Solar panels: Worth the investment for homeowners?
By John Kirchner
September 22, 2011
If you’re considering adding solar panels to a clients’ home, part of that consideration is surely the matter of cost: Are solar panels with the investment the homeowner would have to make?
To be sure, solar panels can be a great way to reduce or perhaps even eliminate a household’s electricity costs, while also making a small dent in the amount of energy generated by less environmentally friendly methods. But that addition comes with a cost.
So how long might it take to recoup that investment? Well, our friends at Building Moxie dove into that very issue, with help from guest writer Brittany Mauriss. She explains that, for an “average-sized home,” a typical solar panel system could cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, which could take anywhere from three to 10 years (or more) to recoup.
Of course, that’s simply an estimate. Factors such as the direction the panels face and the region in which the home is located will affect how much energy they generate and how much money might be saved — or even made, if the panels generate more electricity than the home uses. Energy.gov has an interesting map that shows approximately how much energy a homeowner can generate depending on where in the United States he or she lives.
Mauriss also points out the many tax credits that are available to homeowners to install solar panels. You can find information about federal tax credits on ENERGY STAR’s website, and don’t forget to check for additional credits from your state and local government.
[photo courtesy of CoCreatr via Flickr]