Having solar panels installed on your home may sound like a good idea, but will it really save you money in the long run? The upfront investment for an average solar energy system in the Bay Area is around $18,000. That home size typically sees a monthly electric bill of about $150. So how do the savings pan out? True, $18,000 is no small chunk of change; however, that price tag doesn’t take the whole picture into consideration.
To really understand how much you could save with solar, you have to look at several factors, from NEM 2.0 to federal tax credits. Let’s take a closer look at the long-term investment and payback of a solar panel system below.
Incentives & Rebates Available to Bay Area Homeowners
One of the biggest draws of a solar panel system is that you get to see your utility bill cut down. Net metering allows you to take advantage of any additional energy you produce that isn’t used up by your household. You’ll be given credits from your electric company to cover any electricity demands you have outside of your solar production (i.e. at night or cloudier days).
Another reason going solar is more affordable than you think? The rebates and incentives. The Solar Investment Tax Credit — which is a 30% tax credit for solar systems — is a serious perk. Keep in mind that this tax credit will start to be scaled back after 2019, dropping to 26% in 2020 and further from there. That means the time is now to take advantage of this big tax break.
Live in San Francisco? Great news — you could receive another major rebate. GoSolarSF is an initiative that encourages homeowners to install solar panels, offering $300 per kilowatt for average homeowners and an extra $2,000 per kilowatt for any residences who are considered low-income. Additional rebates are available for various factors of the project With these rebates and the federal tax credit, those upfront costs could be majorly rolled back.
Don’t Forget the Added Home Value
In addition to rebates and cash savings, you also have to consider the perk of increased home value. Down the road, if you want to sell your home, you could be looking at a serious boost in how many potential buyers are willing to put down for your home. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy did a study that showed homes with solar panel energy systems can increase in value by around $4 per watt. The average system size in the U.S. is 5 kilowatts, which could mean up to $20,000 in added home value that buyers are ready and willing to pay. That’s a value increase in addition to the energy savings you’ve already taken advantage of over the years!
Find Out How Much You Could Save Today
The amount of money you could save by having a solar panel system install can vary based on a number of factors. For example, the average savings from the lifespan of a home’s 5.7-kilowatt system in the Bay Area lands you around an estimated $72,000. This number can fluctuate based on the size of the solar panel system you install, how much energy your household uses, and even unforeseen changes like spikes in inflation on utility power rates from PG&E.
The point is, the savings are real. Exactly how much will you save? Semper Solaris can help you get a better idea when you reach out to our team about your solar options.