Solar energy has been steadily increasing in popularity for the past decade. And while it began as a niche effort by a handful of enthusiasts — this renewable energy source has since ballooned into one of the most attractive investment opportunities for homeowners, with an entire industry of solar companies springing up around the rising demand.
But before you contact a solar installation company, you’re likely thinking about one thing — do solar panels really help you save money in the long run?
In short, the answer is a resounding “yes”. The panels will reduce your electricity bills and give you a natural energy source that doesn’t depend on any utility company. However, the actual amount of energy you’ll save depends on a couple of factors, most notably:
- Local electricity rates
- Direct hours of sunlight in your location
How Does Solar Save Money?
If you have a high average electricity bill each month and your general area has high energy rates — solar power becomes an even more enticing proposition. And while installing solar panels isn’t an insignificant upfront cost, it’s still worthwhile in the long run, especially with the current federal and state tax breaks that you can use to offset these expenses.
Consider this: energy prices have not been dropping. And they’ll only increase in the coming years, making a home solar panel system an even wiser investment. With an upfront payment (or several installments), you’ll get a fixed energy price practically forever.
Apart from that, the expenses of installing solar panels have been falling thanks to improvements in the technology, making the investment in solar more accessible to homeowners across the country. By getting rid of your electricity bill, you’re saving a massive amount of money over the long term. Plus, solar panels generally require little upkeep, so maintenance costs aren’t that big of an issue.
How Much Money Can You Save?
Think about how much money you spend on electricity each year. When you combine the average yearly electricity use for American households with the average national utility prices, you’ll find that the typical U.S. household spends a bit above $1,400 on electricity annually!
This is not a small amount of money — especially when we consider that it will not remain at that level. Utility rates are only expected to rise in the coming years. And throughout the past decade, electricity costs have been increasing by about 2% each year. This is another incentive to install solar panels; with them, you’ll lock in your energy bills at a fixed rate.
The only thing to consider here is whether your solar panels can completely cover the electricity demands of your household. This depends on the amount of sunlight your house receives each day and on your roof’s surface area where you can install solar panels. Luckily, plenty of solar calculators allow you to see how much of your electricity use you can offset with solar panels.