Is Home Solar Power Right for You?
It’s not an easy question to answer. Even if you’re concerned with only the financial plausibility of home solar power and not the eco-friendly aspects, the answer still greatly depends on your situation. The best thing to do is to talk to a contractor in your area that will be able to tell you whether or not home solar power will work for or against you and your savings account.
In the broadest terms, installing home solar panels to produce electricity typically requires a substantial initial investment that can pay for itself relatively quickly or only after a decade or more. Remember, though, a projection of this sort is only a guess and depends on rising energy costs as much as the system you choose to install. In fact, many of the factors that go into home solar power may have been left unexplained in a casual conversation about the installation.
Common Sense Factors
Most people already know or can intuit these considerations for the plausibility of home solar power. It’s important you live in a sunny climate. This has less to do with technology and more to do with cost-effectiveness. You’ll need fewer home solar panels to gather the necessary energy if the sun is shining more often. Still, if you have enough panels you can power your home from the sun regardless of where you live.
Similarly, the more energy-efficient you make your home the fewer panels you’ll need. This can include anything and everything from replacing your refrigerator with a newer model to installing better insulation throughout your home. Replacement windows can also make an enormous difference.
Many states have incentives for homeowners to install home solar power. Every state is different. Some offer multiple incentives; others offer almost none. Here are some of the possibilities you should check into:
- Government-sponsored rebates for the initial cost of installation
- Tax credits for the initial installation
- Property tax exemption for increased property value due to the installation
- Rebates for any energy surplus your system produces
Home solar panels don’t necessarily have to produce all the energy for your home. If your system is tied to your utility company, you can use your solar power and supplement it with the utility company. This can make the initial cost of installation viable for many homeowners who can’t afford an independent system. Remember, though, to check with your utility company and consider any rebates that may be offered. Finding a way to invest in a larger solar installation can often pay for itself with these rebates.
If not the cost of installation, the only other obstacle for many homeowners is the unattractive appearance of the panels on a home’s roof. This problem has largely been eliminated by building integrated systems. These systems are nearly invisible and won’t ruin the hard-earned curb appeal you have for your home.