Everyone loves green energy, especially when it can save you green in your wallet! One increasingly popular energy option for homes is solar energy, captured via solar panels. How do they work, and what do they do for your energy consumption and your home?
Solar panels are a popular green energy source in Tri-Cities, due to our rather sunny climate. They’re professionally installed and typically mounted on roofs, although stand-alone solar panel arrangements do exist. They blend fairly well with dark-colored shingles, but they will still be noticeable, which you’ll need to consider before choosing to go green. The amount of panels you need depends on how large your home is; a 1,500 square foot home, on average, needs about 16 panels.
Now, when it comes to cost, solar panels do save you money on electricity costs – eventually. It takes the average household seven years to break even on the cost of installation vs. the amount of money saved on bills. If you plan on being in your home for the long haul, you’ll enjoy the benefits of solar power after a bit of an initial investment. The government also gives a tax break to those who have solar panels; while it’s not much, it does help even out the cost a little quicker. The good news is, costs of solar panels have dropped substantially, up to 70% in the past ten years. While it’ll still take a while to start making that money back in savings, at least the initial investment won’t be as bad as it once was.
For those of you who don’t see yourself living in your home for over a decade, don’t worry – solar panels add definitive resale value to your home! FHA appraisers are required to factor in solar panels to the estimated home value, and according to Zillow, solar panels add an average of 4% to the value of a property. Given that the current average price of a home in Tri-Cities is roughly $364,000, that adds up to a $14,560 increase in property value, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Overall, if you can get past the hurdle of the initial investment, solar panels are a smart money decision whether you plan to stay in your home long enough to break even or anticipate selling sooner.