While a number of solar companies in the U.S. have gone out of business, the experts say that this is not a reason for consumers to think that solar energy isn’t worth it. Solar panel installation is increasing like never before, and you could save a considerable amount on your heating and cooling bill.
In 2012, the United States solar industry had the second best quarter ever, and was projected to install as many solar power in that year as the decade before 2010, according to the Solar Energy Industries. 2012 was also the year that 772 megawatts of solar electric capacity was installed in the second quarter of the year. This was a 125% increase in installations compared to the same time of year in 2011. In the past few years, more and more homeowners are opting for solar panel installation as well.
More About Solar Energy In the U.S.
A spokeswoman for the Solar Energy Industries Association, an organization that represents 1,100 companies who are focused on increasing the U.S. market, stated that there are around 5,600 companies in the United States. Most of these companies are small businesses in all of the 50 states and provide solar systems to preserve the environment and save on company costs.
The Solar Energy Industries Association also reports that the average price in the second quarter of the year for buying solar panels was around $32,400 for a solar power system that is of average size. Water heating systems that use solar energy cost between $4,000 and $10,000, depending on the size of the building and the technology choices available.
Certain states, such as Arizona, Colorado and California, also offer third-party financing programs. These accounted for over 70 percent of the total installations in 2012. In 2017, most people who own homes are paying between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt for solar installation. The average cost of solar panels before tax credits is over $16,000. This means that solar panels will cost anywhere from $10,045 to $13,475 after tax credits. This is nine percent lower than 2016, which is further proof that the solar energy industry is indeed booming.
There are also some states that offer cash back programs for solar installation at a home or business. The rebates will vary based on the area of the country where the installation takes place, as well as the size of the solar system. Cash back can also be based on the solar power system performance over a five-year period, or a fixed dollar per kilowatt hour basis. For homes, this could be between 3 and 30 cents per kilowatt hour.
Solar Energy for Homeowners
If you want to install a solar panel system in your home, here are five important things to keep in mind.
-If you get five or more hours of uninterrupted sunlight on your roof every day and high electricity rates, you’re probably a great candidate for solar power installation.
-There are two solar options for consumers. They are solar PV, also known as photovoltaic, and solar water heating. Solar water heating is a common choice if you want to heat your pool, and you may get a payback in the next five years or so. According to Consumer Reports, chances are that you’ll save no more than 32 percent over electric heaters, no matter what solar option you choose.
-It’s important to request a proposal from three or more contractors before deciding which company will install your solar panels. Check for references as well, and get recommendations if you can.
-If you decided to lease a solar panel system instead of paying for permanent panels, you may end up breaking even on the first day you use the solar panels if you don’t have to pay upfront installation costs. Just keep in mind that you may be obligated to the lease contract for a decade or more.
-Finally, if you think you’re going to sell your home, there may be parts of your solar energy contract that will allow you to transfer the lease to the home’s new owners, or to buy out the system you were using.