Solar panels can be quite a costly investment, so it’s important to do your research and ensure that they will be cost-effective for you before going ahead with the installation.
In order to ascertain whether they will be cost-effective or not, there are a few points to consider.
Where is your home located?
The more sunlight they are exposed to, the more energy solar panels produce. They will still generate electricity in cloudier parts of the country; however, you are likely to realize a greater return on your investment if you are living somewhere with good levels of sunshine.
Solar panels do not generate any electricity at all at night, so they are often much more effective during the summer.
As a rule, in the northern hemisphere, solar panels are at their most effective when they are facing south. Likewise, in the southern hemisphere, they are at their most effective when they are facing north.
Solar panels will usually be placed on your roof, so for them to work at their highest level of efficiency, a south-facing roof in the north, and a north-facing roof in the south, will result in maximum energy generation.
How much energy are you using?
The size of solar panel required will depend on the size of your property, how many people are living in it, and how much energy they are using.
Installers of residential solar systems will usually want to see your last few utility bills before they give you a quote for a solar panel installation. This is important because your utility bills contain information about how much energy you are using. Your solar panel provider can take this information and work out what size of solar installation is best suited to your needs.
The condition of your roof
If you live in an older home, then the condition of your roof could be a limiting factor when it comes to getting solar panels installed.
Solar panels are reasonably heavy, and they need a roof that’s in good condition to support them. If your roof isn’t in good condition then you may need to get repairs carried out before you can have them installed. Of course, keeping your roof in good repair is a benefit to you for other reasons, but it is also a cost that you will need to take into account.
Your solar installer should offer to inspect your roof for you as part of the assessment that they carry out.
How long are you planning on staying in your home?
Solar panels are a great way to save money on your utility bills, but it takes a little while before the savings make up for the cost of the initial installation. If you’re planning to stay in your home for a long time, then it’s likely that your savings will cover the cost of the installation.
However, if you might move on in a few years then you need to consider whether it is a worthy investment.
Solar panels can increase the value of your home—the amount of which will vary depending on the area of the country in which you live. It’s worth talking with a realtor to find out how solar panels will affect the value of your home, before going ahead with the installation.
Are you eligible for the federal credit?
The government are offering a federal solar tax credit to assist with the funding of solar installation, which amounts to 26% of the total cost. However, keep in mind that you are only eligible for this credit if you aren’t earning less than the total cost of the credit.