Millions of Americans wince each month when they see their monthly utility bill is due. Because of this, alternative energy resources have been on the incline. Homeowners can save thousands of dollars a year with the installation of solar panels on their homes. Not only does the installation decrease the monthly utility costs, it can be a substantially profitable investment. For those that are concerned about the cost of installation, do-it-yourself kits are an affordable option.
The Initial Purchase
Most people are aware of the substantial cost associated with the installation of solar panels. On average, a brand new set of panels will cost you approximately $5.00 per watt. An average home uses around 900 Kilowatts per hour (kWh). A popular installation for homes is a 3kilwatt (kW) systems, which costs around $15,000.
Not everyone has $15,000 to spend. Do-it-yourself (DIY) kits are a cheaper alternative to this process. The installation of solar panels is a complicated and costly service when you pay the manufacturer to do it. DIY kits simplify the process and enable the buyer to avoid those fees. It is possible to rent the equipment as well. While you will successfully avoid the large upfront costs by doing this, you also lose the investment bonuses.
Where are the Savings?
A home with the standard 3 kW system saves most owners an average of 50 percent on their monthly utility bill. As long as the owner continues their normal energy consumption, that number will only increase. According to a study done by the Electric Institute, electricity prices went up 2.5 percent annually from 2000-2006. Because the sun will be here for millions of years, there is no supply and demand problem when it comes to solar panels.
The government is also offering a 30 percent tax incentive on the purchase of all solar panels. This means an owner of the standard 3kW system can receive up to $9000 just for making the purchase! Finally, homeowners with an alternative power source will typically have a lower consumption rate from the traditional electric company. This gives owners the edge to negotiate a better rate from them.
Additional Income Potential
There are a number of additional programs set in place to encourage consumers to switch to alternative power resources. The first program is Feed-in Tariffs. As long as the sun is shining, solar panels are generating electricity. Feed-in Tariffs allow the owner to “sell back” their excess energy to the local electric company.
Another program is Net Metering. While owners can sell their excess energy, the electric company will calculate the difference between the amount of energy you are producing and the amount you are consuming. Each kW of energy you earn gives you credit with the electric company and lowers your monthly bill.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) gives owners the opportunity to become the electric company. Owners can lease their equipment to a second party and gain profit when they sell the energy. If the PPA requires the owner to have additional solar panels, the installation prices can be negotiated or waivered.
Millions of Americans, including the government, are concerned with the environment. The government wants consumers to switch to alternative power sources. Solar panels are as environmentally friendly as can be. Their popularity will only be increasing for years to come, and DIY kits are an affordable way to make them a reality for your household.
Morgan is a concerned citizen who cares about the environment. She decided to work with Solar Sphere and installed solar panels on her own home.