10 solar energy facts you may not know in 2023
Individual panel prices
Prices of DIY kits
Installed system prices
The solar industry has grown and changed a lot in the last decade. Solar panel systems are the cheapest they have ever been, and solar panel installations are increasing at both the residential scale and utility scales.
But there’s a lot about solar that many people might not know, like how investing in solar compares favorably to, and might even beat other investments, and even how even cold and snowy states are some of the best in which to install solar panels.
Surprisingly, the ideal conditions for solar panels to produce electricity are sunny and cold days. So, states with cold winters can still utilize solar power as a clean energy source and see significant electricity bill savings.
In fact, some colder states are better for solar because of high electricity rates and state solar incentives. For example, in a cold state like Massachusetts, the payback period for a solar system can be as short as 5 years. Meanwhile, in sunny Florida, the average payback period is closer to 10 years.
The data is clear: homebuyers value photovoltaic solar panels. In 2019, Zillow released a study showing that houses with solar panels sold for, on average, 4.1% more than similar houses without solar panels. For the median-valued house, this meant over $9,000 extra. This can lead to an increase in thousands of dollars.
Installing panels can help reduce your electricity bill, an attractive incentive for future homebuyers.
SolarReviews conducted one of the largest surveys sent to homeowners interested in solar, we found that only 11.5% of current residential solar installations included an energy storage system. However, this percentage is expected to rise quickly, as about 70% of battery installations took place in 2020.
Having a solar battery means you can store the excess power your panels generate during the day, instead of selling this surplus electricity to the utility grid. Batteries make sense in locations where net metering options are non-existent or not a great deal, or if energy storage is your goal.
Be sure to check out our solar battery buyer’s guide for more information and guidance on how to find the best energy storage option for your home.
Solar panels should be thought of as an investment because when you add solar panels to your roof, they will reduce and or completely eliminate your electric bill, and shield you from rising utility prices.
Solar panels can save you thousands of dollars on electricity bills over their lifetime, especially if your payback period is short. Aside from reducing or eliminating a monthly electric bill, solar completely shields you from the rising cost of utility rates, which increase on average by 1.8% a year. What return can you get on your solar investment?
The upfront cost of solar can be intimidating, but it is an investment that will pay for itself rather quickly.
Learn more: What return can you get on your solar investment?
In California, the payback period on a solar installation is between five and six years. Part of the reason the payback period is so short is that California has some of the highest electricity prices compared to the rest of the country, so your panels will start costing less than your electricity bill more quickly even if you are financing them.
The cost of electricity and local incentives make solar a better investment and also can reduce payback period times. The more quickly solar panels are paid off, the more money you can save.
The most important financial incentive when going solar is the federal solar tax credit: with the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, it now covers 30% of a solar energy system’s cost. So if you were to purchase a 7 kW system for $20,650, the tax credit would be worth $6,195, lowering the system’s price to $14,455.
Even if you do not owe that much in taxes, you can carry the credit through for 5 years. Find out the best-rated solar companies near you for more information.
As solar gains popularity, manufacturers are getting more efficient at producing panels, and the cost of inputs to create panels is becoming cheaper. This, coupled with the money-saving benefits of solar has led to an explosion of both utility-scale and residential panel installations.
Some measurements say the cost of solar has decreased by 60% over the last 10 years.
The U.S. surpassed the installation of 3 million solar systems, both residential and utility-scale.
This sudden growth is due, in part, to solar power becoming much more affordable for individual homeowners and utilities to install.
The 2020s might be the decade of solar as more incentives become available and solar itself is becoming more popular via word of mouth.
Grid power is getting more expensive and having a solar system will allow you to generate your own solar electricity, which, in turn, will provide you with a sort of insurance policy on any future rises in electricity prices.
The cost of utility power will only continue to rise as more and more homeowners decide to go solar. By going solar sooner rather than later, you will be protected if your utility raises electricity prices in the future.
Online solar calculators are an excellent way to get an idea of whether or not going solar is the right choice for your home. We recommend you use this tool when considering solar, as it tells you how much your system will cost, outlines your payback period, shows you how much you’ll save, and more.