Does Solar Energy Savings Outweigh The Costs?

By | August 31, 2013

If you are thinking about adding a solar electric system to your home, the costs and the savings are big issues.  First, there is the initial outlay of buying and installing the solar panels.  But there are also a lot of ways that you will be saving money, not only with your immediate energy savings, but savings against rising fuel costs and the increase in your home’s value as well.

Since so many factors go into installing a solar electricity system, each house needs to be considered on a case by case basis.  The pitch of the roof, the direction it faces, the location of shade trees or buildings that might block sun from reaching the panels must all be evaluated.  And an accurate evaluation is extremely important for each system to function at maximum efficiency.  Professional installers can provide accurate quotes for the materials and installation for your individual site.

Your immediate energy savings will depend on whether or not your local electric company participates in net metering.  Net metering refers to the policy which some electric utility companies have of buying back excess electricity that is produced by customers who have solar panel installations.  If your local electric company offers this, you will see a substantial decrease in your electric bills.  Some customers actually have a zero balance each month as their solar panel system generates enough electricity for their own use as well as excess to send back into the grid.  But even if you electric utility does not allow net metering, your electric bills will still be reduced.  During the day when the sun is hitting your solar panels, your appliances will be running off your own solar energy rather than electricity from the grid.

And there is also the probability that solar electric systems will become valuable assets to homes in the near future.  As energy costs continue to rise, awareness of the value of alternate energy systems is on the rise.  If you have a history of energy savings that you can show to a potential buyer, it can be a strong incentive for them to choose your home over one that has higher energy operating costs.  And since energy prices are predicted to be higher in the future, your solar panel system represents a real hedge against inflation.  A solar electric system also means that your house won’t be affected by brown outs and power outages that can occur due to bad weather or simply due to grid overload.


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