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How Much Do Solar Panels Save the Average Household?


How Much Do Solar Panels Save the Average Household?

Written By: Christina McDonald-Legg
Date: 03/17/2016

Many Americans have opted for solar power to cut down on the high electricity bills that seem to be increasing with time. The only set back to the use of solar energy is the high installation costs and the cost of the solar panels. Let us consider the available information and find out whether you would want to go for solar electricity depending on your budget and the costs of the units.

Using Solar Energy to Power My House

Every single minute the earth receives enough light from the sun to power the world’s electricity for an entire year. So the small fraction that it would take to produce enough solar energy to power your house can be easily trapped and converted into energy.

It has been calculated that for each watt of output rating of a solar panel, you will pay about $4 to $6. The commonly used panels that you would generally come across on terraces and roofs are rated between 100 and 300 watts. Considering these calculations, such solar panels will initially cost from around $400 to $1,500. After that, solar power is entirely free and will power your home well into the future.

Costs of a Solar Panel System

Apart from the mentioned price that has been calculated above, the solar panel comes with a few other various other associated costs. You may have to purchase some components and the installation of the setup will also require a considerable amount of money. Taking into account all such costs, each watt of output power jumps up to $8 to $10.

A typical solar power unit for a home setup would have a rating of anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 watts. This automatically gives you an installation price of $8,000 to $10,000 for such home units. No small sum to scoff at. Experts say that if your electricity bill reading is about $1,000 each month, then it is a good idea to opt for a home solar system that is worth around $36,000 to $50,000. Most people generally opt for this price range when they decide to get a solar power system for their homes.

Even this may be a huge amount of money for most of us to spend on a solar power system. Some programs like tax savings and rebates are offered by various states in the USA to encourage people to go for this green energy. This can bring down the price of a solar panel by 50 percent of the original price.

Do Solar Panels Save Money?

Solar power is absolutely free, after the initial installation costs of a solar system. And 10 years from now, solar energy will still be free. However, considering the initial purchase and installation costs, some people may get intimidated and not want to move ahead with installing solar panels. You must keep in mind that installing solar panels is a long-term sort of project and will save you money in the long run. After a few years, you will be able to pay off the money spent on the initial set up with the savings on your electricity bills and in the future you won’t have to purchase electricity from the state again.

You can totally go off grid, or save your money on power bills by up to 90 percent. If you are able to generate more electricity than you need, you can sell it to the state electricity board. You can even store your excess power in solar cells and sell them. While installing solar panels can be expensive, the long-term results will prove that this is an investment that will pay off.

Additionally, a tax rebate is available for homeowners of up to $1.10 per watt and a 30 percent Federal Tax Credit is also available to homeowners going solar. Solar increases property value; for every $1 of energy savings, your property increases by $20.

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