Can Solar Panels Reduce Energy Cost?

Real Estate
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With energy cost steadily increasing, many homeowners are considering the option of converting to solar energy. Solar panels provide renewable energy by capturing the sun’s energy and transforming it into electricity. Solar power provides clean energy without emitting unsafe greenhouse gases that are the typical by product of conventional fossil energy. In addition to clean energy, solar power can also be more cost efficient. Per Heshy Drew, a solar expert, home owners’ interest in solar energy is indeed motivated by their desire to reduce their monthly utility bill. 

So what is the best way to start the process of installing solar panels?

Heshy mentions that it is important to consult with a reputable solar company that can provide valuable information about options and guide the homeowner through the entire process. As an initial step, the solar company will review the current electricity bill to determine if switching to solar panels will indeed be cost efficient.  It stands to reason that residents of areas with higher electricity rates will, in all likelihood, profit the most from converting to solar energy.

Can solar energy completely offset your current electricity bill?

Solar panels capture approximately 23% of the solar energy to which they are exposed.  Whether solar energy will be able to lower or completely eliminate your monthly electricity bill will be dependent on the electricity usage, the amount of typical sunlight exposure, as well as the roof’s position in relation to the sun. Increased exposure to sun translates into more energy being produced, leading to greater savings.

Interestingly, it is not necessary to live in a tropical climate to realize efficiency, since panels can capture the sun’s energy during the cold winter season as well. Even on cloudy days, when there is no sunshine, electricity usage can still be dependent on solar energy. Due to advancements in technology, solar batteries can store surplus energy to be used on days when the sun does not break through the clouds.

What happens when the solar electricity comes up short or produces excessive energy?

Homeowners need not fear fluctuations in the amount of electricity generated through solar panels. In case of a shortage, the electricity usage will tap into your conventional utility company. In the event that excessive energy is produced, solar power can flow to your electricity grid which will generate an “energy credit” from the utility company. Heshy highlights the excitement homeowners experience when the meter reading indicates a credit in energy usage.

What cost is involved in installing solar panels?

Although solar panels can reduce utility bills, there is an initial cost involved in the purchase and installation of the panels. However, there are federal and state rebates and incentives that can substantially offset these start -up expenses. In addition, panels can also be leased. It is best to discuss all options with a solar company that can help determine the most cost effective way to proceed.

What is the lifespan of the solar panels?

Solar panels are usually warrantied for a period of 25 years, however, they can easily last up to 40 years.  With this lengthy lifespan, there is a possibility of the panels transferring ownership with the sale of the house.  Solar panels are considered beneficial in the eyes of potential buyers, as they factor in the exciting prospect of saving on their utility bills. Buyers are advised to check with the homeowner to see if there are current lease or loan obligations associated with the solar panels that will transfer to the new homeowner. If the panels are completely paid for and still have a substantial life span, they can provide a much appreciated utility savings for the new homeowner.

Rita Tepfer is a licensed real estate agent with Olam Realty Group. She can be reached at 917 405 9160 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.