A couple months ago I wrote a blog post about how I’m not making any cosmetic updates to my 1970s house. But one home upgrade I plan to make as soon as I can afford it is adding solar panels to my roof—and I’m not alone. According to a recent survey by Pew, most Americans say they’ve seriously considered buying solar panels or have already done so.
Installing a solar system comes with lots of benefits, including lower utility bills and fewer power outages. Here are just some of the reasons why I’m currently saving up for solar panels for my home.
Lower Utility Bills
According to Consumer Reports, getting solar panels can save you between 70% and 100% on your utility bill. As a result, most systems pay for themselves in about five to seven years.
Federal incentives can also reduce the cost of your system by about 30%, leading to even more savings. However, the program is slated to end in 2022, so you’ll need to act quickly if you want to take advantage of the tax credit.
If you can’t afford solar now, don’t worry—some states have their own incentives, so you may still be able to get a tax break on your system even after the federal program ends.
Blackouts have been occurring pretty frequently across the country due to storms, wildfires, and increased demand that strains the grid. If you don’t want to be without power during outages, installing solar could be a good solution.
Instead of using a generator that runs on expensive, polluting fossil fuels, you can get free energy from the sun during a blackout. As long as you have a backup panel and batteries to store power, your home can run on solar in an outage.
Better for the Environment
Unlike fossil fuels, solar energy is a renewable resource that we can never run out of. Harnessing it instead of relying on coal or natural gas can help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change and air pollution.
Believe it or not, solar panels don’t require much maintenance to keep operating at peak efficiency. They only need to be cleaned about once per year, and it costs just $150 to $330 to hire a professional to do it. If you make sure to keep your panels clean and free of debris, you can expect them to last for 20 years or more. Advanced models may even make it to the 50-year mark without major problems.
Most solar panels also come with manufacturer warranties that protect against equipment and performance defects. A good performance warranty will usually guarantee 90% production for 10 years and 80% production when the system is 25 years old. Equipment warranties will cover things like manufacturing defects and premature wear and tear for about 10 to 12 years, giving you the peace of mind you need to invest in solar.
Solar panels are a big investment. They usually cost an average of $15,000 to $25,000 before government tax credits. However, they usually pay for themselves in the form of lower utility bills in just a few years. And now that solar is becoming more popular, there are lots of financing options including leasing the panels to help you afford the cost of your system.
For all of these reasons, I’ve decided to start saving up for solar as my next major purchase.
Have you ever thought about installing a solar system on your roof? Let me know in the comments section below!