solar Panels

your electric bill after buying solar panels - how much do solar panels save?

To objectively evaluate and answer the question how much do solar panels save on electricity bills, it is a good idea to look at the numbers on your electrical bill and compare your figures to the average 90% and above savings that solar panels offer.

So precisely how much is the reduction in your monthly electricity consumption after switching to a solar system? Let’s take a look.

Average American utility bill 90% of costs covered 80% of costs covered 70% of costs covered 60% of costs covered 50% of costs covered
$115 $103.50 $92.00 $80.50 $69.00 $57.50

Depending on the efficiency of your system, the above figures show precisely how much you stand to save per month based on the average American utility bill. In conjunction with the efficiency of your panels, you will also need to consider how much the local utility rates are in your area. Our previous tables highlight the savings you are likely to make per state and location.

As some states and cities have higher rates than others, the calculation of how much do solar panels save on electricity bills depends on how much you are charged for utilities in your area. The $115 average bill is based on an average energy consumption of about 900 kWh per month. Multiplying the average monthly energy consumption by the average rate per kWh is what gives us the average monthly bill of about $115.

Do You Still Have an Electric Bill with Solar Panels?

The reality of solar panels and electricity bills is that you probably will still have an electric bill after solar panels have been installed. This is because the majority of solar systems only cover 90% of the energy requirements of the average home as opposed to all of them.

As per the previous section, with an average $115 per month bill, many households are going to be saving $103.50 per month. However, this still means that the average electric bill with solar panels will be $11.50 as homeowners will have to foot the remaining shortfall themselves. This means that solar panels and electricity bills will still co-exist with one another, at least in a mild capacity.

In some instances, your solar system may actually cover 100% of your energy requirements. If this is the case, then you will not have an electricity bill to pay at all.

How Solar Panels Can Help You to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

how solar panels can help you to reduce your carbon footprint - how much do solar panels save?

Many people ask how much money do solar panels save, but they should also consider how much they help the environment too. The carbon footprint of an individual or an object is the contribution of a person (or item) to the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere through their activities or functioning.

The more nonrenewable resources a person uses, the larger their carbon footprint. Nonrenewable energy sources include fossil fuels and other forms of energy that have to draw on the resources of the planet or must be repeatedly created using the planet’s resources in order to exist.

Anyone who uses grid-based electricity typically contributes to the carbon footprint they leave on the planet. This is because grid power often relies on the consumption of fossil fuels and damages the natural environment of the planet. There are various means by which you can reduce your carbon footprint.

 

  • Using electric vehicles instead of diesel- or gas-powered vehicles
  • Recycling instead of repeatedly buying new plastic and glass items
  • Relying on alternative forms of energy to power and heat your home

 

Going solar is one of the most impactful means by which you can reduce your carbon footprint on the planet and help to contribute to a healthy planet. By turning your home into a solar-powered home, you can save the planet more than 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Not only do solar panels save money because you are not paying your electricity bills in the way you used to, but you also make a significant contribution to keeping the planet healthy and habitable. This is an important accomplishment because it will have a positive impact on everyone on the planet now and in the future. So, it turns out that solar energy saves money, and it is also a great thing for the planet too. What’s not to love?

How Much Do Solar Panels Save You? – FAQ

As you are likely to have many questions regarding the potential savings you are able to make when using solar technology, we have compiled a list of the most common questions in a FAQ section. Read on for answers to all of the most common questions surrounding solar savings.

 

Q: Do you really save money with solar panels?

A: Yes, you do, but only if you have enough solar panels installed to be able to cover close to 100% of the total energy requirements of your home. In order to guarantee that you are able to save money when going solar, you will have to perform an accurate calculation of your total energy requirements prior to having your system installed.

 

Q: How much do solar panels cost?

A: The cost of a solar system varies. Usually, to cover the full energy requirements of the average American household, you will need to spend in the region of $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the size of your house and its location.

 

Q: Are solar panels a rip-off?

A: Solar panels are never a rip-off because to state that something is a rip-off implies that it has been intentionally designed to mislead. Solar panels themselves never mislead, but unfortunately, some solar companies and solar sales businesses do. It is very important to do your homework prior to paying anybody to install a solar system onto your house.

Always ensure that you know roughly how much you should be paying by looking over the information we have provided previously in this guide. Provided you pay what the panels are truly worth and are able to cover close to 100% of your energy requirements, you will find that solar panels are an incredibly wise investment and the opposite of a rip-off.

 

Q: How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

A: On average, it takes between 7 to 20 years for a solar system to pay for itself by covering 100% of the costs of your energy requirements. How long it will take depends entirely on the size of your system, your house, and your energy requirements.

 

Q: Exactly how much do you save with solar panels?

A: Depending on the size of your solar system, you could save anywhere from $20,000 over the lifetime of your system to as much as $60,000 or even more depending on the area you live in.

 

Q: What are the 2 main disadvantages of solar energy?

A: The 2 main disadvantages of solar energy are that solar energy is very expensive to acquire up front and that its effectiveness largely relies on the weather. This is why it is very important to determine the amount of peak daylight hours in your area and calculate precisely how much money you will be able to save over time depending on the state that you live in.

Please refer to our previous tables where you can gain an accurate understanding of how much money you will be able to make over time when using solar technology in your area.

 

Q: Do solar panels hurt the resale value of your home?

A: It is possible that they might. Roughly half of people looking to buy property at the moment view solar panels as a positive, whereas the other half view them as a negative. In instances where they are viewed as a positive, you may make an additional 4.1% on the value of your property. In instances where they are viewed as a negative, you may have to pay between $2,000–$3,000 to have them removed and transferred over to your new home before you are able to sell your house.

 

Q: Do solar panels really add value to your home?

A: Solar panels might add value to your home. If your prospective homebuyer sees solar panels as being of positive benefit, then you might make an extra 4.1% or even more on the resale value of your home.

 

Q: Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?

A: It might be harder to sell your house if it has solar panels installed. Roughly 50% of prospective homebuyers see solar panels as being of positive benefit, meaning that roughly half of buyers do not. This means that you might find it more difficult to sell your home if it has solar panels installed.

 

Q: Is it better to buy or lease solar?

A: It is always significantly preferable and more financially viable over time to purchase solar panels outright. Solar leases will save you significantly less money over time and in some very unfortunate instances, might even cost you more than you would have paid per month for grid power due to escalation clauses.

Provided you can comfortably afford the upfront costs of a solar system, it will inevitably prove to be far more financially beneficial for you than leasing your system.

 

Q: Why is my electric bill so high with solar panels?

A: There are numerous different potential reasons why your electric bill might still be high with solar panels installed. These reasons include miscalculating your energy costs prior to installation, system damage, temperamental weather in your area, and erroneous installation.

The most effective means of ensuring that your system performs precisely as it should are to make use of a solar monitoring system and also to be sure that you have regular inspections on your system to determine whether or not it is operating at maximum capacity.

 

Q: Why is solar energy bad?

A: Solar energy itself is not bad, but the photovoltaic cells that go into creating solar systems can be quite damaging due to some of the substances that are used to create them being toxic. Should your solar panels enter a landfill, these toxic elements can be released, causing damage to the environment and wildlife. It is always important to verify that your solar panels are disposed of responsibly.

 

Q: What is the catch with solar panels?

A: If there is any kind of catch with solar panels, it mainly comes from solar leasing or taking out a solar loan to gain access to solar technology as opposed to buying your panels outright. When you purchase solar panels outright, there are very few negative issues to speak of save for the fact that the upfront costs are high. If you are in a position to pay for them comfortably however, then it is all positive provided that you are in an area that is capable of maximizing solar panel efficiency.

 

Q: Do solar panels hurt your roof?

A: Typically speaking, solar panels do not hurt your roof whatsoever. If you use a fully qualified installer, then it is very unlikely that your property will sustain any damage in the process of your solar system being installed. Where possible, it is always worth paying extra for a qualified professional to install your panels as a means of avoiding any serious or even minor damage.

 

Q: Do solar panels last forever?

A: The average lifespan of solar panels is between 25–30 years. This is the maximum time frame during which they can produce energy to a maximum degree of efficiency. Past this point, their effectiveness rapidly declines. You should always aim to replace your panels every 25–30 years.

 

Q: What happens to solar panels after 25 years?

A: After 25 years, the effectiveness of your solar panels will dramatically decrease, meaning that they will not be able to produce enough energy to cover 100% of the energy requirements of your home.

 

Q: Can I run my house on solar power only?

A: Yes, you can run your house on solar power only. However, in order to do this, you will need to make your upfront energy calculations precisely correct. It is wise to enlist the help of qualified professionals to get this aspect of using solar technology right as miscalculating could cost you a great deal of money in the long run. If you calculate your energy needs effectively and install a solar system that covers 100% of the costs of your energy requirements, you can definitely power a house using solar technology alone.

 

Q: Do solar panels work at night?

A: Solar panels do not work at night. During the daytime, your panels should be able to harness enough energy to store in an optional battery so that you can power your home at night. Alternatively, you can always use grid power after dark. However, solar panels cannot create and distribute any new energy during the evening hours.

 

Q: Are solar panels worth it in 2021?

A: Although many of the government and state-specific tax incentives and other solar benefits are now starting to dwindle, the fact will always remain that solar panels provide enormous long-term cost savings when they are able to cover close to 100% of your energy requirements. Not only that, but they massively reduce your carbon footprint too. As such, they will always be worth it if you can afford the upfront costs of your system comfortably.

 

Q: Do you still pay electricity bills with solar panels?

A: You might. Whether you pay electric bills or not once you have installed a solar system is all going to depend on the efficiency of your solar panels. If they cover 100% of your energy requirements, then no, you will not be paying any electricity bills at all. However, if your panels only meet a certain percentage of your energy requirements, then you are going to need to make up the shortfall yourself.

 

Q: Can solar panels eliminate electric bills?

A: Yes, provided they cover 100% of your energy requirements, then they will completely nullify your electric bills.

 

Q: How much do solar panels save per month?

A: On average, if your solar system covers 100% of your energy requirements per month, then you are likely to save in the region of $115 per month based on an average American household’s electric bill.

 

Q: Is there a solar panel savings calculator?

A: There are many calculators online that you can reveal with a quick Google search. You might simply find it easier to refer back to the tables earlier in this guide as they provide you with a great overview of how much money you are likely to be able to save over time in a wide variety of circumstances.

 

Q: How many solar panels does it take to power a house?

A: It is difficult to provide an exact figure because every house has different energy requirements. The average American household will need a system that provides roughly 10 kW of power in order to meet all of their energy requirements effectively. The number of panels this will equate to will vary depending on the power of each individual panel in your system.

 

Q: Do solar panels need to be cleaned?

A: Yes, they do. On average, every month that your solar panels are not cleaned, they may lose up to 1% efficiency depending on the weather conditions in your area. You should clean them at the very least once per year.

 

Q: Should I buy solar panels now or wait?

A: Realistically, as solar incentives are only decreasing over time. This means that the best time to go solar is always now. As some of the government incentives and tax rebates still exist, you should purchase a system while you are still able to make use of them. Over time, these incentives will disappear, meaning that you will not be able to get any tax rebates or make use of other financial incentives.

 

Q: Do solar panels work in the winter?

A: During the winter months, it is likely that your solar panels will operate with less efficiency. How much less efficiency will depend entirely on the number of peak daylight hours in your area at that time of the year.

 

Q: Do solar panels increase your property taxes?

A: Your property taxes will not increase due to having solar panels installed, meaning that you do not have to make any deductions to the savings estimates we provided earlier in this guide.

 

Q: Do solar panels add value to an appraisal?

A: They might, yes. Depending on the demand for solar power in your area, your appraisal value may increase due to having solar panels installed.

 

Q: Do solar panels affect your neighbors’ property values?

A: No, your neighbors’ property values will not be impacted negatively if you have solar panels installed. This is not something that you should be concerned about.

 

Q: Are solar panels included in a home appraisal?

A: Yes, solar panels are included in a home appraisal. They may either positively or negatively impact the value of the appraisal depending on the demand for solar in your area.

 

Q: Does residential solar make sense?

A: Yes, residential solar absolutely makes sense. If you can comfortably afford to pay for your system outright and the system is large enough to meet 100% of the energy requirements of your house, then you are going to make enormous long-term cost savings through going solar.

 

Q: Does it matter where you put solar?

A: Yes, it does matter where you put solar panels. Please refer to the previous section of our guide relating to solar efficiency based on the position of your solar panels. If they are placed in an ineffective location, this will render them less effective, meaning that they will not save you as much money.

 

Q: How does solar reduce your power bill?

A: Solar reduces your power bill because you are able to meet all of your energy requirements through relying purely on the sun as an energy source. If your solar system is big enough, this means that you are able to meet 100% of your energy requirements through going solar alone.

 

Q: What is your electric bill after solar panels like?

A: Your electric bill may be as little as zero after having solar panels installed provided the system is able to meet 100% of your energy requirements. Alternatively, it may be a small percentage of the total overall value of your initial bill depending on how much of your energy requirements you are able to cover with your system.

 

Q: How do you calculate if solar is worth it?

A: You need to add up the individual energy requirements of every item in your house to determine your monthly energy requirements. Following this, you should use this figure to calculate your annual usage.

From there, you will be able to determine the size of the solar system you would require to meet 100% of your energy needs. If you are able to afford the system, then solar will be worth it. After roughly 10 years, you will start to make enormous savings.

 

Q: Is solar a good investment?

A: Yes, solar is a good investment. After about 10 years, your system will have paid for itself, and you will start to pocket some enormous savings on your energy bill. Over the lifetime of your system, you may save in the region of $20,000–60,000.

 

Q: Are solar panels expensive?

A: You should expect to pay roughly $1 per watt for budget solar panels and around $3–5 per watt for commercial solar panels being supplied by an established solar company.

 

Q: What are the pros and cons of solar panels?

A: The pros of solar panels are that they lead to enormous cost savings after roughly the ten-year and onwards mark, whereas the cons are that solar systems are incredibly expensive to buy up front depending on where you get them from.

 

Q: Do solar panels last forever?

A: Solar panels last for 25–30 years, meaning that they do not last forever. Once they get to a certain age, their effectiveness progressively declines, and they will be unable to cover your energy requirements adequately.

 

Q: Do solar panels work with snow on them?

A: Solar panels cannot function properly with snow on them. If they become covered in snow, this will mean that their power production is significantly reduced. You will need to clear any snow covering your panels in order for them to be able to generate electricity.

 

Q: Do solar panels work in rain?

A: Solar panels work in rain provided there is still some sunlight available. Rain can actually be beneficial for your panels because it helps to wash away some dirt or grime that has built up on the surface of the panels. Bear in mind that having your panels cleaned with specialized equipment or by a human hand is the only way that you will be able to maximize their efficiency because rainwater does not clean solar panels thoroughly enough on its own.

Conclusion

Though it is not cheap, solar energy saves money. When you think about all the benefits it will bring, both financially and environmentally, you will find that every dollar spent is worth it. Before making the switch to solar, it is imperative that you do all of your homework, make all of your calculations, and ensure that you are going to be able to safely and effectively install your panels.

If you do this, then your panels are going to last for 25–30 years and make you some enormous savings after they have been in place for roughly 10 years provided you effectively maintain and clean them annually. Not only will you bank a great deal of money over time, but you are also going to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and safeguard the planet in the process. For an overwhelming number of reasons, going solar is probably the smartest energy decision you could ever make.

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