The cost of everything is going up, which is one reason many homeowners are looking for ways to cut utility costs in Colorado. Solar panels rank among the best alternative solutions out there. They offer a sustainable energy source that will lower your household expenses as well as your dependence on the grid.
While it’s a smart financial choice for people who want to spend less and increase property values, it’s also an environmentally-friendly solution. There are ways to continue living with modern comforts while decreasing your impact on the planet. That starts with sustainability. How can solar panels help you go green and save your hard-earned cash?
- Solar System Installation Costs Have Gone Down
As the technology is improved, the cost of solar panels has dropped significantly over the years. If you were to buy a system over a decade ago, you could spend over $50,000. Thanks to new industry developments, the average cost has gone down by over 60% in recent years.
Homeowners pay an average of $18,300 upfront for a 6-kilowatt system, which is a common size for residential properties. That comes to between $11,214 and $14,406 after applying solar tax credits. Eligibility and availability for tax breaks may change, so always check on what you qualify for prior to scheduling your installation.
- You Can Balance System Costs and Energy Output
You can further lower your costs by choosing a system that is the best fit for your home. If you want the ability to generate more energy, then you will need more solar panels. More solar panels will increase your total installation costs. Your installer can explain the best way to balance output and system size so you meet all your needs without paying more than you should.
Also, consider what you will power with your solar panels. If you plan only to use them to run a few things in your home, then you may be able to pay less for a smaller system. On the other hand, if you want to take advantage of net metering or want to bank energy for future use, then paying for more panels could help you save money later.
- Take Advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit
Government programs are in place to incentivize going green. This includes the Federal Investment Tax Credit. If you install a solar system this year, you could be eligible for a credit that is equal to 30% of the total cost (after deducting state rebates).
Now is the time to get started if you plan on taking advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit. The 30% rebate is only applicable through 2019. This is the biggest tax break that will be available for the foreseeable future. The credit is going to be reduced to 26% early next year and then lowered again to 22% by the end of 2020. If you want to maximize savings, then this is the year to install your solar system.
- Use Net Metering to Earn Power Credits
Net metering is another way that homeowners can save money with their solar panels. This service accounts for both production of energy through the system as well as what the customer has consumed. The difference is calculated then applied as a credit with your electric company. You can begin banking credits by feeding power back into the grid.
Along with financial savings, you will also help take some of the pressure off the grid. The excess energy you produce can help power your neighbors’ homes. If enough properties install solar panels, then it is possible for an entire street or neighborhood to become self-reliant. Contact the Denver Solar Experts to learn more about setting up net metering.
- Talk to Your Power Company About Lower Rates
The ability to generate your own power can give you a leg up when discussing rates with your power company. Your consumption will be lower, and your home will be more energy efficient. This may allow you to take advantage of certain sustainability programs or other opportunities. There may be programs available that reward customers for taking additional steps to reduce their overall energy consumption through technology and conservation.
- A Low-Maintenance Solution You Can Rely On
Solar panels are low-maintenance. They can work for years with very little intervention. There are no moving parts to worry about in a residential solar system. Assuming nothing catastrophic happens, your panels should remain in good working order for a very long time. That means you won’t have to spend additional time or money on your system once it is installed.
The average solar panel can last approximately 25 to 30 years. They can still produce electricity after they surpass the recommended lifespan. The estimate provided by the manufacturer usually indicates how long the panel will operate at maximum levels. After that, panels can still work but may not produce as well as they did before the 25 to 30-year mark.
- Increased Home Value If You Decide to Sell
Solar systems can make your home value go up. This may not be an immediate financial benefit, but it can pay off later if you decide to sell. The U.S. Department of Energy published the results of two surveys conducted by Berkeley Lab. A total of 4,000 homeowners with solar power were questioned. The results revealed that buyers would pay approximately $15,000 more for a property with an average-sized solar system. They also found that homes with solar panels sold faster than those without sustainable energy.
The Denver Solar Experts are available to share ways you can save with solar panels. Give us a call at (303) 647-3600 to learn more.