California is leading the way when it comes to solar energy and is set to be the first state in the U.S. to require solar panels on all new homes starting in 2020. The mandate will apply to all homes, condos and apartment buildings up to three stories high, except for structures being built in the shade with other energy-saving measures set in place.
Other states such as New Jersey and Minnesota are also looking to increase their reliance on solar power, though haven’t imposed mandates.
With increasing efforts to go green around the country, and the technology to support it, solar panels have become increasingly accessible and more and more people are installing them as an investment. Adding fuel to the solar fire, in the last decade, the price of solar has dropped by 60%, making it increasingly affordable.
The real question on most people’s minds though, is “how much will I save if I install solar panels?”
Design and cost of solar panels
Solar energy is said to be cleaner, cheaper and greener than electricity, but many people think of unattractive panels on rooftops and high prices for installation when they think of solar.
However, there’s good news: Solar panels are getting sleeker. Even in the last three years, there’s been huge progress.
As far as cost goes, state and federal solar incentives and rebates help a great deal when it comes to offsetting costs. For example, the federal government offers a 30% credit for installation, and many states have additional financial breaks on top of that.
Some systems can cost more than $30,000 to purchase and install, but prices vary, and it’s important to take into account more than just the price when investing in solar, for instance, efficiency and the warranties. This is a long term investment, after all.
You could save $35,000 over 20 years
Just like any investment, consumers want to know how much they’ll save after installing solar. Here’s our best estimate: If you buy a system and are currently paying around $100 per month for electricity, you can save almost $1,800 per year by installing a rooftop solar system. That’s $35,900 over the next 20 years.
The value of your home will also increase
Solar panels will add value to your home, too. The US Department of Energy surveyed 4,000 homeowners with solar power back in 2015 and determined that most are willing to pay close to $15,000 more for a house with an average-size system installed, versus one without it.
Bottom line: Solar will save you money, and boost the value of your house. And it’s good for the planet. We give this a Penny Pincher thumbs up!