Conversations are currently buzzing with a new subject these days, and that subject is mostly the impact use and/or advantages and concerns regarding solar panels. A lot of you might be intrigued after a few of these conversations because solar panels sound pretty great in theory, and many people have already gotten a system installed and are now thriving and reaping the benefits like free electricity, non-existent electricity bills, and so on. So, if you are looking for an in-depth response to the question of whether or not solar panels are worthy of economic investment, you can refer to the detailed guide that we have created for you below.
If you are looking for a clear yes or no answer to the question, then we regret to inform you that you will not be getting a clear answer here. The actual answer to this question would be ‘it depends.’ Several factors play into the performance and overall worth of solar panels and it will be impossible to give a clear cut answer unless we go over those factors. We will be going over many areas and details regarding solar power, and if you are interested in learning more, you can go through the rest of the details that we mention in this article, and we guarantee that you will reach a proper answer concerning your case by the end of this article.
Progress So Far
Solar panels are beginning to become popular in some states around the United States, and a few of these states are notably recognized. The number of people opting for solar panels in their homes in the States of New Jersey, California, and Pasadena has been steadily rising, and a quick drive around the residential areas of either of these cities will confirm this.
According to the Communications Manager and Press Officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there were only 30,000 houses with solar panels in the US in 2006, but the number has now increased to over a million houses, and this number is expected to keep growing over time.
A lot of homeowners, already drowning under a mortgage and twenty other bills decided to leap solar power in an attempt to save some money and too good returns in the long-run.
Run-on Sun, a solar-based organization in California has also commented on this matter. A lot of homeowners want to set money aside and try to save money where they can since it is the sensible thing to do, and homeowners are now beginning to see that investing in solar power is one of the ways to accomplish. Thanks to modern innovation, the necessary gear, and equipment for building a solar set up have become cheaper and more readily available in the market, and this price drop has resulted in more people considering and then actively making the switch over to solar power.
Thanks to the presence of different competitors, renowned names, and cheaper capital, and a lot more people are now inclined towards setting up a solar power system for their businesses and homes. While there are a lot of advantages with solar power, there is no guarantee that it will work the same for everyone, so this is something that needs to be considered because not everyone meets all of the requirements for ensuring that their solar panel setup is operating at maximum efficiency and saving them money.
One thing that you will need to take into consideration is the power costs in the area that you live in. Power prices tend to change and vary depending on the area that you live in, so if you are living in an area where the cost of regular power is reasonable, then you probably do not have to worry as much about the cost of electricity or power. However, if money is not your concern and you just want to be eco-friendly, then you can still opt for a solar panel set up to reduce your carbon footprint and to be more environmentally conscious, so this is where your accountability kicks in.
Solar Bills vs. Utility Bills
When people are asked to consider whether or not to opt for solar energy setup in their homes, they might think that the most important factor to consider in this situation would be making sure that you live in a place that receives ample sunlight and solar radiation, and yes, the degree of solar radiation in your geographical area is important, but it is not the first thing or the only first thing to consider.
Another factor that is just as important that needs to be considered is your current utility rate. You want to switch over to solar power primarily to save extra money, however, you have to make sure that the amount of electricity that is being produced from the solar panels costs you either as much as standard utility costs or less than the standard utility costs.
Finding Your Utility Rate
Now, finding your current utility rate is not always an easy job, in some cases, things are crystal clear and you get a bill where the price per kWh is specified, but it is not mentioned in the majority of cases. Now, this is where you will have to do a little math, so what you will need to do is to take the full monthly bill amount, and then dividing it with the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity used. This number is not consistent since it will change every month depending on the utility cost and the number of kWh used by you. You can do this with bills for the last few months to get a sort of estimate.
Now that you have an idea of your utility rate, you can look towards solar panels and be soothed by the fact that the rate here will largely be fixed, so there will be no changes every month.
The Cost of Solar Electricity
The idea that we can figure out how much we need to spend to set up and keep our solar power system running sounds complicated, and a lot of us might avoid it for the sake of not dealing with difficult math and equations, but that is not the case.
It is possible to ascertain the costs of solar power as a buyer beforehand so that you can realistically assess whether or not it is something you can afford, and whether or not it will prove to be a worthy investment.
If you want to check for the total expenses regarding a solar power set up which includes the building, installing, maintenance, and other ongoing costs, you can easily get the Levelized Cost of Solar Energy (LCOE) assessed by many professionals.
This way you can get a realistic estimate and number and you can then decide whether or not you want to go for solar energy from there.
If we talk about the Levelized cost of solar energy, then if we keep all other factors constant, the more sunlight an area receives, then the lower the overall Levelized cost of solar energy (LCOE). This should not in any way be confused with the cost per watt since that is not dependent on the amount of sunlight an area receives and has more to do with things like grants, assessment credits, and so on. So, where you live geographically will affect your solar power expensive or LCOE.
Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Different countries and states around the world have their share of what goes on when it comes to Solar Investment Tax Credit, and even apart from that, they also have their own set of policies, programs, and incentives to push more people into getting solar power for their homes.
However, we will instead be looking at the Solar Investment Tax Credit which is currently being applied at 30%. You need not worry because this number is expected to go down first to 26%, then 22% in 2021, and is then expected to be completely removed by 2022.
Things can get confusing here when you are trying to gauge your costs, including potential loan costs, and so on. This is where you might make use of a solar calculator to get a better idea of your solar needs and costs. If you are still unsure, you can contact professionals from a solar company and have them do some of the math for you, and so far it has been found that determining the Levelized cost beforehand can be beneficial in the long-run.
Other Solar Factors to Be Considered
It has been determined that there is a lot of financial incentive when it comes to solar energy, and we all know that it has been proven to be financially beneficial for us.
However, some other factors need to be assessed when it comes to your solar output, and this includes the overall condition of your roof, its incline, how everything is set up, and the level of sunlight and shade that your roof gets. All of these factors play an important role when it comes to how your solar panel’s overall performance.
You can try to do these calculations and assessments yourself, or you can depend on the professionals sent in by the solar panel company. They will do the assessment themselves and then provide you with the necessary suggestions and feedback on how you can better optimize your solar power set up.
Opting For a Site Visit
A site visit is something that you should not skim over because it is a very important step in this entire process.
A home site visit allows the experts and specialists to come and take all of the necessary measurements and estimations to better understand the location where the solar power system will be set up since this allows them to better assess your needs.
A site visit will also involve a thorough examination and assessment of your rooftop and still includes checking where the sunlight hits, whether or not there are any fans, smokestacks, or vents that might affect the solar power framework once it is set up and so on to get the most of your solar panel setup.
The next thing a site visit requires is checking your electrical help board so see how it will interface and get integrated with your solar power framework and to make sure that the two systems are in good connection with each other.
So, a site visit is a necessity that ensures that your solar setup is customized according to your home and to prevent any hiccups or potential problems beforehand, allowing you to make the most of our solar panel experience.
There are still some basic steps that you can take, like making sure that your roof is getting a decent amount of direct sunlight, noting top periods, and then decreasing your electricity use during top periods through different means of home vitality proficiency and so on. Small little changes in how we use your electricity can play a big role in not just our electrical bill, but also ensuring that we are playing a small part in trying to help the planet.
Knowing Your Power Usage
Like we have mentioned time and time again, many varying factors play into your solar panel’s performance, and you want to make sure that you have anticipated and prepared for these factors as much as you can. This is where you will have to make different decisions like whether you need a small scale or focal inverter, the type of panels you might need, and so on. You need not get overwhelmed by all of this because your solar provider will walk you through all of these things and help you make a better-informed decision, but it does not hurt to do a little prep work beforehand as well.
You will have to do a little extra work here, so not only do you have to make sure that your house is okay (checking the roof, your power use and utilization, and so on), you will also need to do a thorough investigation into your solar provider as well, so checking their credits, going through different options, asking lots of questions, reading your agreement, checking for guarantees, etc. so if you want a good solar power setup that allows you to save money on your electricity bills and helps you become a more green and environmentally-friendly global citizen, you will have to put in the work for it first.
We have managed to discuss several factors that you will have to consider before deciding and switching over to solar panels. Yes, in an ideal world every house is in the perfect condition where it is receiving the same amount of sunlight every day, and that everything works out hunky-dory, but if you are looking to make sure that happens, then you will have to do a lot of homework beforehand.