Deciding on the practicality of installing a solar energy system is often quite a difficult process, but thanks to the series of incentives (generous rebates, tax credits and the net metering system) available to households for choosing a renewable, carbon-neutral source of energy, it is now quite easy to see the potential of solar electric systems and the future savings.
Photovoltaic (PV) equipment is often quite expensive – often estimated at $100 per sq ft for a standard installation – but over the life-cycle of the solar panels, which is approx. 20-years, future savings in energy costs are certainly achievable.
When you start to produce your own renewable energy, your utility bills almost instantly start to drop. How much the electricity bill drops will depend on several factors, which often relates to geographical location, size of system, and how the generated electricity is used. A well-sited standard 5kW photovoltaic system has the potential to cut energy costs by almost a third.
A typical 5kW solar system, over its life-cycle of 20-years, is estimated to save a household on average $20,000 or so. Although this figure greatly differs with each state, with savings across the country ranging from $8,500 to $35,000
Solar energy companies estimate that a professionally installed solar energy system can take 7 to 16 years to fully recoup the initial outlay of a standard photovoltaic (PV) solar array and installation fees from savings made in lower energy costs (and with good incentives, such as rebates and tax credits). Although the time-frame for a solar system to pay for itself various as several different factors, such as those relating to the size of the system, amount of sunlight and cost of electricity in the local state, need taking into consideration. Advances in solar technologies continue to help in shortening the payback period.
In general, a commercial solar system is able to pay for itself in a quick time than a standard residential set-up, while a solar thermal system (hot water) is able to pay for itself in a lot less time than the solar energy systems. And a complete solar thermal package, which heats the space and water, has the potential to pay for itself a great deal quicker than just a thermal water system alone.
Installing a well-planned solar energy system has the potential to see savings as energy costs increase over time. Energy costs in the average home have almost doubled in the last 5-years, and a way to protect you from future price increases is to become partly self-sufficient.
Once a solar energy system has been able to achieve the full payback, a household is then able to enjoy some great financial benefits, mostly due to the on-going savings in lower energy costs. Over the full life-span of the PV equipment you certainly find that the solar cell as definitely able to make you some money.
Also, an energy-efficient solar system also has the ability to increase the resale value of a property. According to the National Real Estate Association it is believed that a private home increases in value almost $1000 for every $100 that running costs reduce.