Solar Panels for a Sustainable Home: Should You Make the Move?

Did you know that in the first half of 2023, 45% of the capacity added to the U.S. electrical grid was from solar panels? The push towards sustainable living has prompted many homeowners to explore alternative energy sources, with solar power emerging as a leading contender. 

Converting to solar energy can bring numerous benefits, ranging from substantial energy savings to a positive environmental impact and even increased property values. However, it’s essential to recognize that while solar energy is an appealing option for many, it might not be the right fit for every home. Is investing in solar panels the right choice for your home? Let’s find out.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles with reliable general contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about upgrading to solar. If you want to make sure that your home improvement dreams become a reality, keep reading!

 

garage in suburban orange county home with solar panels

The potential for significant energy and environmental savings

Solar panels allow homeowners to reduce their reliance on traditional utility grids, which, over time, can lead to lower electricity bills, providing a tangible return on the investment.

Beyond the economic benefits, converting to solar energy contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions. As solar power generates clean, renewable energy without emitting greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally friendly choice and a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Increasing the value of your property

Solar costs are projected to decrease in 2024, making panels a more attractive way to increase the resale value of a home. Once installed, solar panels have minimal operating costs, as they require little maintenance. The reduced dependence on traditional utility grids can be very attractive to potential buyers.

solar panels

The cons of solar

Solar power generation depends on sunlight, making it less efficient during cloudy days or at night. Battery storage solutions can mitigate this issue to some extent. Still, some homeowners may find batteries and even the solar panels themselves less aesthetically pleasing (always check that your neighborhood or homeowners’ association has no restrictions on solar installation).

The initial cost of installing solar panels is also a significant factor that often concerns homeowners. However, it’s crucial to consider the long-term savings and potential return on investment. Many governments offer financial incentives, tax credits, and rebates to encourage solar energy adoption, helping offset the initial expenses.

solar panels

The potential savings from installing solar panels

Whether you are thinking of buying solar panels as a solo venture or part of a larger remodeling project, it’s important to understand the payoff. The cost of installing the panels varies based on things like the size of the system, location, and specific technology used. On average, the initial cost can range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more, but various financial incentives or tax and government rebates can help offset these costs.

The energy production capacity of a solar power system is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A residential solar panel system can produce about 10 to 12 kWh per square foot per year, depending on factors like sunlight exposure and climate.

As a result, homeowners typically recoup their initial investment in solar panels within six to 10 years. Solar panels usually last around 25 to 30 years, during which they generally maintain their efficiency. This means that once the initial investment is paid off, homeowners can potentially enjoy more than 16 years of savings on utility bills.

The benefits of solar panels are not one-size-fits-all

It’s important to recognize that certain homes stand to gain more from this renewable energy source than others. Here are some key factors to consider when determining which homes benefit the most from solar panels:

Solar Panels Energy Efficiency Los Angeles

Location and electricity rates

Homes in states with higher electricity rates benefit most from solar panels. For example, if you reside in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or California, where electricity costs are relatively high, the potential savings from a solar system would be more significant compared to homes in states like Oregon, North Carolina, or Louisiana with lower electricity rates.

Clear view of the Southern sky

Solar panels require an unobstructed view of the Southern sky to perform optimally. Your solar output will be more efficient if your house has a clear view without tall buildings or trees blocking sunlight.

Size of the system

The size of your home and, consequently, the size of the solar system you need will impact the overall cost. Larger houses require more solar panels, potentially increasing the upfront investment. However, this also means more significant potential savings over time.

Ownership vs. lease

Homeowners who purchase their solar system often benefit from tax incentives, as they own the system. On the other hand, if you lease your system, you may have a lower upfront cost, but you won’t be eligible for specific tax incentives. Deciding whether to buy or lease depends on your financial situation and long-term goals.

Frequency of power outages

Investing in a battery backup system becomes crucial if your area experiences frequent power outages due to storms or inclement weather. While this adds to the overall expense, it ensures you can store energy during extended downtime, providing continuous power.

Reduce ADU Costs Go Solar

Find the right person to install your solar

Incorporating solar panels into your home can serve a dual purpose: contributing to environmental well-being and potentially generating income by selling excess energy back to the grid. There has been a decrease in the costs associated with solar panel installation over the past decade, but maintenance expenses can still create a considerable cost. Your financial situation will likely determine if solar panels are for you!

If you decide to go ahead with it and need a contractor to install your solar panels, Great Buildz can help. We connect you with contractors that fit your needs and budget with one call, all of whom have passed a rigorous screening process. We’re also here to support you throughout the process to make sure everything runs smoothly. Learn more about how we can help you today!

Looking to skip the long process of finding and vetting a contractor? GreatBuildz can do all of the hard work for you. Just reach out to us to be matched with one of our trusted, pre-vetted solar contractors in the Los Angeles area. Contact GreatBuildz today at 818.317.3567 or visit our website for more information.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.
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