By Scott Laskey
One of the biggest benefits of solar panels is that they save you money. Most people who install residential systems find that their electric bill after solar panels is much lower than it was before solar panels.
Solar panels also provide long-term financial perks, frequently saving households tens-of-thousands of dollars in the two decades after their installation. If you’re wondering, “How much can I save with solar panels?” you’ll be happy to know that the number might be higher than you think.
If you’re interested in learning more about the positive financial impact of solar panels, consider these solar panel savings statistics.
Right now, solar power experts are predicting that residents in California will save about $28,360 in the 20-year period after they install their solar panels. Meanwhile, residents in Arizona will save $17,033, and residents in Colorado will save about $16,635 during the same period.
To determine how much your household can save on your average electric bill with solar panels, you need to calculate your yearly electricity expenses. Today, the average U.S. household uses approximately 11,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually.
To figure out your annual energy cost, take that approximation (or your actual yearly usage number, if you know it) and multiply it by the current average electricity rate. As of July 2017, this was $0.23 per kilowatt hour in California. According to that calculation, most families in California spend more than $1,700 on electricity each year!
The long-term predictions about your electric bill will also depend on fluctuating energy prices and future utility rates. While utility rates are challenging to predict, the rule is that they rise each year.
In the past ten years, the cost of electricity from PG&E has increased about 5.6 percent annually. If you’re interested in solar panels, this only makes them more attractive: when you install a residential solar array, it means that you and your family won’t have to worry about paying rising utility bills in the years to come.
Finally, you’ll want to consider how much solar panels cost to install. This depends on several factors, including the “Tier” of the panels you choose and installation-specific costs, which vary with different solar panel installers.
As you calculate your installation costs, don’t forget about the federal tax credit for solar. Commonly called the “Investment Tax Credit,” or the “Federal Solar Tax Credit,” this program allows people who install solar arrays on their residential properties to deduct 30 percent of the total installation cost from that year’s federal taxes.
This tax credit can cut thousands off the finished price of a solar system, and influence your long-term savings number.
Regardless of whether you want to save money or reduce carbon emissions, residential solar panels offer an enormous potential for long-term savings.
Within twenty years of installation, residential solar arrays can save homeowners tens-of-thousands of dollars. In some cases, home systems even produce enough energy for owners to sell it at a profit. Additionally, the cost of installing solar arrays is decreasing, and the Federal Solar Tax Credit allows you to write off 30 percent of your total installation costs.
Residential solar systems can also decrease your carbon output each year. This allows your household to do something positive for your community and the world, and to feel right about “going green” at home.
Want to learn more about a home solar installation? Ready to go green? Contact the solar professionals here at Sandbar Solar for a quote. Sandbar Solar & Electric has been locally-owned for 14 years. We’re currently the largest residential and commercial solar installer in Santa Cruz County. When you work with us, you can count on our professional commitment to quality work, ethical solutions, community sponsorship, and environmental stewardship.
We’ve worked hard to develop a reputation for designing and installing the most efficient solar panels on the Central Coast. We invite you to look through our online portfolio of Recent Projects. Our work areas include Santa Cruz and Monterey counties as well as San Jose and the Bay Area.
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Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar & Electric. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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