Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?
Certainly you’ve heard the hype around solar panels, and even though the selling points as far as being a good environmental choice to make are strong, you might still be hesitant to install panels at home. After all -- will you get a good return on your investment? (Installing solar panels isn’t cheap!) Then again, this 2015 study shows that installing solar panels can increase your property value, so that could be great!
To determine whether solar panels could be a savvy investment for your home, you’ll want to start by reviewing your current electricity bill to see how much you might save with solar. The higher your current rates are, the more you’re poised to save with solar panels.
Also keep in mind that the rate you pay for electricity varies based on where you live. (Here’s a chart by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing how those costs vary by region and state.) Here in North Carolina, we’re on the lower end, paying about 11.49 cents per Kilowatthour.
Another thing to consider is the price of installation for your solar panels -- something that’s steadily going down. Tax breaks and rebates can make the installation costs even easier to manage, as the federal investment tax credit allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of your solar system from your taxes. On top of that, there may be other state and local incentives you can qualify for. On average, you can expect a six to eight year payback period on solar panels in the U.S.
If you’d like to get a feel for what solar panel installation costs -- and estimated payback timing -- might look like for your home specifically, this is a helpful website to visit. You’ll enter your address as well as information about your current electricity costs and the site will provide you with estimated installation costs in your area.