Guest post by Jeanie B
Solar energy has been around for many years, but it’s only now becoming more mainstream. As people realize the monetary, political and environmental effects of their reliance on fossil fuels, they’ve begun searching for energy efficient solutions. While many people have begun utilizing alternate fuel for their vehicles, they may be more reluctant to attempt converting their houses to solar power.
Solar energy is undoubtedly an expensive investment to undertake, and it will take a long time for that investment to pay for itself. The good news is that a solar system is a long-term solution that will prevent you from ever needing to rely on traditional power again. For many, this trade-off is well worth it.
The Cost of Establishing a Solar-Powered Home
The greatest cost of establishing a solar-powered home is purchasing the photovoltaic panels themselves. In addition to the panels, which will cost between $4,500 to $12,000, you must also purchase a power inverter, mounting hardware and wiring. Altogether, these purchases will add up to around $19,000 for a large home system. This varies per household size, so make sure you receive multiple solar quotes.
In addition to these expenses, a homeowner must also factor in the cost of installation, permits and fees. The one-time cost of setting up a fully functional solar-powered home is around $25,000, which is certainly not an amount that most people have on hand. Additional costs will also come up intermittently throughout the life of the system, but the costs of maintaining a solar system are generally lower than regular utilities bills.
Is There a Cheaper Alternative?
There are few ways to reduce the cost of running a home on solar power. Tax incentives are certainly a great help to homeowners. Thanks to the Federal Solar Tax Credit, homeowners can get back about 30 percent of their total installation cost. This credit may take up to 16 months to arrive, but it will certainly help reduce the financial impact of installing a photovoltaic system in your home.
Purchasing solar panels isn’t the only option available to homeowners, though, and people who don’t want to deal with their own purchase and installation can save money by using a solar power service. These companies purchase and install the photovoltaic panels for free, then charge the owners a monthly fee for the service. The result is similar to paying a monthly utility bill, but the power’s source will be environmentally cleaner, and the monthly cost will be lower.
Whether you decide to buy your own solar system for your home or rent solar services from another company, investing in clean energy can save you money in the long-term. It’s not instantly affordable, though, and it may not be the best solution for everyone. By looking carefully at your options and budgeting appropriately, you can make the best choice to benefit your household.
About the author: Jeanie Barcus is a writer and a stay at home mom of two rowdy boys. In her spare time, she loves finding new books to read and hiking with her husband in the surrounding areas.