Is solar worth it?
Benefits of going solar versus costs
This blog attempts to provide an analysis of some things you might want to know in order to answer the question: Is solar worth it? In many cases, to be able to answer this question, it may require that you determine the benefits of going solar versus costs.
With regards to solar energy, there are various benefits which come at a cost. Hence, we can simply answer this question by knowing the solar benefits versus its costs. With the emergence of online solar tools, you probably don’t need an intensive research to determine the costs or knowing whether solar is right for you or not.
Emergence of online solar tools
Online solar tools like the EnergySage have simplified this process and can help you determine your specific solar potential by just inputing very limited data such as your average monthly electricity bill and your address. Once you provide such details, they have an inbuilt solar panel cost calculator in their platform that does the calculations for you in terms of solar costs, financing and projected savings for up to 20 years.
1. Solar energy will help you to reduce your energy bill. However, this might not be the case for you because it is based on your current electricity tariffs and how many solar panels you need to install.
Hence, if you are able to offset a lot of your current electricity from the grid at a cheaper solar tariff using solar power, then perhaps you can achieve a significant amount of savings.
Using online solar tools and inputting your current address and current electricity bill, will help you quantify these savings and provide you with a specific estimate about the percentage of your bill that can be reduced with going solar. You can sign up and try it here.
2. Another benefit is reducing your carbon footprint, which depends on the size of the solar PV system that you install. Solar panels reduce greenhouse gas emissions because they do not emit or burn any type of fuel, but run on solar energy that is free fuel and doesn’t emit any carbon emissions.
For environmentally conscious people, this is a plus and makes them feel good that you are actually using a clean source of energy that will help to mitigate climate change and help to protect or sustain the environment for current and future generations.
3. Depending on what financing model you use to purchase your solar panels; going solar will help to save you a good amount of money in the long-term.
However, savings are site specific depending on your geographical location and the policy and regulatory framework of your country or state. In most cases, if you have a rooftop that receives a good amount of sunshine; you will have some type of savings in the long-term.
This depends on the payback period or the number of years your solar panels pay for themselves; but once this happens everything else depends on your current electricity tariffs and how much money you are saving.
If you took a loan or paid cash for your solar panels; this will affect how much money you can recoup from your solar investment.
Some case studies that we have checked show people saving anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 in a period of 20 years. To get your specific estimates, please refer to this online solar tool to see how much you can save in 20 or 25 years if you go solar.
Is solar worth it? Going solar has its downside. What is it?
1. There is no sunshine at night and because of this, it means your solar panels will not be able to generate any electricity and that calls for you to think about what to do.
In that case, some states or countries encourages a concept called “net-metering” which allows you to have a bi-directional meter and your PV system is connected to the utility grid.
With this arrangement, you can feed any excess solar power that is usually generated during the day (when there is a significant amount of sunshine) and consume it at night when your PV system is not generating any solar power.
At the end of the day, your savings result when you subtract how much you feed into the grid from the amount of kilowatt-hours consumed from the grid.
As such, the utility company sends you in most cases a credit if you have a surplus. However, in some places the net-metering concept may not exist and that calls for you to buy battery banks to store excess solar electricity generated during the day and use it at night.
2. Depending on your location, solar power may not meet all your electricity needs meaning you may need to supplement it with grid power. However, these depends on the amount of sunshine your site location/rooftop is able to receive and how many solar panels you need.
That means, if you have a high-energy requirement to meet, you also require many solar panels to meet demand. For instance, if your house has an energy requirement of 10 kW you will need a 10 kW PV system to meet this demand.
Before deciding to go solar, your solar provider will also provide you with grid interconnection requirements, including, but not limited to licensing and regulations concerning grid interconnection while Fire departments will have building accessibility requirements, particularly for roof-mounted systems.
Some jurisdictions formally specify these standards and will confirm that the system meets the requirements during the permitting phase and final approval process. In the states that do not have such requirements, it is important for the government agency and the system owner to gain fire department approval early in the process.
To find out your specific situation, you can sign up with EnergySage or Pick My Solar to get connected to pre-screened solar installers in your local area that can provide you with additional information about your specific solar PV system.
So, is solar worth it? the answer to the question is site specific as it is dependent on your geographical location, regulatory framework, financing options and how much you want to spend on solar panels or your PV system.
A bigger PV system can offset most of your electricity needs and vice-versa. Therefore, solar is worth it depending on these factors while online solar tools are helpful when it comes to answering these specific questions.
Learn more today from EnergySage or Pick My Solar to answer any specific questions you may have. Learn how you can compare and contrast different solar quotes from different solar installers in your local area from either EnergySage or Pick My Solar.