A kitchen or bathroom renovation can yield exciting results but energy efficiency improvements aren’t nearly as fun but can have a large payoff. One of the most popular improvements in Florida is solar panel installation. Living in the Sunshine State, it seems pretty obvious to take advantage of the bright sun to alleviate your utility bills. But not all homes or lifestyles are candidates for solar panels. Are solar panels right for your home?
Consider the Cost
The cost of the solar panel system is based on the amount of wattage you will need, which depends on the size of your home and your needs. The average size of a solar system in 5kW (5,000 watts) and costs $12,500.00. This price reflects federal and state tax credits. If paying for the system in cash isn’t an option, financing options are available from the installer, your local bank, or mortgage company. If you choose to finance, you should review your budget to ensure that you can include the monthly payment.
Consider the System
There’s not one type of solar system. The are three different types of systems: owned, leased, and power purchase agreement (PPA). With each option there are variables that need to be considered prior to making a decision. Some of these variables include maintenance, exception from tax rebates, and utility company rates.
Consider Your Home
The most important thing you need for a solar system is the sun. You’ll want to examine your home’s solar exposure to determine how much energy solar panels will be able to capture. In addition to exposure, time of exposure (both length and time of day) and the grade of your roof will make a difference in your home solar energy efficiency. If solar panels are best installed on the front of your home you’ll want to make sure that there is no ordinance from a homeowner’s association or the municipality preventing the installation.
Consider Long Term
Are you looking to sell your home in a few short years but think the addition of solar panels are going to make a huge leap in your home value? You may want to think again. The initial upfront costs compared to the added value may not even out right away. The savings of a solar system are also seen over a longer term.
Solar panels and solar systems are not a get rich quick scheme. There will always be a reliance on utility companies but solar panels can diminish that reliance and improve your home’s energy efficiency and it’s value and your budget.