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Improving your home’s energy efficiency may not sound as exciting as laying down new flooring or turning your basement into a home theater. However, these upgrades can add value to your home and help you save money and energy.

WHAT IS AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOME?

Different organizations and companies use the term “energy-efficient home” differently depending on who you ask. You may have heard of terms like zero energy or green homes when learning about house energy efficiency.

For our purposes, we’ll relate it to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score, which uses a 1-10 scale to rate how energy efficient a house is. Whether you live in a vintage farmhouse or a modern residence in the suburbs, you can raise your home’s score through intentional improvements. 

DIY AND LOW-COST OPTIONS

  • Caulking and weatherstripping: You can call a professional to caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows, but you can also achieve these tasks with little prior knowledge. After a home energy audit, you can identify trouble spots that you need to address.
  • Install low-flow shower-heads: If your house doesn’t have low-flow aerators, replacing them can cost as little as $10. 
  • Insulate or wrap your water heater tank: If your water heater tank is warm to the touch, it may be using excess heat. A water heater tank blanket or wrap can help cut off excess heat, making it easier to consume less energy. 

EXTENSIVE PROJECTS: CALL A PROFESSIONAL

  • Add or replace insulation: Insulation is a critical component of your home envelope. It’s one of the foundations of energy efficiency. If an energy audit revealed that you are losing heat through your attic, basement or exterior walls, you should consider contacting a professional to add insulation.
  • Repair or replace ductwork: Your home’s ductwork is responsible for keeping your house ventilated and comfortable. If air ducts are worn out or not insulated well, they can leak, causing you to need more energy to keep your home comfortable.
  • Repairing or replacing the HVAC system: Along with your home’s duct system, an HVAC system that runs poorly won’t reach maximum efficiency. HVAC systems are rated to last around 15 years but can last longer with repairs and maintenance.
  • Installing energy-efficient doors and windows: Doors and windows can cause your home to lose energy as they get older and lose their sealing effect. The best energy-efficient replacement windows and doors can help keep your house air-tight, thus reducing your energy consumption. This renovation not only saves electricity but can also add a new look to the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Energy-efficient landscaping: If you are looking for a project to tackle outside your home, consider energy-efficient landscaping. You can plant and position different types of trees around your home to maximize wind and sun protection.

Prime Solar Energy Is Here To Help!

As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, but just know Prime Energy Solar will be here to help guide you thru the process. So the next time you are search solar company near me or solar panels near me, click on the local leader of Solar Polar Installation, click on Prime Energy Solar.

Years ago, when we were asked, “What’s the best direction for solar panels to be pointed?” when living in the Northern Hemisphere, the answer was always the south direction. This is because the sun shines directly over the equator most of the time, and so south-facing solar panels have more of an opportunity to collect more sunlight and generate more solar energy.

However every house has a different orientation to the sun, so every solar installation presents its own opportunities and challenges. The trick is to install the solar panels in a way that not only collects the most sunlight but collects it in a way that strategically helps the homeowner save on their electricity bills.

South-facing solar panels have another advantage for homes that have access to net metering, which allows homeowners to get reimbursed for power they send back to the electrical grid. South-facing solar panel orientation collects the most energy around mid-day when there’s lots of sun. But that’s also when the home’s consumption is typically lowest because everyone’s off to work, school, etc. That means there’s lots of solar-generated power left to go back to the utility.

But not all homes have a southern orientation, and –at Prime Solar we know- even if they did there are plenty of other variables that can affect which direction solar panels should face.

Our team at Prime Energy Solar will first survey your home for any obstacles – like trees, chimneys, power lines or taller buildings – that could potentially block sunlight from reaching your solar panels. A home facing a less-than-optimal direction or sun-blocking obstacles can still produce plenty of solar power, but it may take more solar panels than a roof with a great orientation and no obstacles at all.

At Prime Energy Solar we are also up to date on local rules and regulations that can have a big impact on solar panel direction. These regulations might affect a homeowner’s ability to take advantage of net metering, among other things.

Placing solar panels around all the obstructions on a roof can be complex, but at Prime Energy we make it simple. We have the experience and technology to make it happen and make the process seem seamless for you. So now matter which direction your home faces you can feel confident that your getting the most out of your solar panels. 

Prime Solar Energy Is Here To Help!

As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, but just know Prime Energy Solar will be here to help guide you thru the process. So the next time you are search solar company near me or solar panels near me, click on the local leader of Solar Polar Installation, click on Prime Energy Solar.

While solar energy has plenty of benefits, there are also high upfront costs associated with installing a home renewable energy system. So, at the end of the day, are solar panels worth it?

If you want to minimize your ecological impact while reducing or even eliminating monthly utility bills, solar panels may be well worth the money. But they may not be the best solution for every home. In this article, we’ll review solar panel costs, longevity and return on investment to help you decide whether they’re right for you.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The first thing to be aware of is that installing a residential solar system is always going to be expensive. Yes, saving money on your monthly utility bills can help balance that startup expense, and you can get some incentives to help undercut the cost of solar panels (more on that in a moment). But ultimately, there’s no way around it: Investing in a residential solar system can be pricey.

How pricey, exactly? Your total solar energy system cost will depend on a myriad of factors, including the type of solar panels you choose, the number of panels required for your home, and the specific solar panel installation company you hire.

With that said, according to Sunrun, the average cost of installing solar panels in 2021 is between $16,200 to $21,400. And it’s worth noting that this actually represents a significant drop in the price tag for solar panels. Solar installation is becoming more and more affordable, even if the startup price remains a little daunting.

Offsetting the Cost of Solar Panels

Something else to be aware of is that, over the past decade or so, both the federal government and many state governments have unveiled programs to provide financial incentives for solar installation. These programs include local and federal tax credits and other rebates. Top solar companies are usually able to help you identify and apply to any programs you are eligible for.

The current federal solar tax credit, called an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides a 26% credit for systems installed between 2020 and 2022. State incentives can be added on top for even more savings. However, even with numerous solar incentives, pricing and solar panel installation costs can still be steep.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

As you think about the initial startup investment in solar panels, another question to consider is system longevity. After you buy solar panels, how long do they last? Will they function long enough for you to get your money’s worth?

Again, the answer can vary slightly depending on the specific type of solar panels you choose. As a rule of thumb, however, most residential solar systems last between 20 and 30 years and require only the most minimal maintenance and upkeep. Most of the best solar panels come backed with fairly rigorous warranties, ensuring your system holds up for at least two decades. Of course, when purchasing a solar panel system, you’ll want to take a close look at the warranty information offered.

The longevity of your solar panel system can also add to the value of your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buyers nationwide have been willing to pay an average premium of about $15,000 for a home with a solar array. In many cases, that alone can cover most of all of your solar investment.

How Much Money Will You Save With Solar Panels?

Related to the question of panel longevity is the question of a solar power system’s return on investment, or ROI. How much power is a home solar system going to generate? How much money will it save you? Will month-to-month electric bill savings mean that your solar system “pays for itself” after a few years?

The amount of money you save on your monthly utility costs can vary depending on the efficiency and power of your solar panels, as well as your household energy consumption habits. Keep in mind that your savings will be greater if you live in an area where electricity rates are higher; by contrast, if you live somewhere with a lower cost of electricity, the money you save from going solar may be comparatively meager.

EnergySage notes that, over the lifespan of your solar system, you’re likely to save anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 on utility costs. This may or may not be enough for the unit to “pay for itself,” though an upside of solar power ROI is that it’s fairly instantaneous. Once your system is installed, you’ll be able to start saving money right away.

Free Quote: See How Solar Panels Would Cost for Your Home

Fill out this 30-second form to get a quote from one of the best solar energy companies in your area. You could an average of $2,500 each year on your electric bills and receive a tax rebate.

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Are Solar Panels Worth It for Your House?

Ultimately, whether solar panels are worth it will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case and home-by-home basis. Simply put, solar power is a smarter option for some than for others. The question is, how can you tell whether you’re a good candidate for solar panels?

Best Candidates for Solar Power

Solar panels tend to be a better investment for homeowners who meet the following criteria:

  • Ample exposure to sun: If you live in a part of the country that gets lots of exposure to sunlight throughout the year, then you’ll probably get more mileage out of your solar panels. It’s little wonder that solar power is most popular in places like Arizona, Texas, California and even North Carolina.
  • Accommodating roof space: A good solar system will require plenty of surface area on your roof, unobstructed by skylights, chimneys or other fixtures. With a smaller roof, you can still potentially install a system, but you’ll need to find the most efficient solar panels (which are often more expensive) to maximize your limited space.
  • High electricity bills: The amount of money you save by going solar will be directly proportional to the amount you spend each month on electrical costs. So, if you live in a community where the price of electricity is pretty high, you stand to achieve greater savings when you go solar.

Who’s Not a Good Candidate for Solar Power?

By contrast, some homes may not be as well-positioned to reap a high solar power ROI.

  • Homes without much sun exposure: If you know anything about how solar panels work, it won’t be a surprise that darker areas benefit less from this renewable energy source. In a place where there tends to be a lot of cloud coverage or more limited solar exposure for good chunks of the year, the jump to solar may not be as advantageous.
  • Homes with too much shade: Similarly, if your roof tends to be shaded for long stretches of the day (for example, if your home is in the shadow of a larger building or a lot of dense trees), then your solar panels may not get the sun exposure they need to generate a solid ROI.
  • You pay lower costs for electricity: If your electrical bills are already fairly minimal, then installing a residential solar system will yield more modest and measured savings.
  • You don’t have the right kind of roof: Certain types of roofs just aren’t as well-suited for solar power installation. For example, older or historic homes that have particular kinds of tiled roofs and homes that have larger skylights may not be good matches for solar energy.

How to Determine Your Solar Power ROI

Is solar worth it for you and your household? There are a few steps you can take to weigh solar energy pros and cons and make an informed decision.

One option is to consult with a solar panel installation company that can assess your roof and your positioning in relation to the sun, then supply you with a basic estimate of how much money you could save by installing solar panels. Reputable installers can also provide greater detail about the different types of solar panels that are available and recommend the technology you’ll need to realize a significant solar power ROI for your home.

Even before you take the initial step and meet with a solar installer, a number of solar companies offer online calculators, which you can use to estimate your monthly utility savings. We’ll stress that these calculators only give a very rough estimate and should be taken lightly, but they can still create a basic sense of whether solar panels are worth it for your home.

So, Are Solar Panels Worth It? It All Depends…

The bottom line for homeowners: Solar energy represents one of the best ways to reduce your dependence on traditional utility companies. And for many homeowners, solar power ROI will be well worth it. With that said, the startup cost can be prohibitive, and not every homeowner will achieve the same bang for their buck.

As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, but just know Prime Energy Solar will be here to help guide you thru the process. So the next time you are search solar company near me or solar panels near me, click on the local leader of Solar Polar Installation, click on Prime Energy Solar.

Solar panels are a great way to not just offset the energy costs for your home, but also reduce the environmental impact of your home and provide as well as host of other benefits, such as supporting local businesses and contributing to energy independence.

If you are considering installing solar panels on your home then consider these benefits:

1. Reduce or eliminate energy bills.

On warm sunny days, you can typically generate a lot more energy than you can consume, which can then be traded with the utility. On hot summer days, when you are likely to run the air conditioning, or on cloudy days, you can draw from the grid.

Even if you live somewhere cloudy, such locations typically receive more than two hours of sunlight per day, whereas sunny locations tend to receive an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day.

Although sunny days will produce more solar energy, solar panels will continue to draw energy even when the weather is cloudy. Indirect, or diffused, sunlight will still help to power your home.  Keep in mind that cloudy days can still usually produce around 10 to 20 percent of the power generated on sunny days. So if you live somewhere that isn’t super sunny or if you have a few cloudy days in a row, don’t worry your solar panels are still generating power. 

2. Earn tax credits and rebates.

Did you know that you can receive money from your solar panels? Well just to start off, you can get 30 percent of total system costs back from equipment and installation as a federal income tax credit when you file your taxes. This means you would save $7,500 on a solar system worth $25,000.

Combine this with state and local rebates and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), and total costs can be cut in half. The SRECs are generated throughout the year, and you can sell them to utility companies, which generates a very impressive return on the initial investment.

Many installers also offer a no-cost installation, where they front all of the money for the panels and installation and charge for electricity at a reduced rate. They are basically “leasing” your roof space and giving you a discount on the electricity in return. This is a good option for homeowners who do not want to make the initial investment or would prefer a no-money-down option. The installer collects all the proceeds from the SRECs in this case.

No matter where you live, you most likely have some amazing tax credits for solar. Take advantage of them while you still can.

Prime Solar Energy Is Here To Help!

As you consider whether solar panels are a sound investment for your home, make sure you take into account cost, warranty, longevity and overall efficiency, but just know Prime Energy Solar will be here to help guide you thru the process. So the next time you are search solar company near me or solar panels near me, click on the local leader of Solar Polar Installation, click on Prime Energy Solar.