Solar Panels can save you, both in terms of money and the environment around you. But how much exactly?
We’re here to help you understand the effects solar energy can have on your electricity bill as well as everything you need to know about solar panels.
Before we dive into the million-dollar question of how much do solar panels save, let’s go over why you shouldn’t be using traditional electricity.
The power of the sun goes beyond using solar panels to power up our homes.
The heat coming from the sun drives the air and water currents that turn wind turbines and provide power to hydroelectric dams. The rays of the sun also help plants grow and keep us humans healthy and strong.
The sun compared to the earth is enormous, with it being roughly 330 000 times bigger than our planet.
It’s a big flaming ball of fire that has a core of 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, and to put that into perspective, it’s around 60,000 times hotter than your oven.
The energy coming from the sun, whether that’s the heat element or light, is what we refer to as solar energy. The reason for this energy being a renewable one is due to the sun lasting for another 5 billion years.
We harness this energy by using solar panels. This technology directly converts sunlight into usable electricity using the layers found within the solar cells. These layers include glass and silicon.
Another neat way to harness the sun’s energy is using the process of concentrated solar power. This is a method using thousands of mirrors that reflect the rays coming from the sun onto a tower.
The tower heats up and creates steam that flows through a steam turbine to generate electricity.
However, we want to focus on solar panels, a piece of technology that you should invest in.
Advantages of Solar Energy
The sun is available worldwide for everyone to use, making for a renewable source of energy that will never deplete.
Individuals who are making use of solar panels can generate their electricity without having to depend on any utility companies.
And if you were wondering if were wondering to yourself can solar panels eliminate electric bills, having one heavily reduces the monthly cost and the need to fill up on gas.
The process of converting sunlight into usable energy is safe and clean. Using solar panels or concentrated solar power has zero contribution to pollution and is completely green. This process is also extremely quiet and causes zero air or water pollution.
The equipment used to generate solar energy has no moving parts making it low maintenance. They’re also durable as there’s almost no wear-and-tear.
What if we told you that there was a way to harness the sun’s natural energy and use it to power your home? On top of that, you won’t need to worry about paying such a hefty power bill at the end of each month.
The answer to this problem is solar panels of course.
Every day sunlight will stream down onto your solar panels and within these streams are photons.
The solar panels then make use of solar cells containing layers of silicon, glass, and metal to convert the photons into electrons.
The amount of electricity that gets generated is usually dependent on the intensity of the sun.
However, you will be happy to know that even on a cloudy, rainy, or snowy day, your solar panels will still absorb sunlight that will generate usable energy.
Generating Solar Electricity
From there, you now have ready-to-use electricity to power up your home. Solar panels absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into DC electricity and the inverter converts them into AC electricity.
Solar energy allows you to produce more electricity than your home needs.
But not to worry, if you were wondering what happens to unused electricity generated by solar panels, the extra electricity you don’t use goes back to your utility grid.
What this means is that during the night when your solar panels aren’t receiving any sunlight, you will be able to use power from your utility grid.
This means you’ll never have to worry about running out of electricity.
The only maintenance concern that comes with having solar panels is the need to clear debris that might be blocking the PV cells from having direct sunlight.
This rarely occurs however due to solar panels being coated with materials to prevent this as well as being at an angle where debris slides off.
So, if we are talking about solar panels saving you from running out of power, it does its job. But solar panels can save you more than just power.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save
Solar panels can save the planet thanks to using a completely green and renewable source as energy, but they can also save the bank.
Solar panels themselves cost anywhere between $3,000 to $8,000 depending on how many you wish to purchase along with the type and model.
As much as that price looks scary, solar panels are a long-term investment, with the average lifespan being anywhere between 25 and 30 years.
If you were wondering how long it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves, most homeowners here in the US expect it to be anywhere between 9 and 12 years.
Factors such as how much usage you get from your solar panel along with the weather conditions in different states play a part in deciding how long It’ll take to pay off.
Electricity costs also tend to be unpredictable if you aren’t in control of energy generation.
This means that consumers have no choice but to pay the price of whatever amount their utility provider sets.
Solar panels reduce or eliminate electricity bills for the next 30 years, so you won’t need to deal with any power companies wanting you to pay up.
After using all the power, you need, you will find yourself having extra power. This power is sent back to your grid and makes your meter go backward, giving you credit on your bill saving yourself some money.
How to Calculate Your Solar Panel Payback Period
Before we dive into the calculations, you should be familiar with two terms: Payoff Period and Return on Investment (ROI).
A payoff period is the time it takes to pay off the cost of your solar system with the money you would’ve spent on your utility bill. Once this is paid off, you start getting solar panel return on investment.
This means you start profiting from your purchase and serve to make money with solar panels.
To know the length of your payoff period, you will need to know a few pieces of information.
The first is knowing your monthly power usage, allowing us to determine what kind of solar system you will need along with how much you will save on power each year.
For example, if you are paying $175 a month, your annual energy savings will be $2,100.
Tax credits and rebates will save you money should you choose to go solar. For example, 30% of your total solar system installation cost will be deducted from your income tax bill at the end of the year.
Another piece of information is the gross cost which is the sum cost of all the expenses associated with installing your solar system.
This includes the solar panels themselves, new equipment, wiring, electrician costs, and much more.
So now that you know these pieces of information, here’s how you can determine an accurate payback timeline. It’s a simple equation that won’t take you more than a few button clicks on a calculator.
You then take the gross cost, subtract the total savings from it, and you will have your total gross cost. Once you have that, you take your annual energy savings and divide it by your net cost.
What you are left with is the number of years before your solar system is paid off and starts paying you.
As simple as this sounds, there are a few things to consider before jumping in and purchasing a solar panel.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Solar Panel
You want to ensure that the company you are buying your solar panels from is trustworthy and reliable. There’s no better place to look than Shop Solar Kits, a company specializing in off-grid ways of living through solar technology.
They offer a wide range of solar-powered generators and solar panel kits that will see to all your solar-powered needs.
All their products come with 2-year warranties and free shipping depending on which state you’re residing in.
The next factor is location. You will be surprised to know that the weather plays a small factor in determining the performance of a solar panel.
On cloudy or rainy days, your solar panel can still generate power but the rate at which it's being generated isn’t as strong as if it were sunny. But that’s not to say that solar panels don’t work in bad weather.
Location is more based on your state as each state will charge you different electricity costs and this will determine your payoff period.
Another factor is the shape of your roof if you are wanting to install solar panels on it.
If you have a roof with limited usable space or tons of shade caused by trees, you will want to invest in a smaller solar system that uses high-efficiency panels to maximize solar production.
The next factor is your annual energy usage. Since summer is when the sun is beaming down on us, that’s the season associated with the highest electric bill due to people using air conditioners and large fans.
Summer is also the perfect time for solar panels to thrive as it’s the most abundant sunshine you can get throughout the year.
Before you can find out what size solar system you need, you will need to find out the average energy consumption in your home.
This is measured in kilowatt-hours and will help you determine the number of solar panels that your house will need. This measurement is found on your utility bill.
The final factor is of course the price. Depending on what type of panels you select, the size of the system overall, and the inverter technology, paying upfront will be your best bet.
However, not everyone has $10,000 in cash on standby. Many companies offer a multitude of financing options to help you get settled with your brand-new solar system.
Taking all these factors into consideration will help you in deciding whether you can purchase a solar panel and have it installed on your home.
The Problem with Traditional Electricity
Traditional electricity or gas from the station is produced from the burning of fossil fuels, which is extremely harmful to our environment.
It causes issues such as air pollution and can worsen the effects of climate change, a global problem that we need to solve.
Fossil fuels are formed when people take ancient, natural remains and burn them to produce energy.
Contained in these fuels are large amounts of carbon dioxide due to the time they come from.
As much as we can use fossil fuels to power up devices, bring lights to our homes, and fuel our cars, it does that at the expense of the environment.
Since fossil fuels contain so much carbon dioxide, burning them leads to the carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere, raising the Earth’s average temperature.
This is also known as global warming, one of the Earth’s biggest issues and a direct cause of climate change.
Causing the Earth to heat up can lead to serious droughts, dangerous wildfires, the extinction of species, and the melting of icy glaciers causing sea levels to rise.
Not only is the use of traditional electricity damaging to our environment, but what do you do once you run out of gas? You need to run to the gas station and purchase some more.
This is going to be a cycle of needing to fill up on gas, leading to your wallet depleting in funds.
Not to mention that these resources are non-renewable, meaning that one of these days, there won’t be any more of these resources.
If we keep using non-renewable resources at the rate we are now, we will find ourselves without gas or oil in the next 50 years.
So instead of making use of this harmful energy, why not opt for solar energy?
It’s safe to say that solar panels do more than just save the environment. They save our wallets in the long run and allow us to profit off a natural resource.
Setting up a solar panel system can be scary at first with all the initial fees, but we promise you that investing in a solar system will ensure that you never run out of power and that you don’t end up paying a ridiculous power bill at the end of the month.
Be wise. Go solar.
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- How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel Produce
- Solar Panels for Home
- How Many Solar Panels to Run a House off Grid
- Types of Solar Panels
- Solar Panel Maintenance
- Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days
- Can Solar Panels Work with Artificial Light
- Installing Solar Panels on Roof
- How Many Solar Panels Can I Fit on My Roof?
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- Solar Panel Cost