Reasons to Install Solar Panels in Your Home
There are several different reasons to install solar panels in your home. For many people, the enticement of lower energy bills and the possibility of saving money in the long run is the primary driver. For others the reduced carbon footprint and environmental protection is the major concern. For you, it is probably a combination of these two reasons that you are interested in, but you still have some questions. This article is meant to serve as a starting point in your solar energy decision making process.
One of the first questions that people have when considering solar power is the initial expense of solar panels. The initial outlay of cash should certainly be a concern of yours, but by no means should it be the only financial concern. There are many solar power sites that provide you with the ability to analyze your break even period. This is how long it will take before you save as much money as you spend on your initial purchase and installation of solar panes. Typically, you have to spend about $12,000 for a medium sized home on solar panels. Some money can be recovered through local, state and federal tax credits, so you should research on your local power company’s web site to see how much of a credit you can expect.
Many people wonder if they will still have electricity on an overcast day. The answer is yes. Installing solar panels does not mean that you are going ‘off the grid.’ In fact, you are still very much part of the electricity grid in your city. For most of the day, the electricity generated by your solar panels is sent out to the grid when you are at work, and then different electricity is brought in to your home from the grid at night or during cloudy days. The net import or export of electricity is what determines your bill.
Once you understand that electricity flows freely from your house to the rest of the city, and from the power plant to your home, the next question to ask is whether or not you can get paid for the surplus electricity your home generates. The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no, but rather, it depends on your local power utility. Some utilities do not pay for excess energy, but the majority do. Of course, they will not pay the same rate they charge you, but whether they will pay you and how much they will pay per kilowatt hour is readily available on their web site.
These are just some of the initial ideas to consider in determining whether to install solar panels in your home. If you can afford the initial outlay, the chances are that your investment will pay you back in the long run. When you can take advantage of local, state and federal incentives, you may very well recoup your investment in less than seven years. If that sounds like a reasonable time, then you should move forward with your decision.