Not only is that a very good question, but it is one that we get asked often. The answer comes down to three basic points:
The cost of the initial investment depends on the amount of electricity you want to generate on a daily basis. That dictates the number of panels you will need to install. But let’s give you an average installation figure.
According to MarketWatch.com, whose research team has reviewed the top solar companies in the U.S. to determine if solar is a worthwhile investment for your home, “the cost of installing a solar energy panel system in Florida, Texas, or New Jersey, is between $15,000 and $20,000 per home” for an average size home.
On average in 2023, solar panel installation in the U.S. costs less than half, down from more than $50,000 10 years ago. The cost of a solar energy system differs according to its size, the state you live in, and the brand of panel you purchase. All of these factors can significantly impact on the final amount you pay for your initial investment.
In most cases, installing a solar panel energy system for your home is worth it. Panels typically last 25 years or more and they can dramatically reduce or even eliminate your monthly electric bills, allowing you to earn up to $1,400 or more annually in cost savings, plus net-metering ROI if your state offers this program.
Net-metering is when your local power company allows its customers to connect their approved and renewable energy generation solar panels to the local or county electric grid to buy and sell electricity back to the power company.
For example, if your solar energy system generates more electricity than your home or company building uses during daylight hours, that extra electricity can then be sold back to the power company and “banked” in your account. Thirty-eight states, including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico all have net-metering programs.
Now let’s look at the amount of money you can save once you install your solar energy panel system. Say your electric bill is $200 per month before going solar. Once an average sized solar panel system is installed on the roof of your home or in an array on your property, it can immediately produce enough electricity to cover 80% of your electricity needs.
So, with a solar panel system, you would be able to reduce your electric bill down to $40 per month.
At West Bay Energy based in Pinellas Park, Florida, we think solar is a smart investment. The cost of the electricity you purchase from your utility provider has unfortunately continued to climb across the nation, and cost increases will most likely continue.
Depending on whether your state participates in a net-metering program, and how your solar project is designed, funded, and what rebates or incentives you may have access to on a local, state, or federal level, you should see a return on investment in 5-12 years. But you’ll start saving money right away on Day One by reducing your utility bills.
Waiting to install solar panels means you will miss out on savings. But if you install now, you will start reaping the financial benefits, including securing an immediate fixed energy cost, rather than paying the ever-increasing rates from your electric company. Plus, you can claim a federal tax credit for the year you install a solar panel energy system. If the credit is more than the taxes you owe, it will roll over to the next tax year for up to five years.
By now, we have all heard the words “carbon footprint” when it comes to our environment or when speaking about climate change. But do we really understand exactly what that means? Let us explain.
Carbon helps to regulate the earth’s total temperature. It makes all life possible. It’s a key ingredient in the food that sustains us, and it provides a major source of energy to fuel our global economy.
A “carbon footprint” is the total measure of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases or GHGs, are gases in the earth’s atmosphere that trap heat. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and some synthetic chemicals. They are what keep the earth warm and make it habitable for all living, breathing organisms. However, a rise in the carbon dioxide and other gases released into our atmosphere can lead to a dangerous increase in global temperature.
When the earth is overloaded with GHGs, there are far-reaching and negative environmental and health effects. First, GHGs are the cause of climate change because they trap heat, carbon dioxide, and other gases, and secondly, they are the main contributor to respiratory diseases caused by the trapped smog and air pollution.
The average carbon footprint per person, per year in the U.S. is 16 tons, or a total of 5,416 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, making us one of the highest producers of GHGs in the world, second only to China. The average global carbon footprint is closer to 4 tons per person, per year. The U.S. is four times that.
The burning of fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Cutting down trees or deforestation (because trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen), increasing livestock farming (beef and dairy cows emit about one-third of human-caused methane), the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen, and fluorinated gases emitted from equipment and products that use these gases all add to the release of carbon dioxide.
As a part of the world community, the more we make a personal commitment to take the health of our environment into consideration as we move about our days, the more we will be able to lower the effects of climate change, lessen air pollution to make it easier and safer to breathe, and reduce the amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere. In short, we will reduce our “carbon footprint.”
Installing solar energy panels to provide electricity for our homes and office buildings, is one of the best ways to reduce your “carbon footprint.” Right now, the United States accounts for about 16% of the world’s solar consumption, making it the second-largest solar power consumer in the world. California is the number one state for solar generation, with Texas as the second highest. China is first in the world with 32% solar generation.
At West Bay Energy in Pinellas Park, Florida, we specialize in all aspects of solar panel installation, including customized solar system design, panel-to-roof installation, customer support services, explanation of solar incentives, and more.
No matter what the size of your job, or whether it’s your home or your business, we apply the highest quality of work to the design and installation of our solar panels. If you’re considering the installation of a solar energy system, make sure you give us a call for a no obligation quote.
We always put our customers first. We make sure you are backed by flexible financing, excellent warranties, and stellar customer service, including searching for the best local, state, and federal incentive programs and rebates. At West Bay Electric, we strive to get maximum savings for our customers, while doing our part to save our environment. Don’t wait. Contact us or give us a call today.