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Are Solar Panels Worth it in 2021?

by John Jacob on Jan 29, 2021

Solar panels are an excellent investment, and especially if you live in an area with high energy costs and suitable sun exposure. Solar power incentives and low-interest financing also make solar an excellent financial choice for virtually every homeowner!

While there are many good reasons to “go solar,” a homeowner might note their average solar panel costs and how long most panels last. You might also consider some quick tips for deciding if solar is right for your property and why everyone should consider solar power systems!

What Do Solar Panels Cost for a 2000 Square Foot Home?

Your solar panel costs will vary according to your home’s size, the number of panels, and local pricing. For most homeowners, solar power systems for a 1500 square foot home might average around $8000, and $9500 to $11,500 for a 2000 square foot home. These prices typically include installation, connection to your local utility, and other such labor.

While low-end panels cost less than name brand, high-quality panels, consider carefully before deciding on the cheapest panels available. Solar panels work by capturing sunlight and converting it into usable power; the better your solar panels, the more sunlight they capture. In turn, investing in high-quality panels translated to more solar power and less reliance on your local utility provider over the years!

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels are designed to be tough and durable, withstanding high winds, falling debris, strong rains, and everyday wear and tear. Solar panels also need little to no maintenance; an occasional inspection for damage and clearing the panel fronts as needed is typically all that’s required to keep those panels functioning optimally.

However, solar panels do suffer degradation as they operate. This doesn’t mean that the panels stop working; instead, they simply become less efficient over time. For example, panels with a 1% annual degradation rate will be 10% less effective at trapping and converting sunlight after 10 years of use. That panel will lose 25% efficiency after 25 years, meaning it will still function at 75% efficiency!

While older panels still operate, homeowners might swap them out for newer panels after some 25 or 30 years. New panels working at maximum efficiency ensure you’re getting the most benefit from solar panels, making them an excellent investment.

Are Solar Panels Right for Me?

Check out a few tips that can help you decide if solar panels are right for you, and then discuss your energy needs with a solar panel installer near you.

Review your electric bill

First review your electric bill, adding up the last 12 months of electric costs. This figure tells you when your solar panel installation will pay for itself. To make this comparison as simple as possible, create a chart that adds your total electric costs over the years; as an example, if you pay around $1800 for electricity every year, it might look like this:

  • 1 year = $1800
  • 2 years = $3600
  • 3 years = $5400
  • 4 years = $7200
  • 5 years = $9000

This information provided from Go Solar New Jersey (https://gosolarnewjersey.org/) which gives local homeowners up to date solar information.

This chart lets you quickly and easily compare your solar panel installation costs versus your electric savings; if you invest $10,000 in a new solar panel installation, for example, it will take between 5 and 6 years for that solar installation to pay for itself. That allows you a good 20 years to enjoy free or low-cost energy for your home!

Consider your home’s condition and sun exposure

Solar panels are installed along with a rack that is bolted or screwed onto roof decking, or the layer of plywood underneath shingles and tiles. For that racking system to stay in place, your home’s roof decking must be in good condition!

It’s also vital to consider your property’s sun exposure, and this includes how much viable roof space is exposed to direct sunlight. Roofs with lots of obstructions such as dormers, tree branches, and the like might not get enough sun exposure to justify solar panels.

Consider your reasons for choosing solar

Even if your home doesn’t necessarily get much sunlight, or you might not see significant savings from investing in solar for any reason, consider why it’s still a good choice to invest in solar. If you’re worried about the environment, remember that using solar panels means less pollution and fewer fumes created by electrical power plants.

Investing in solar for your home can also encourage your neighbors to do the same! The more homes with solar panels on their roof, the more likely it is that other property owners will invest in clean, green solar.

Solar panel installation is also very labor-intensive, so investing in solar creates local jobs for those same neighbors. A local installer can also help you decide if solar panels are an excellent choice for your home, and find the right ones for your energy needs and budget.

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