Solar energy is an advanced technology, and like most advanced technologies, it´s easy to consider it out of reach for the average Joe. Although, the initial outlay of fitting solar panels is costly, these prices have dropped year on year. To fit a comprehensive solar system onto your home will cost around the same price as a new car. Of course, unlike a car a solar panel will make you money with each passing month, eventually paying for itself.
Recoup your investment
The key to making a decent return on your solar energy is to check what state benefits you´re eligible for, and how much sunlight you get. To make the most out of solar energy, you´ll need to have a well-lit sun roof. If your roof is shaded, you may still be able to find a sunspot in your grounds that would be suitable for a solar panel.
Once you´ve found a sunspot check with your state about whether or not you can connect your solar panels to the national grid. This is vital. A solar panel can not only eliminate all of your utility bills but can even earn you a surplus of $20- $30 each month. This money can be put away for any potential repairs you might need in the future, or go towards paying off the initial outlay. There´s a lot of online materials like solar calculators that can help you to figure out exactly how much money you´ll be making back each month.
Buy, Loan or Lease
Solar panels manufacture is an emerging market. That means there´s lots of competition for your business, driving down prices overall. If the initial outlay is unfeasible, you can invest in solar panels via a loan, offered by most solar energy companies, or a lease.
The lease agreement means you pay a small percentage to the solar company for your solar energy. The upside is that it´s a very affordable method of going green. The downside is that you won´t benefit from tax credits, or surplus energy supply. Once the lease agreement has been fulfilled the solar company will have every right to reclaim the solar panels.
Solar panels are a long-term investment that will usually pay itself off over a period of decades. In the meantime there are plenty of tax credits on offer for going green. In 2015, congress approved the solar energy tax credits deal with an additional for 5 years.
The solar tax credit allows buyers to recoup some of the money in tax via investment tax credits (ITC). Under the current legislation consumers can claim 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system back from federal taxes. On average that will save you around $5,000 dollars on your installation costs.
Value to your home
From a long-term perspective solar energy adds value to your home. According to a study conducted over a decade by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found a home fitted with solar panels would sell for around $,17,000 more than a home of a similar size without solar panels. That´s enough to reclaim the full investment costs of installing a panel. Another study conducted by UCLA in 2012 found that homes with solar energy panels had a 9% increase in resale value over those that didn´t.
Solar energy panels are relatively low maintenance pieces of equipment. There´s very few moving parts and the panels themselves are made from robust. Weather-proof materials. Most good manufacturers will estimate the lifespan of solar panels to be upwards of 30 years. They´ll even provide you a warranty on the panels for 20- 25 years.