How much money can solar panels save you?

Several experts in the field of energy and the environment have deemed solar power as one of the most promising forms of energy. It is touted as an effective way to save money on power while also still being able to save the environment.

But just how much are you potentially going to save when you use solar panels?

The answer will vary based on a number of factors, some of which include the following:

  • Energy consumption. Your estimates may not be accurate if your power consumption changes every month. It might help to use yearly estimates in order to offset any seasonal usage of electricity.
  • Changes in energy prices. Assuming that your power usage does not fluctuate over time, your comparison will only be as good as the cost of energy in the local market.
  • Solar panel orientation. We shared the importance of the right solar panel orientation in a previous article. Your solar panel installation company should know the best position of the panels in contact with sunlight.
  • Weather changes. Nobody can predict exactly when the sun will come out. Uncontrollable weather patterns may affect your savings estimates.

For starters, you may find it easier to compute savings based on percentage. Most people who switched their energy source for their homes to solar power have been reported to save 50 to 90 percent of their usual electricity bill.

Imagine this: an electricity bill of say $500 a month will translate to a monthly savings of $250 at the very least. That’s $3,000 annual savings for your home! The same scenario holds true for offices and business enterprises who install solar panels as their primary energy source.

As part of the California Solar Initiative (CSI), using solar panels to power your home will give you cash back incentives. This bonus is on top of the actual power savings that you gain when you opt to use solar energy instead of the traditional electricity line.

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, hooking your home up to a solar system increases the value of the property. The real estate market is currently on the lookout for value-added properties such as homes that can save on electricity costs, and a solar-powered home will definitely attract a lot of prospective buyers.

In summary, solar panels will allow you to not only reduce expenses on power use, but also earn a huge profit when you place your home in the real estate market.

[Photo courtesy of Pictures of Money on Flickr]