Do You Really Save Money With Solar Panels?
If any product or service promises to save you “boatloads of money” you should probably be skeptical. We have seen solar energy grow in popularity over the past decade and with it some pretty outlandish claims. So with all the hype out there regarding this technology, do you really save money with solar panels?
Now it may seem like a simple enough concept, but the first thing to be aware of is that no two households are the same. The orientation of the roof, utility provider, and energy needs can vary greatly from your home to your neighbor’s. The direct hours of daily sunlight, the size, and the angle of your roof will also play a huge role in your ability to generate solar energy. But the biggest factor in determining how much solar can save you is your local utility provider and the rates they charge.
When you look at the cost of electricity and compare it to home solar, know that electricity rates tend to increase annually. In fact, electricity costs have increased on average around 2.2% per year nationally over the last ten years. In California specifically, you need to consider the already high cost of electricity, and the ever-increasing prices brought on by the state’s energy policies.
Even if you live in a state with moderate energy rates, solar can be a low-risk investment with major benefits. According to 2019 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the national average cost of electricity is around 13 cents per kilowatt-hour. Compare that to the 20 cents per kilowatt-hour Californians pay. Over 20 years, the savings on electricity for homeowners with solar can be significant, ranging on average from $10k to $30k.
One thing we should also get out of the way is the fact that your electric bill will not go away entirely. That’s right, even if you install enough solar panels to cover your home’s energy usage, you still should expect to receive an electric bill. It’s usually a very small fee, but as long as you are connected to the power grid they charge you.
How much power does your family use? Look at your electric bill and see how much energy your home uses over 12 months. Factor in any upgrades you may be looking at over the next 5-10 years, like a room addition, a pool, or an electric vehicle. This is a good indicator that your power needs will increase and your energy goals should be adjusted accordingly.
Another factor to consider when looking to save money with solar panels is if you actually have enough roof space to completely offset your home’s energy use. How sunny is your roof? Trees or shade, even the home’s orientation toward the sun, will affect a solar panel’s ability to generate energy. A professional solar installer will use commercial-grade LiDAR technology to assess your roof’s solar worthiness and make recommendations to maximize the production of your solar system.
Unless you’re planning to pay cash for solar, it’s more than likely a solar loan will be slightly more per month than your utility bill was. In a place like California, where we enjoy abundant sunshine and a high cost of energy, a home solar system can be a great investment, since that payment helps shield you from the ever-rising electricity rates in this state. Still have questions? Call or text the Energy Experts today at 951-678-7733 and schedule a free no-obligation consultation to learn if solar is right for your family.