Counting the costs – and benefits – of home solar panels

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Or is there? Given home solar panel costs, you can have the next best thing.

And when it comes to your home, that can be to cut down on your living expenses. Find out how you can reduce your property’s energy bills by thousands of dollars a year, while reducing your carbon footprint, thanks to solar panels.

Analyzing the cost of solar panels

Usually we are programmed to be cynical about claims such as “free energy for your home”. After all, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

When evaluating solar panel cost, there are some upfront costs to factor in, but once your system is installed, you really are looking at free electricity for your home. Good systems last for around 25 years, so you are also certain to get a good lifespan from your investment. 

This article helps you count the costs and benefits of a solar panel investment.

How much will solar panels cost?

For many homeowners, there are huge benefits to be realized from investing in solar panels. Sure, there are some other benefits too which we’ll get to later, but making some significant savings is usually the main motivator. 

Monthly energy bills are a burden to pockets of all sizes. Imagine the better ways you could spend $100 or more every month than having it leave your account just to power your home. By installing home solar panels, you can find yourself saving over $1,000 every year. You can use that money to create an extra special family Christmas or treat yourself to an extra special holiday!

Costs of solar panels are mainly upfront. You will need to invest not only in the panels themselves, but other components of the system. A battery is also important to be able to store energy during periods of maximum sunlight to use to power your home during the darker months. 

Because solar power systems are complex to install, it is also sensible to allow some budget for a professional firm to do this work. It is best to search for reputable solar power companies near your area. But before that, you may also need to make some adjustments to strengthen and weatherproof your roof to prepare it for the panels. 

Funding solar power costs

The bad news is that there is clearly some upfront investment required for home solar panels. The good news is that there is an abundance of finance options available to help make it possible. 

These include zero interest finance products, loans, grants and subsidies. These vary by state and even locality, so do some research to find the best products on offer in your area. You can find this information online, or by speaking to a local solar energy professional that will be aware of the local initiatives.

One thing to take into account with your planning is that you do not need to seek planning permission for your project. The only thing you will need to do is to have the work signed off by your state administration to ensure it meets the appropriate electrical safety standards. 

Getting the most from your investment

Equipping your solar installation with a robust battery is essential to ensure you do not need to draw from the grid. This means you never need to draw from your previous electricity provider. 

Solar panel costs can also be reduced further by getting connected to the main grid and joining a scheme known as ‘net metering’. This enables you to feed surplus energy into the grid during peak periods, while drawing from it during periods of less sunshine. By using net metering, you will not need to pay an energy supplier even during the fall or winter.

This means you can save on the costs of buying and installing a battery. You will also save space in your home – an important consideration if your home is smaller or lacking in storage space.

Making your decision

The only real decision to make with home solar panels is a financial one. Every other aspect of the project makes sense and has advantages over grid electricity. 

Funding home solar panels can seem like a daunting proposition. But some careful research and sound advice from a local professional can make it achievable for all homeowners. 

Look to protect your investment with a strong manufacturers guarantee. You should also consider taking out an extended warranty or adding your system to your home insurance policy.