When Does It Make Sense to Install Solar Panels on Your Roof?

The subject of renewable energy and how to make decisions that are eco-friendly is a really hot topic right now and a great way to tick all the right boxes as a responsible homeowner would be to get in touch with a solar company and find out about the cost of installation for your property.

You probably already think that solar panels would be a good addition to your home as they could save on your energy bills and you will be using a renewable energy source, but you might also be wondering when is the right time to get them fitted?

Here’s a look at some of the prime reasons to consider getting solar panels installed on your roof and a guide to help you decide when it makes perfect sense to get it done.

Know what you are buying into

On the face of it, the idea of solar panels is pretty easy to understand, but it makes sense to get a better understanding of how the technology works and some of the benefits it offers so that you can make an informed decision about fitting them.

Solar technology has actually been with us for about 60 years but it has only been in recent times that photovoltaic solar technology (PV) has evolved enough for it to become a financially viable as a mass-market energy solution.

If you decide to invest in solar panels for your home at this point in time you will be benefitting from all of the investment in research and development that has now got to the point where the cost of the panels can be justified in relation to your capital outlay and the potential savings you can make on your energy costs. When it comes to financing, you should be aware that you can choose between buying and leasing solar energy.

You will also be buying into a technology that fully embraces the renewable energy culture and is considered to be a sustainable resource.

Is solar power a total energy solution?

The answer to this question can largely depend on where you live and how much sun you get throughout the year.

What tends to happen when you have solar panels providing energy to your property is that you may still need to rely on electricity from the grid in addition to generating power from the panels on your roof.

If you live in an area where you get a regular amount of sun it can make a lot of financial sense to harness that energy with solar panels, even if you also get backup power from the grid.

How long will it take to recoup your investment?

It is hard to give a definitive answer to that question because the payback period will be influenced by where you live and how much daily sunlight you get during the year.

As you can make money by selling excess energy back to the grid, it stands to reason that if you live in a warm climate solar panels will probably generate more power and that means you should be able to get the cost of your installation back quicker.

As a general guide, you can expect to recover the installation costs of your solar panels in about 10 years or so. Factors that heavily influence the payback period include the size of the system you have installed and how favorable your location is for generating solar energy.

Useful tip: You can use a solar savings estimator called Project Sunroof from Google to get an idea of how suitable your home is for solar panels.

It is well worth remembering that you won’t be buying anywhere near as much electricity from the grid once you have solar panels installed and net metering should help to bring your bills down even more.

Ask your installer for more information and projections regarding costs, savings, and the estimated payback time.

Now is the time to tax advantage of tax credits

In the United States, the federal government has been keen to encourage the take up of solar panels and has been offering tax incentives to homeowners that help bring the cost of installation down.

The so-called renewable energy tax credit was a generous 30% up to the end of 2019. That percentage has been dropping and was down to 26% for 2020 and 22% for 2021.

As this tax credit is currently scheduled to be reduced to zero after 2021 it makes sense to consider getting an installation arranged as soon as possible if you want to make a considerable saving.

It is possible that the tax credit incentive might be extended or a new incentive might get announced, but if you want to be certain of claiming some of the cost back there is no time to waste.

How big are the savings?

Another important consideration that could help you decide if it makes sense to install solar panels at your home is to see how much the decision could save you in ongoing energy bills.

A good guide would be to say that the level of savings you will make by having solar panels is usually in line with how big your energy costs are. In other words, the higher your electricity bills are at your property the more you should be able to save.

Some homeowners manage to completely eliminate their electricity bill completely, while others can expect to see their costs slashed by about 50%.

A general estimate on the savings you might be able to make on your energy costs would be that you will create the potential to make savings of anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000 over a 20 year period.

To answer the question about when it makes sense to install solar panels. When you look at all of the facts and figures surrounding this renewable energy option it seems clear that the sooner you get them installed the sooner you will be making savings on your energy costs.

You will also be doing your bit for promoting a healthier and more sustainable planet by opting for an energy solution from a renewable source.