Many homeowners in California are interested in going solar, but solar panel system costs stop them in their tracks. It’s true that solar panels carry a big price tag, but is solar an investment that will eventually pay dividends? We believe that the answer is yes. Solar panels can provide financial savings in the long run, and their value extends much farther than nickels and dimes. Solar panels can also help you support great careers in your community and fight the devastating effects of climate change. Let’s look at all the ways solar panels can add value to your bank account, your community, and to the planet. But first, here’s a quick review of the costs associated with solar panels.
Why are Solar Panels Worth the Value?
Leasing options do exist, but if you want to own your solar panels, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket, take out a loan, or find another financing option.
While today’s solar panel system costs may seem high, you are actually getting an incredible deal! Solar power system costs have plummeted 60% over the last decade, while efficiency rates have climbed dramatically. That means today’s solar panels systems work better than ever and cost less money!
Of course, that might not make you feel better if you’re looking at a hefty price quote from a solar installer. Where are all these costs coming from?
Solar Panels Themselves
The solar panels themselves are a major component of the cost of a solar system. The amount of your price quote will depend upon the energy needs of your home. Households that use more energy will require more solar panels. Additionally, the cost of solar panels will vary by brand. Just as with most consumer products, you’ll pay a premium for the top models.
A solar system consists of more than just solar panels. You’ll also need racking to keep the solar panels on your roof as well as an inverter that converts the energy the solar panels produce to the energy your appliances and electronics needs.
Your solar installation team will need to pull permits in order to satisfy the local building codes in your state and city.
It takes knowledge and expertise to assess your roof, design a solar panel system, and then to correctly install that system. An experienced installation company will ensure that the panels are placed on the roof to produce the maximum amount of energy and that the racking is installed correctly so as not to damage your roof.
If your roof is old or damaged, it is possible that it may need to be repaired or replaced before solar panels can be installed. Replacing a roof is a significant cost, but it will certainly be necessary anyway, whether or not you ultimately decide to move forward with solar panels.
Learn More: Do You Need a New Roof?
Now that you’ve gotten a better idea of where solar panel system costs come from, let’s look at the five reasons why solar panels can be a smart investment despite their daunting price tag.
Value 1 – Lower Energy Bills
The beauty of solar panels is that they effortlessly produce energy using an abundant and free resource – sunlight. Though you will have to pay the upfront costs for your solar panel system, as soon as the system is in place, you’ll begin saving each month.
Ideally, your solar panel system should produce the majority of the energy your home needs, meaning your energy bills will be extremely low or even non-existent. California makes it even easier to save big because it offers net metering.
In a nutshell, when your solar panels produce more energy than your household needs (usually in the middle of the day when the sun is out but fewer people are at home), that excess energy goes back into the grid, and you receive a credit from the utility company. During cloudy days or at night when your solar panels can’t produce the energy you need, you can pull energy from the grid. If you have the right size system, by the end of the year, your energy credits should mostly cancel out the debts.
All told, your solar panel system should eventually pay for itself through energy savings and then offer you a net value. Consider also that utility prices always go up. That means that the savings your solar system offers will only increase over time as energy prices increase.
Learn More – How to Reduce Your Electric Bill This Summer
Value 2 – Increased Home Value
One great way to think about solar panel system costs is not to imagine that money disappearing forever. Instead, you are banking a big chunk of that money in your home. That’s because initial research from the Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that homes with solar panels were worth up to $17,000 more than similar homes without solar panels.
Solar panels can increase the value of your home. That’s money you’ll get back if you decide to sell or even money you may be able to utilize if you refinance in the future. Keep in mind that this added home value comes on top of the energy savings you’ll enjoy each month!
One other thing to note is that replacing your roof also provides a spectacular return on investment for the cost. According to the well-regarded 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange roof replacement in the Pacific region of the United States offers a return of 79.3%.
Learn More – Homes Are Worth More with Solar Panels
Value 3 – Government Incentives
Don’t believe everything you’ve heard. Rumors of the demise of government incentives for solar projects have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, the biggest incentive offered by the federal government has been extended by a year until 2020. This program allows you to deduct 30% of the full cost of installing your solar panel system from your tax bill. That means if your solar panel system costs $15,000, you can cut $4,500 from your tax bill. If your taxes are lower than the full amount of your deduction, you can even roll it over to the next year.
Learn More – Federal Renewable Tax Credit Extended Until 2020
Many local programs are also still up and running, including a program offered to all customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) that offers a one-time rebate of $0.25 per watt. Your solar panel installation team should be able to tell you about which incentives you qualify for. They should also handle all the steps to ensuring you qualify for the incentive.
Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. There’s a reason you may have heard that solar incentives don’t exist anymore. Many programs have wound down as their funds have been used. The federal program has only been extended for two more years, and it’s unclear when the LADWP program will be complete.
Let the government help pay for your solar panel system. Incentives help take some of the stings out of the initial setup cost of solar and allow your solar panel investment to pay off much sooner.
Learn More – What to Know About LADWP’s Solar Incentive Program
Value 4 – Protecting the Environment
Let’s take a step back and consider the value of solar panels outside of the financial realm. Yes, it’s great to have a nearly non-existent energy bill each month, but solar panels can offer value in much more powerful ways. Like, helping you save the planet… at least a little.
Californians are already dealing with the effects of climate change. Our summers are growing hotter, and wildfire season has turned into a year-round event. We’re still recovering from the devastating 2017-2018 wildfire season even as flames rage across the state this summer, forcing Californians from their homes and stealing lives far too soon.
Solar panels use the clean, abundant energy of the sun to produce power, and by investing in solar panels, you can dramatically lower the carbon footprint of your home. In essence, investing in solar panels is an investment in a clean, stable future for yourself, your family, and all the generations to come.
Learn More – Growing Solar Energy Means Less Oil Dependency
Value 5 – Investing in Your Community
When it comes time to purchase a solar panel system, consider hiring a local solar panel installation company. Investing in a local company means that you can support great, high-paying jobs in your community. The solar panel industry offers a variety of stable, well-paying careers and has a low bar to entry. Many solar jobs don’t require a college degree. The solar industry is also a popular career option for military veterans looking to transition back into civilian life. A thriving community provides endless value and makes your city a better place to live overall.
At Semper Solaris, we are proud to be a veteran-owned company that makes a special effort to hire veterans at our locations throughout California.
Learn More – Seven Inspiring Facts About Clean Energy Jobs
Solar Panel System Costs Are Worth the Value
When you ask a solar installation company to assess your home for solar panels, prepare yourself for the price quote. That’s a lot of money, but don’t forget all the value that solar panels can offer you. The energy savings alone will eventually pay for the solar panel system costs, especially as the utility companies continue to hike prices. Also, keep in mind that some of that investment will go right back into your home in the form of increased value. Government incentives can also help take some of the stings off the initial purchase price, but only if you start the purchase process before they run out!
Your investment in solar panels is about more than dollar bills. Solar panels will help you lower your carbon footprint, making you a climate change warrior. Even small acts add up and can help preserve our future! Finally, your investment in solar panels is also an investment in your community if you choose a local installation company. The solar industry offers great jobs and can provide stable career opportunities for your neighbors and friends and help your community thrive.
Convinced that solar panels are well worth the cost? Then start the process of getting solar panels with a free, no-pressure energy consultation from Semper Solaris. We have opened locations throughout California to provide local solar and roofing expertise. Schedule your energy consultation today!