Residential Solar Energy Guide for Homeowners – Benefits, Calculations, Peculiarities
Residential solar energy is a growing market across the US and especially in states like California that benefit from many hours of sunlight throughout the year. The cost of solar power systems and their installation is also coming down on an almost yearly basis, making the technology an affordable way to reduce annual utility bills and help the environment.
In this guide, we will take a comprehensive look at residential solar panel installations, focusing on the primary benefits, the costs involved, and anything else that we think you should know.
The benefits of residential solar systems
It is common knowledge that solar panels are a great way of producing renewable, sustainable, and regular energy, but it is less known that the cost of installing residential solar systems is becoming more affordable by the year.
As energy prices continue to rise, now is a great time to invest in renewable energy technology that can help power your home all year round, reducing reliance on energy companies and creating a more sustainable way of living. At the time of writing, there are well over a million residential solar panel installations across the USA, with this number growing exponentially.
Let’s look at the main benefits of installing solar panels on your home.
- Financial Savings
As a long-term investment, solar panels offer a fantastic return and usually generate a profit over a number of years as they can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills. Not only that, but government incentives can provide additional income, purchasing the solar energy that you do not use.
The scale of the savings you could make depends on factors such as:
- The size of the solar system you install
- The amount of electricity you consume
- The local rates of your electricity supply
- Whether the system is purchased outright or is leased
- The system’s daily exposure to sunlight
- Whether government incentives are applicable
Ideally, a solar panel system would be south-facing, on a large roof that is conveniently angled. However, homes that do not have these ideal specifications can still achieve impressive savings with a solar energy system.
As a low-risk investment, this type of system can achieve savings for anyone that is looking for ways to reduce their annual electricity bill.
- Solar panel systems add value to your home
As well as reducing energy costs, solar panels can also add value to your home in a similar fashion to adding an extra bathroom or renovating your kitchen, as reports show that potential buyers are willing to pay more for a home that can generate its own solar power.
One study shows that a solar installation can add as much as $15,000 to the value of a property.
The amount of value solar panels can add to a home of course depends on the size of the system and the amount of energy it can produce, combined with other factors like the local electricity rates in the area. However, regardless of the size of the project, a new system will almost certainly increase the value of your home.
- Solar panels can produce energy even in low sunlight.
Despite common belief, solar panels can still effectively produce electricity in low sunlight and despite cloud cover, although more sunlight obviously equals more energy.
Fortunately, California is exposed to excellent levels of sunlight and is one of the best parts of the country for taking advantage of solar technology.
But, even in states like Alaska, homeowners can benefit from cost savings from their solar panel system thanks to ongoing development – this shows the huge potential of solar power systems, regardless of their location.
- Help protect the environment
Carbon emissions are significantly reduced for each kilowatt-hour of electricity that is produced by a solar panel system, making the technology one of the most effective methods of working towards a more eco-friendly home.
Emissions such as CO2, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and other particles are harmful to the atmosphere and help to accelerate climate change.
How much energy can a residential solar power system produce?
The majority of solar panels that are installed in the US today have a power rating of between 300 watts and 370 watts – the higher the wattage, the more electricity that can be generated.
On average, a 370W solar panel, for example, can produce between 1.4KWh and 1.9KWh of power each day – and that single panel is enough to power lights and small appliances. Generating up to 2KWh can help save around $0.36 in electricity costs on average, each day.
And remember, this is only one solar panel, so installing a full solar panel system (usually a dozen panels or more) can result in significant financial savings over the course of a year – using the above figures that can add up to around $130 a month!
Speak to a local solar installer to find out how much your household can save with a solar energy system.
How much does a residential solar installation cost on average in the US?
Solar panels can come in a range of types, models, and sizes and because of this, the price can vary considerably. According to a study by Forbes, a 6KW solar panel system, not including installation can cost between $5,400 and $9,000.
This can be broken down based on the three most popular types of solar panels.
Thin-Film Solar Panels – A 6KW solar power system could cost between $6,000 – $9,000.
These panels, although affordable, often require a large amount of space and are most commonly used for industrial-sized buildings.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels – A 6KW solar power system could cost between $5,400 – $6,000. This type of solar panel is generally the most affordable option on the market.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels – A 6KW solar power system could cost between $6,000 – $9,000. However, this type of solar panel is considered to be the most energy-efficient and offers the best overall return on investment.
According to the report, solar panel installation costs in the US can range between $15,000 – $25,000.
Residential solar power systems – a quick summary
Here is a brief summary of our findings, outlining the key benefits of solar power systems.
- Solar panels can offer great financial savings, although this is dependent on numerous factors, including the size of the system and its location.
- A 370W solar panel can generate between 1.4KWh – 1.9KWh of electricity on average, every day – this equates to an energy cost saving of $0.36.
- A solar power system is an effective way of improving the value of your home.
- Solar panels can still generate ample amounts of electricity in areas that receive below-average levels of sunlight.
- Solar power can help protect the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of your household.
- A 6KW solar energy system can cost between $5,400 – $9,000, on average in the US.
Where to find residential solar companies near me
SOD Home Group has provided solar installation services across California since 2008, working on both small and large-scale projects that suit a range of budgets. As experienced and professional solar installers we can answer any queries you may have and provide accurate quotes for a custom-built solar system – speak to us today.