Solar Panel System for Home – Are They Worth It?
Investing in solar panel can be very tempting, when it comes to saving utility bills and qualifying for tax breaks and savings. Electricity bills from traditional sources are constantly rising as well, making the decision to go solar seem like a no-brainer. On the other hand, the true cost of solar panel system and its installation can be overwhelming.
Before you compare the cost of acquiring a complete system of solar panel for home with the potential amount of money you can save, below are the most basic questions that you need to ask yourself first, to decide if switching to solar energy will be worth it.
1. How big is your electricity bill?
Solar energy technology is a revolutionary solution to saving energy for businesses, industries and homes. With a solar PV array, electricity bills can be drastically reduced if not removed altogether. Hence comes the question, how big will be your savings? The higher the bills, the more you will benefit. Clearly, businesses and industries are the first to benefit from switching to solar.
However, there is a rising trend in switching to solar by homes especially in the US and Europe, specifically in the UK, Germany and France. A solar panel system has a lifespan of between 15-25 years. There is almost no change in the amount of electricity that the system produces over those years. This means, if you are planning to stay in your home for this long, you can reduce your monthly electricity bills for decades after going solar.
2. Are you planning to move out of your house?
The true cost of buying a solar panel system for home and installing it could reach more or less $15,000. Thus, moving out of the house without the installation would seem such as waste. Or is it?
Solar loans and solar financing have attracted many homeowners in the US. In 2015, the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab wrote a report titled, “Selling Into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes”. LBNL analyzed the sales of over 20,000 homes in several states in the US. The research found out that the value of homes increase with solar panel system installation. Buyers are found to be willing to pay more for a home with solar panels.
Clearly even if you plan on moving and selling your house, installing a system of solar panel for home would be the best investment you would ever make.
3. Can you afford to wait installing solar panel for home?
It depends on your location. To promote the use of renewable energy sources, governments around the world have offered tax incentives on energy-saving products such as solar panel equipments.
In the US, the federal government has been offering the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Owners of homes and businesses with solar panel system installed can regain 30% of the cost of the system. However, this incentive does not last long, as with every year, the offer decreases. In 2020, the incentive was down to 26%.
In the UK, solar panels are eligible for a possible of 5% in tax reduction for people over 60 years of age and/ or are receiving income or disability benefits. Three other incentives by the UK government such as Smart Export Guarantee (SEG), Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can be read in full detail on the UK government website for energy saving products.
The incentives by government decreases as the years go by and the longer one waits before installing solar panel system, the more likely they will lose out on them.