Elon Musk thinks it might be the next industry boom. In fact, he’s created a company around it. And if you’ve been following the news, you might just be asking yourself if solar energy is right for you. While many in the industry claim that, in time, even the monolithic utility companies will be singing the praises of solar, will a home system pay for itself? That is, will the savings on your energy bill cover the cost of installing the system? Will Solar Energy help you?
To answer that question, let’s consider three things:
Your average utility bill. Take a look at your last year’s energy bills and get a quick estimate of the average. For most people – barring unexpected circumstances – the typical average energy bill is somewhere between $140 and $240 per month. A solar system that produces 5.2 kilowatts – which is an average size – will save you about $90-$100 per month. Now, depending on what that system costs – again prices can range, but are typically somewhere between $15,000 – $20,000 – you can calculate the monthly amount you will be paying for that system. Remember to subtract the 30% Federal Tax Credit, which will bring the cost of the system down, and depending on how you finance the system, could lower your payments. When all is said and done, if your savings cover your cost, it makes sense to invest in solar.
The length of time you intend to spend in your home. Are you looking to stay in your home for several years? If you are, solar might just be the investment you are looking for. Why? Because for every $1000 per year, your solar system saves you, your home’s value will increase roughly $20,000. After five years, that’s an extra $100,000. If you are thinking of investing in your home, there isn’t much better than solar.
Your energy usage. When do you use most of your energy? Things like running the dishwasher, doing laundry, taking showers, and operating air conditioning all qualify here. So if most of these things happen during daylight hours, solar is likely to save you a significant amount on your energy bill – for some people much more than $90. On the other hand, if your home is empty during the day, and you find most of the activity happens after dark, your solar savings might not be as high, and the cost of the system could outweigh the savings.
Although savings is a factor for most people considering going solar, of course, there are many other reasons. Consider the environment for one. A typical home solar system can equate to as much as 40,000 less miles driven per year, 1000 trees planted, and 10 tons of waste recycled. For some people, that’s reason enough to invest in solar energy.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in roofing restoration, hail damage, and weatherization. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Denver, and Indianapolis.