Switching to solar seems to be a decision that’s becoming easier to make for homeowners.
Not only is solar energy sustainable, but it’s also renewable and can increase a home’s value. Of course, no matter how many of your friends or neighbors have gone solar, you can’t make the same decision without considering the costs.
So, what’s the actual cost of solar power? The answer is it depends. That said, let’s look at some factors that influence the price of a solar-powered home.
The Cost of Solar Power: Think Beyond the Panels
For a single-family house, the cost of a solar electric system is around $20,000 to $30,000. That already includes the price of the solar panels, wiring, inverter, installation, etc.
Before you set aside an amount in that range, though, you shouldn’t forget about outside costs. For example, if your roof isn’t solar-ready, you have to think about roof replacement, tree removal, electrical upgrades, and so on. Anything that requires repairs or upgrades to support the panels, plus a detailed site inspection, should be considered.
Now, if you feel the initial costs are way out of your budget, it helps to know that homeowners who plan to go solar may be eligible for a federal tax credit. Your state might also offer incentives, making solar more accessible to more homeowners.
Is Going Solar Worth It?
If your goal is to save on utility bills, investing in a solar power system will pay off. After paying for the initial upfront costs of solar panels, and if you live in a state that has a net metering policy, you’ll be able to recoup your investment bit by bit.
In about eight years, you’ll break even on your investment. While that might sound like a long time, it’s good news for homeowners who plan to stay in their homes for more than a decade. After the break-even period, you can expect your investment to start paying off, eliminating electricity bills, and increasing your property’s value.
Of course, if you have other goals like switching to solar so that you’ll have a backup in case of power outages, you might be disappointed. Only off-grid systems produce electricity when the grid goes down. Most residential solar power systems in the US are grid-tied, but you can still go for a solar powered generator if you’re worried about blackouts or brownouts.
Switching to Solar: Is It Right for You?
There are many benefits to going solar, but it’s not a decision you should make easily, especially if you haven’t considered the cost of solar power.
Now that you know how much you need to invest if you’re switching to solar, make sure you’re crunching the numbers for an off-grid and a grid-tied system. You’ll want to be ready and purchase portable generators if you decide on the latter.
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