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Are solar panels at home really cost-efficient?

Solar panel on a red roof

More and more people are making lifestyle changes to reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption. One of these updates is introducing solar panels into the home. But in this day and age, with other energy sources available, are solar panels still worth it?

It depends on several factors

The overall cost-effectiveness of installing solar panels in your home relies on five factors: your location, the local electricity charges, your household’s average power consumption, your roof space, and the shaded areas of your roof.

Some places in the United States don’t receive plenty of sunlight (luckily, we get plenty here in Arizona). Utility charges for electricity are cheaper in some states and more expensive in others. It’s also hard to gauge the cost-effectiveness of solar panels if you hardly ever use electricity at home (maybe you’re always out).

Fortunately, solar panels have become reasonably more affordable over the past couple of years. The price has fallen by 70 percent and experts predict it’s likely to get even cheaper in the near future. Still, the cost will vary depending on the factors we stated above. You can use this solar calculator to get an estimate.

Now, if you’re wondering whether investing in solar panels is making good use of your 30 percent tax credit this year, the answer is: yes, it is.

Things you need to know about solar panels

Before you drive to the nearest solar panel provider, here are a couple of things you should know.

  • Not all roofs are suitable for solar panels. Ideally, solar panels should be installed in roofs that face south, southwest, or southeast. The size of the roof as well as the pitch must also be considered.
  • It’s possible to install solar panels on your own. You can purchase solar panel kits and do everything yourself. On the upside, this can save you more money. On the downside, it can be potentially dangerous. It’s best to hire a solar qualified electrician. It will be worth it.
  • Premium-quality solar panels can last you 25 to 30 years. That’s why it’s great to invest in top-of-the-line brands. Here are some of the best solar panels in the country this year.
  • You don’t need to buy a solar battery to store the economic value of the excess power generated by the panels. Net metering will do that for you.
  • There is no given number of solar panels that must be installed. It depends on your location and the amount of electricity your household uses.
  • It can take about 4 to 6.5 years for your solar savings to pay back the total cost of installation. Again, depends on your location. It takes as little as 4 years in Massachusetts, as long as 6.5 years in California and other states, and even longer in other parts of the country. That said, the impact it has on the planet will be greater than you can imagine.
  • Solar panels can increase the value of your home. And with more people now realizing the perks of using alternative sources of energy in the long run, homes that run on renewable power are becoming highly coveted.

Looking for more ways to improve your Scottsdale, AZ home? Visit our blog for more tips.