Why Residential Solar Systems Are More Affordable Than Ever

A beautiful home with a residential solar system

Why Is Solar Power So Affordable?

For a long time, having a residential solar system and the ability to power your home with solar energy was reserved for a small niche of wealthy, eco-conscious people. Today, however, solar panels are exponentially more accessible and more affordable than they were even a decade ago. This is thanks to a combination of industry trends, federal incentives, and private programs.

One of the major reasons solar panels are more affordable than ever is simply that their prices have steadily dropped. A residential solar system that would have cost $40,000 in 2010 was only $18,000 in 2020. By some estimates, solar panel prices have dropped up to 70%.

Incentive Programs and Payment Options

Despite this dramatic downturn in the upfront cost of installing solar panels, many people still don’t have $18,000 available that they can use to purchase and install a residential solar system. That’s where programs like the federal Solar Incentive Tax Credit come in. For the remainder of 2022, homeowners who install solar panels will receive 26% of the cost credited back to them. For an $18,000 system, that’s $4,680 back. For systems installed in 2023, homeowners will receive a 22% credit back for the cost of their solar panels and system. Numerous state and local credit and incentive programs are available as well. Homeowners interested in solar should research the financial assistance options available to them and people in their area.

Solar financing assistance programs aren’t just based on location. There are a variety of solar financing programs available that specifically work with low and middle-income homeowners who don’t have the savings that are necessary to purchase solar panels without a grant or loan.

Many solar companies offer flexible financing options including leasing, rent to own, and power purchase agreements. Homeowners should work with a reputable, trustworthy solar installation company that will accurately and thoroughly represent all available pricing and financing options.

Long-Term Cost Savings and Reimbursements

Once installed, a residential solar system can offer homeowners a variety of benefits that help offset the upfront costs of purchasing and installing the system. For example, the average American household could save $125 each month on their energy bill upon switching from electric to solar power. Over time, the cumulative savings on energy expenses can grow to be significant.

Additionally, if your solar panels produce more energy than your household can use, then you have another significant financial incentive available to you. Renewable energy production credits are paid out by local power companies when a homeowner’s solar system produces excess energy. They pay for the excess because that extra power automatically gets routed back into the grid to power other homes. 

A standard system will typically produce approximately twelve energy credits on an annual basis. The going rate for these credits is about $40 to $80 apiece, which amounts to $480-$960 per year in earnings. Between renewable energy production credits and energy bill savings, a household that goes solar is looking at $1,980 to $2,460 back per year. Over the 20 year lifespan of a residential solar system, that’s up to $49,200 in savings and credits.

Installing solar panels will also improve your home’s resale value, so if you sell your home within 20 years of installing solar panels, you’ll get more money from your buyers than you would without solar to boost the home’s value.

Bright Eye Solar

Based out of Lancaster, Bright Eye Solar serves homeowners and businesses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Our team of expert solar energy specialists are available to help you determine if solar is right for your home and your budget. Get in touch with us today for more information.

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