The quick answer is, “Yes, but be careful to not pay too much up front.” Even though the idea of solar energy and green living has been around for some time, only recently have solar panels become cost-effective enough to justify their installation for the typical homeowner.
Texas is one of the sunnier states in the nation, with El Paso being the sixth sunniest city in the United States. For some of the more northern states, where it remains cloudy during the winter season, solar panels may take decades before they finally save the homeowner money. However, besides Arizona, California, and Nevada, Texas is one of the nation’s sunniest states where it currently makes sense for many homeowners to install solar panels.
Here are some steps to follow to ensure you actually save money in the next few years if you choose to install solar panels now:
- Check out which credits and rebates are available. Energy.gov maintains a regular listing of all the states and the rebates available to homeowners, businesses, and other groups. It also includes special rebates offered by city governments.
- Know the market costs for installation. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous contractors will try to charge you much more than the market rate for installing a solar system. In most cases, that’s what’s going to eat away any savings you might experience. You should be charged somewhere in the ballpark of $5 per watt, or about $15,000 for a typical 3000-watt system.Know the averages. Your usage might vary, but the average US household consumers 900 kWh per month. If you install an average 3 kWh system, that system will generate about 450 kWh per month, which would account for half of your electricity bill. If that bill runs $100, you’ll save about $50 per month for the life of your system.
- When do you actually start saving money? Now, divide that $15,000 installation by $50 per month, and you get 300 months. Divide that by 12 months per year, and it takes you 25 years to make up for the cost of the solar system.
Now You Have to Decide If that Timeframe’s Worth It
Is 25 years really worth it before you start saving? It might be if you plan on staying in your current home that long. If it’s not, you’ll have to find a way to reduce the installation costs or ways to access credits. Or maybe you just have to wait for the cost of solar panels to go down.
In any case, now you know how to make them pay off, and you can jump on the opportunity when it arises.
For more ways to make your money pay off, check out Payless Power. Offering low-cost energy plans to suit both residential and business needs, Payless Power is a company committed to providing people with some of the best electricity rates in Texas, but also with helpful customer service. Visit the website to learn more about how to save electricity at home, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.