For the foreseeable future, consumers in the United States and around the world can expect to spend an increasing amount of their income on electricity. Shrinking coal and petroleum deposits mean that energy producers have to spend more to keep the juice flowing, and those costs are inevitably passed on to the customer.
That’s why alternative energy sources like solar and wind have become so popular in recent years. For the average homeowner, solar is the best option for reducing electricity bills over the long term. In addition, solar panels have the added benefit of raising the value of your home.
A home with solar panels already installed and running is seen as being increasingly attractive to buyers for a few reasons. For one thing, a moderately-sized solar panel array set up on the roof can cut electricity bills by $50 to $80 a month for the average home. Those kinds of savings add up over time. In addition, installed solar panels can actually end up being a net revenue generator.
Many utility companies now allow homeowners to “sell back” any excess electricity they generate to the larger grid. Depending on your situation, solar panels can completely eliminate electricity bills and even earn a small income. These built-in energy savings bid up the price of your home over others in the area which lack a photo-voltaic system.
In addition, the capital improvement of installing a solar array alone will increase your home’s asking price by tens of thousands of dollars. An average grid can cost upwards of $20,000 to install. Assuming a useful lifetime of a quarter century or so and energy savings of $1000 a year or more, solar panels easily pay for themselves over that time period.
What’s more, those who choose to install panels can obtain federal tax credits and grant assistance which can slash the price of installation in half. Overall, early adopters of solar panel technology stand to gain significantly both in energy savings and appreciated home value in return for a modest investment.
Ultimately, a solar panel installation is seen as a far more prudent and useful capital investment than, say, a new deck. It saves money and can even earn some extra cash during the life of the system. There’s also the added convenience of having a backup electricity system in case of power outages and blackouts.
Clearly, there are many advantages to adding solar panels to your home. But in a depressed real estate market where moving a house is a tough sell in many areas of the country, the increase in home value associated with solar panels is reason enough to jump on the bandwagon.