Solar energy is now a primary power source for many homes across the globe. All you need are panels installed onto your home’s roof to capture and store energy from the sun. These Sunrun panels convert this energy to solar photovoltaic or electricity and are used for solar water heating. Thus, solar power allows you to be almost if not entirely independent of standard energy.
That said, there are stipulations for homeowners who think about going solar, the most essential of which has to do with location. It’s worth noting that if you live in some of the cloudier regions, you may not benefit from solar power as much. Thus, the cost of the switch may not be worth it. Speaking of which, how much precisely would a shift to solar from traditional power cost you? Let’s find out.
Domestic solar energy comes in two forms, namely:
- Solar Photovoltaic: the type used for electricity generation.
- Solar Thermal: the kind used for water heating.
Different factors determine the exact cost of a solar-powered home or business. This includes your specific roof size and different energy needs. Do you need to power your entire home or only part of it? Do the appliances you need to power have high wattage requirements? How many are there?
Other elements that can drive up the costs are a hot tub and an electric car. If you have either or both, expect to spend more than most homeowners for a solar power system.
On average, installation costs for basic solar panels can cost somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000. These systems have been proven to use up around 3,500 kWh, which means a two-and-a-half kWp system provides just shy above half the power required by the average household.
Manufacturers justify a solar power system’s high initial cost by claiming that it leads to substantial savings from energy costs in the long run.
Having a solar power system installed in a home or business reduces electricity costs. While this is likely the most significant benefit you can get from it, it’s not the only benefit. Here are some of the others.
- The system uses sunlight to power your home, which means your source is everywhere and free.
- A PV system’s excess power doesn’t waste since it can be sold to the utility company. That offers homeowners the opportunity to gain profit long-term.
- Unlike fossil-fuel alternatives, solar energy power doesn’t produce dirty toxins.
- Power outages will be a thing of the past, even during storms.
- Sunrun panels are robust and efficient. They can serve you well for years.
- Solar panel surfaces are coated with a weatherproof film that makes it easy for rainwater to wash away dust and dirt.
- Panels require minimal maintenance on account of their dust and debris-proof surfaces.
- Less carbon footprint production.
- Classified as green and renewable, which aids in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
- Homeowners get paid to own them in the long run.
How do you pay for a solar system? Well, you can either pay to own a system or rent one from a company.
Paying for everything allows you to reap the full financial benefits of having a solar power system. The option to pay cash upfront may lead to the highest initial cost, but it should also net you the most significant savings in the long run.
You may also opt to take out a loan, which may lead to higher expenses long-term but should save you from the pressure of securing a high amount initially. Since a set of basic Sunrun panels can set you back at least $10,000, you may see the loan as the more attractive choice. Not to mention, it also allows you to start saving from day one.
On the other hand, purchasing a system outright won’t let you break even for at least a couple of years. However, it would still lead to your spending much less long-term.
You can rent a system mainly by signing a lease or power purchase agreement. That said, leasing is not the most financially advantageous way to acquire a solar power setup. Although you won’t have to pay as much, you won’t be getting as many benefits. Most of the savings would be going towards leasing from the company. That means you could get only up to 30 percent of what you would typically would if you owned the system.
If you’re considering shifting to solar power, don’t simply look at the initial cost. That way of looking at things could blind you to the actual benefits of renewable solar energy. The $10,000 to $20,000 average cost of a basic system should easily be offset by its long-term benefits. These are benefits that positively affect not only your life but the lives of others as well.