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.

Solar Panel Kits for RV and CampingSolar Panel KitsHome Solar SystemsHome Solar SystemsNew Solar Panel TechnologySolar Panel Technology
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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
861 Reviews
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
Royalsell Solar Fountain Pump, Free Standing 1.4W Bird Bath Fountain Pump for Garden and Patio, Solar Panel Kit Water Pump (Black)
11 Reviews
Royalsell Solar Fountain Pump, Free Standing 1.4W Bird Bath Fountain Pump for Garden and Patio, Solar Panel Kit Water Pump (Black)
  • 【No Charger Needed】 Powered by solar energy, 100% safe and environment friendly.
  • 【Floating Design】 Just put the fountain pump on the water, then just wait it turn on and work automatically.
  • 【Quick Start-up】 If the solar panel get enough energy, it will start in 3 seconds.
  • 【4 Different Outlet Covers】 Aim to create various water splashing types and save water.
  • 【Detachable Water Pump】 Easy to remove and clean regularly to extend the using life.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer
222 Reviews
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. 4
Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Starter Kit
84 Reviews
Renogy 50 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Starter Kit
  • One Renogy 50 Watt polycrystalline solar panel.
  • One 10Amp PWM charge controller; uniquely designed Z brackets for mounting.
  • One pair of 20Ft MC4 connector adaptor kit with MC4 male and female connectors.
  • Added tray cable for connection between charge controller and battery.
  • 25-year transferable power output warranty; 5-year material and workmanship warranty.
SaleBestseller No. 5
ECO-WORTHY 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit: 20 Watt Polycrystalline Solar Panel & Battery Clips & 3A Charge Controller
199 Reviews
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
Bestseller No. 6
Solar Fountain Pump,  Standing Bird Bath Fountain Pump for Garden and Patio, Solar Panel Kit Water Pump
12 Reviews
Solar Fountain Pump, Standing Bird Bath Fountain Pump for Garden and Patio, Solar Panel Kit Water Pump
  • Eco-friendly: Solar-powered decorative fountain makes it on all the time without having to flip a switch. It's good for the environment using renewable source of energy.
  • Longevity and simplicity: The fountain come with high quality and durable feature. It use highly efficient solar panel and new brushless pump. Easy to assemble and clean.
  • Product Advantage: This fountain can aerate the pool to increase the pH of water and keep water circulating to improve pond and fish life.
  • Versatile and Compact: The fountain is suitable for bird bath, fish tank, small pond, garden decoration, water circulation for oxygen, etc.
  • Easy to use. Just place the solar panel in the water and as soon as the sunlight hits it, the fountain will automatically work.
SaleBestseller No. 7
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
50 Reviews
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. 8
Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit
6 Reviews
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
SaleBestseller No. 9
MADETEC Solar Fountain Pump with Battery Backup,1.5W Upgraded Submersible Solar Water Fountain Panel Kit for Bird Bath,Small Pond,Garden and Lawn
6 Reviews
MADETEC Solar Fountain Pump with Battery Backup,1.5W Upgraded Submersible Solar Water Fountain Panel Kit for Bird Bath,Small Pond,Garden and Lawn
  • Build-in battery solar water pump&Detachable washable water pump: works in cloudy or when sunlight becoming weak.
  • Built-in water level monitoring system: when the basin is out of water, it can automatically stop working.
  • Four different spray heads: The package contains four different spray heads, every spray head has a different spray. You can easily change the spray head.
  • Applicable for Various Occasions: Solar fountain for bird bath, fish tank, small pond, garden decoration, water circulation for oxygen.
  • Notice:If the pump runs out of power, fountain may not work immediately. Please put the pump exposed in sunlight about 30 min.
Bestseller No. 10
WINDYNATION Complete Solar 100 Watt Panel Kit: 100W Solar Panel + 20A LCD Display PWM Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Z Brackets for 12V Battery off grid, RV, Boat
58 Reviews
WINDYNATION Complete Solar 100 Watt Panel Kit: 100W Solar Panel + 20A LCD Display PWM Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors + Mounting Z Brackets for 12V Battery off grid, RV, Boat
  • 100 Watt solar charging kit provides up to 100 watts of clean, free, renewable power
  • Designed for RVs, cabins, homes, boats, back-up and remote power use
  • PWM Solar Charge Controller has user adjustable settings! LCD Screen shows, voltage, solar panel status, battery state of charge, and DC load draw. See Image in photo gallery for all LCD Screen readouts. Compatible with lead acid, AGM, gel, and lithium batteries.
  • Kit will provide on average 300 Watt Hours (Wh) or 25 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 3pcs 100W solar panels (12 volt system) and 6pcs 100W solar panels (24 volt system)
  • Complete kit includes: (1) 100 Watt Polycrystalline WindyNation Solar Panel, 20-Amp (user adjustable) WindyNation LCD Display Solar Charge Controller, 40 feet of UL Listed 12 AWG Solar Cable, all necessary MC4 Connectors, all necessary mounting hardware and Installation Manual.

Last update on 2018-04-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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