Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

The standard solar company sales pitch promises savings of thousands of dollars on going solar. The solar salesmen make it sound easy, but while you make any smart long-term investment it pays to consider the details. There are a few major factors to consider before you buy into the hype. You should look at the facts to determine whether the answer to your question:” Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?” is a Yes or a No.

Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment
Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

The facts : “Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment”

There are quite a few solar options available in the market, but before you begin your exploration ; start with these questions to determine if Solar panels are worth the investment:

Understanding your electric bill?

Your current electricity bill is the most important factor in determining how much you’ll save by going solar. You pay your utility company for electricity; they charge you for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you use. Your electric rate depends on which state you live in and which  utility provider you have in that state. In some states, you can pay as little as 8 cents per kWh;  while in others, you’ll pay 30 cents or more. Here is a map showing average electric rates across the country. This shows average rates in the different states; your actual rate might differ. Therefore, the best way to find out how much you actually pay is by looking at your utility bill. Here is a detailed article which will help you understanding your electric bill.

Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment
Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment – utility rates

 

Once you know how much you are paying for your electricity, you can evaluate your solar options with confidence. You can learn of the different varieties of solar programs in this article. One of the most popular solar programs is the solar lease or solar PPA. These programs effectively replace your utility company electric bills with solar electric bills. Once you go solar, your utility electric bills go down to almost zero and you pay the solar electric company for electricity at the new lower rate.

For e.g.: if you are paying 18 cents per kWh for utility electricity and your solar company promises you 10 cents per kWh for solar electricity, the savings are immediate and easy to calculate. You save 8 cents for each kWh of usage.

Lets look at the example on the left. Your electric utility charges 18 cents per kWh and your usage of 910 kWh per month results in an electric bill of $163 per month before solar. Post solar the electric bill from the utility company goes down to $5 per month. You have a new solar bill of $91 for the same energy (910 kWh @ 1o cents = $91); you  save $67 per month or $807  in electric savings over the year. This article will also give you more information to evaluate more questions such as : Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment?

Solar Panel Output Calculator

A solar system is effectively a mini electric power plant installed on your roof or in the yard.  This mini power plant will produce electricity and replace your utility company as your primary source of electricity.  You don’t get disconnected from the utility i.e you don’t go off grid when you install a home solar system, you just stop drawing power from the grid.  The grid acts as your backup to absorb any excess power your solar system produces or to provide power if there is a shortfall in production. As long as your solar system produces more power than your usage, you end up with a utility electric bill of $10 or less per month.

As a homeowner you replace the high electricity rates from the utility and save by switching to solar electricity. It is very important to know how much power your solar system will produce. Here is a solar panel output calculator which will help you assess the amount of power your solar system will produce.

Conclusion : “Are Solar Panels Worth the Investment”

The answer to the question ” are solar panels worth the investment?” is a YES if your answers to the following questions are all Yes.

a.  The difference between the rate for solar electricity and your utility is 4 cents or higher. The higher the difference, the higher the savings. If the difference is less than 4 cents your savings may not be enough to  add up significantly over time.

b.  You have enough roof area or yard with direct access to sunlight for 6 or more hours every day. If you have trees which cast shadow on your roof for more than a couple of hours a day, your solar panels will not produce enough power.

c.  Will your solar system produce enough electricity to offset 75% or more of your annual electric usage. It your panels produce less than 75% of power, you are not likely to save enough to make your solar panels worth the investment.

If you answered No to any of the above questions,  it is highly likely that the answer to the question “Are Solar panels worth the investment?” is No for you.  If you don’t like that answer, I would advise you to consult a solar professional before pulling the trigger on a solar system. You might end up not saving enough.

There is a lot more you can do with solar. Check out the these articles . Thank you for visiting mysolarhome.us.

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Solar CalculatorsSolar Calculators

Finally here is a selection of the best solar panel kits from the world’s largest marketplace :

SaleBestseller No. 1
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM Negative ground Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors +Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat
901 Reviews
$196.99 - $27.00 $169.99
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ 100W Solar Panel + 30A PWM Negative ground Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors +Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat

  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy's new 30A PWM NegativeGround Charge Controller the Renogy Wanderer
  • With the Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM Charge Controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
  • The kit now includes an 8ft 10AWG Tray Cable to connect your charge controller and battery
  • Ideal output: 500Wh per day; can fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight)
  • Negative grounding controller with battery reversed, overloading, short-circuit and over charging /discharging protection ensures the broader off grid applications and safety. Especially can be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis
Bestseller No. 2
Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer
244 Reviews
$339.99
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer

  • Negative grounding controller with battery reversed, overloading, short-circuit and over charging /discharging protection ensures the broader off grid applications and safety. Especially can be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis
  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy' s new 30A PWM Negative-Ground Charge Controller - the Renogy Wanderer
  • With the Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM Charge Controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
  • Ideal output: 1000Wh per day; can fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in 1.5 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight)
  • The kit now includes an 8ft 10AWG Tray Cable to connect your charge controller and battery
SaleBestseller No. 3
ECO-WORTHY 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit: 20 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel & Battery Clips & 3A Charge Controller
231 Reviews
$65.99 - $6.00 $59.99
Buy at Amazon
ECO-WORTHY 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit: 20 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel & Battery Clips & 3A Charge Controller

  • Can be applied to varies DC appliance, Ideal for everyday use
  • High efficiency solar cells, small in size and easy to take
  • Water-proof solar panel with long lasting aluminum frame provides over 20 years lifespan
  • 3A 12V/24V PWM charge controller, overcharge and over discharge protection for the battery.
  • Package includes: 1pcs 20w poly solar panel with 1m cable solar panel & 1pcs 3A 12V/24V solar charge controller & 2m extension cable with battery clips
SaleBestseller No. 4
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer
74 Reviews
$679.99 - $65.00 $614.99
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer

  • With the Renogy Wanderer 30A PWM Charge Controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W
  • Ideal output: 2000Wh per day; can fully charge a 200Ah battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight)
  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy' s new 30A PWM Negative-Ground Charge Controller - the Renogy Wanderer
  • Negative grounding controller with battery reversed, overloading, short-circuit and over charging /discharging protection ensures the broader off grid applications and safety. Especially can be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis
  • The kit now includes an 8ft 10AWG Tray Cable to connect your charge controller and battery.
Bestseller No. 5
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel Bundle Kit with 30A Negative ground Charge Controller+9in MC4 Adaptor Kit
502 Reviews
$169.99
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel Bundle Kit with 30A Negative ground Charge Controller+9in MC4 Adaptor Kit

  • Authorized UL 1703 photovoltaic modules and panels. EL tested solar modules; no hotspot heating guaranteed.
  • Withstand strong wind (2400Pa)/heavy snow (5400Pa), Excellent performance in low light environments.
  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy's new 30A PWM negative ground charge controller - the Renogy Wanderer.
  • Negative grounding controller ensures the broader off grid applications and safety, especially to be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis.
  • The system can be extended up to 400watt in parallel connection.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase with Voyager Waterproof Charge Controller
453 Reviews
$293.99 - $74.00 from $219.99
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Portable Solar Suitcase with Voyager Waterproof Charge Controller

  • Adjustable, corrosion-resistant aluminum stand as well as a heavy duty handle and latches for longevity. Folded size: 19.9 x 27.2 x 2.8 inches. Ideal output: 500 watt hours per day (depends on sunlight availability).
  • Compatible with gel, sealed, lithium, and flooded batteries. Charge controller with LCD display for displaying operating information and data.
  • 20A built-in 5-stage solar charge controller provides overcharge protection, reducing fire risk.
  • Negative-ground charge controller for compatibility with your RV, boat, trailer, etc.
  • The low-voltage system avoids electric shock hazards.
Bestseller No. 7
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit
5 Reviews
$566.73
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit

  • Four Renogy 100 Watt monocrystalline grade A high efficiency solar panels.
  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy's new 30A PWM negative ground charge controller the-Renogy Wanderer.
  • One 9In MC4 connector adaptor kit with MC4 male and female connectors
  • Three pairs of branch connector included for parallel connection to maintain 12volts.
  • Fully self powered offgrid systems
Bestseller No. 8
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit with LCD PWM Charge Controller + Solar Cable + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Brackets
124 Reviews
$173.99
Buy at Amazon
WindyNation 100 Watt Solar Panel Off-Grid RV Boat Kit with LCD PWM Charge Controller + Solar Cable + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Brackets

  • The kit includes: (1) 100 Watt WindyNation Solar Panel, 30-Amp (user adjustable) WindyNation P30L LCD Display Solar Charge Controller with Battery Temperature Sensor, 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, solar panel mounting hardware and Installation Manual.
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • Kit will provide on average 350 Watt Hours (Wh) or 33 Amp hours of charge per day (depends on sunlight availability). Add more solar panels in the future! The included charge controller can handle up to 4pcs 100W solar panels (12 volt system) and 8pcs 100W solar panels (24 volt system)
  • 100 Watt solar charging kit provides up to 100 watts of clean, free, renewable power
  • PWM Solar Charge Controller has user adjustable settings! LCD Screen shows system amperage, voltage, amp-hours, temperature and DC load draw. See Image in photo gallery for all LCD Screen readouts.
SaleBestseller No. 9
HQST 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel Off-Grid RV and Boat Kit with 30A PWM LCD Display Charge Controller + Adaptor Cables + Mounting Brackets
53 Reviews
$204.99 - $55.00 from $149.99
Buy at Amazon
HQST 100 Watts 12 Volts Polycrystalline Solar Panel Off-Grid RV and Boat Kit with 30A PWM LCD Display Charge Controller + Adaptor Cables + Mounting Brackets

  • Designed specifically for customers new to solar. Easy and convenient to install with pre-drilled holes on panels and Z brackets for fast mounting and securing.
  • Used in various off-grid applications that include 12 and 24 volts arrays, water pumping systems, signaling systems and other off-grid applications. Great for off-grid applications, such as RVs, trailers, boats, sheds, and cabins.
  • Provides many benefits, including quiet power production and grid independence. Ideal output: 500Wh per day (depending on the availability of sunlight); can fully charge a 50Ah battery from 50% in 3 hours (depending on the availability of sunlight).
  • Comes with a 100W 12V polycrystalline solar panel, a 30A PWM LCD charge controller, a pair of 20 ft 12 AWG daptor cables, a set of Z-brackets, and all necessary mounting hardware. With the 30A PWM charge controller, you can expand your system up to a maximum of 400W.
  • Warranty: Panels, 5 years material and workmanship warranty and 25 years power output warranty; Accessories, 1 year material & workmanship warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 10
Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit w/ 100w Solar Panel,30A Charge Controller,9in MC4 Adaptor Kit,A pair of Branch Connectors
182 Reviews
$324.99 - $25.52 $299.47
Buy at Amazon
Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit w/ 100w Solar Panel,30A Charge Controller,9in MC4 Adaptor Kit,A pair of Branch Connectors

  • Two Renogy 100-Watt monocrystalline solar panels can be connected in parallel by a pair of branch connectors.
  • The charge controller has been upgraded to Renogy' s new 30A PWM Negative Ground Charge Controller -- the Renogy Wanderer.
  • The system can be extended up to 400-watt in parallel connection. 4-Stage battery charging process for a rapid, efficient, and safe battery charging
  • Negative grounding controller ensures the broader off grid applications and safety, especially to be used on a vehicle which has battery negative on the chassis.
  • 25-year transferable power output warranty on panels and 1-year warranty on rest of the kit components

Last update on 2018-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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