How Cost Effective Are Solar Panels?

Each month, the average household consumes roughly 893 kilowatt-hours (kWh). A household solar system can generate between 350 and 850 kWh per month. As a result, you could save up to 95% on your utility cost.

Is solar energy really a good investment?

Solar energy has a number of advantages, one of which being the obvious environmental benefit of using renewable resources for everyday energy. But it raises the question of whether solar energy is genuinely cost effective.

Solar has risen at a rate of 49 percent every year on average since 2000. Solar installations from residential, commercial, and utility locations will total more than 90,000 by 2020, aided by the cost of installation lowering by more than 70% in the last decade.

However, the total cost of solar panels is determined by a variety of factors. Your home and location dictate the system’s size, component type, labor, and local permitting costs, and tax discounts and local incentives may be available to reduce the overall cost.

Solar panels installed directly on the roof of your home or company might cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 or more, depending on the size of the home or structure and the number of panels required.

While it may appear to be a large upfront cost, solar energy is a long-term investment. Residential solar panels have a payback period of 6-9 years on average, but they can save you thousands of dollars on your electric bill over the course of 20 or more years.

Taking advantage of government tax incentives for installing a renewable energy source can initially save you a significant amount of money. In 2020, that federal tax deduction will be worth 26%, allowing you to deduct $6,500 off your $25,000 solar investment on your annual taxes. In 2021, the discount will be reduced to 22%.

Santee Cooper also offers a rebate program for rooftop solar installations, and other state incentives may be available to help you get started with solar energy on your property.

The first thing you should learn about solar energy as an alternative power source is how much energy your home or business uses on a regular basis. Your usage can be found on your monthly energy bill or by speaking with a Santee Cooper Energy Advisor. Your consumption defines how much solar energy must be generated in order to successfully power your home or company, as well as what type of system is most appropriate for that generation.

You can shop around for the best panels and contractors to install them after you know what makes sense for your home or company. We offer a list of Trade Allies that have been evaluated and meet Santee Cooper’s standards and regulations, as well as the most up-to-date program information. Before making a purchase, we recommend acquiring different quotations and perspectives.

There are community solar options available if your home or business isn’t deemed suitable for producing solar energy, or if you live in a house, apartment, or building that you don’t own and don’t have the authorization to install panels.

The Solar Share initiative at Santee Cooper is about combining resources to produce solar electricity on local solar farms, allowing more people to benefit from solar energy. Anyone who rents, moves, or is otherwise unable to install rooftop solar panels can purchase a portion of the electricity generated by these community solar farms.

Finally, solar panels make sense as a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial method to create power if you reside in a region with sufficient access to sunshine and can afford the installation, or if you would like to use community solar resources to offset some of that power generation. The dropping cost of employing renewable energy sources will add up to huge returns on your electricity bill and the environment, especially in the long run.

Why are solar panels a waste of money?

Several issues, some of which have already been mentioned, can have a detrimental impact on solar’s economics. If any of these criteria apply to you, you may discover that going solar saves you little or no money.

The following are some of the reasons that will reduce your financial return from solar panels:

  • Solar energy systems have high upfront expenses. This is mainly due to the high cost of solar equipment and/or installation in your area.
  • Due to space constraints, you won’t be able to install a solar panel system large enough to save enough money on your electric bill.
  • Issues with your roof, such as shading or a non-ideal direction or angle, reduce your home’s solar potential.
  • Low energy costs, whether as a result of minimal electric rates or low usage, indicate that you don’t spend much on electricity in the first place.
  • Unfavorable financing: Your solar loan has a high interest rate or onerous terms, such as a first-priority lien, because of your bad credit history.
  • You’re not eligible for solar incentives like the solar tax credit or SRECs, which might help you save money on your system (Solar Renewable Energy Credits).

Combining one or more of the above will reduce your monthly savings while also lengthening the time it takes for your solar investment to pay off (which you don’t want).

Despite these factors, it’s very feasible that you can save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your solar panels.

Just make sure this is the case before you go ahead and do it.

How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?

  • Solar panels pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bill and, in certain cases, earning you money through continuous incentive payments.
  • In the United States, the payback time for solar panels ranges from 5 to 15 years, depending on where you live.
  • The amount you paid, the price of electricity from your provider, and potential upfront and ongoing incentives all influence how quickly your solar panels pay for themselves.

How much money do solar panels truly save you?

Going solar saves clients in the United States roughly $1,500 per year on average, or $37,500 over the course of 25 years. However, depending on roof size, sunlight exposure, local energy costs, and solar subsidies, individual solar energy systems can save anywhere from $10,000 to $90,000.

Is it a waste of money to invest in solar energy?

If you reside in a region with high energy costs and an adequate solar rating, and you can afford the initial expenditure, it’s worth installing solar panels in your home while the 26% tax cut is still in effect for the environment’s sake and your wallet’s sake. However, don’t expect to be able to completely reduce your power bill overnight.


The cost of purchasing a solar system is relatively expensive at first. Solar panels, inverters, batteries, wiring, and installation are all included in this cost. Nonetheless, because solar technology is continually improving, it’s realistic to predict that prices will continue to fall in the future.


Although solar energy can be collected during overcast and rainy days, the solar system’s efficiency is reduced. Solar panels must be exposed to sunlight in order to collect solar energy. As a result, a couple of overcast, rainy days can have a significant impact on the energy system. It’s also important to remember that solar energy cannot be collected at night.

Thermodynamic panels, on the other hand, are an option to consider if you need your water heating solution to work at night or during the winter.

Check out our video for a breakdown of how effective solar panels are in the winter:

Is solar energy less expensive than electricity?

Although solar energy is more expensive to purchase and install at first, due to the rising cost of electricity, individuals find that solar energy is much less expensive in the long term than electric power.

When it comes to solar panels, how long do they last?

Photovoltaic (PV) panels, commonly known as solar panels, are designed to last for more than 25 years. Many solar panels that were placed as early as the 1980s are still operating at full power. 1 Solar panels are not only incredibly dependable, but their lifespan has risen substantially in the previous 20 years. 2 Many solar manufacturers back their equipment with performance guarantees in their warranties, in addition to decades of successful performance. 1

Keep in mind that just because your solar panels are predicted to last a couple of decades doesn’t imply they’ll stop producing electricity. It simply implies that their energy production will be reduced by the amount that solar panel manufacturers believe is necessary to meet the energy needs of the ordinary American family.

Is it possible to run a house solely on solar energy?

You can definitely run a whole house entirely on solar power with a contemporary solar energy system that includes power storage. With today’s high-efficiency solar panels and solar batteries, powering a full home solely with solar energy is now more affordable than ever.

Since the widespread use of solar energy for domestic and commercial purposes two decades ago, the cost of solar panel systems and installation has continued to fall. This is despite the fact that local and federal government rebates and tax credits, as well as utility company incentives, are all declining year after year. The significant reduction in solar costs is due in part to the widespread adoption of solar energy on a national and global scale, and in part to quick developments in solar energy system technology.

Start with these fundamental analyses to determine the cost-effectiveness and other viability elements of maintaining a totally solar-powered home:

Calculate how much electricity you use per month.

To begin, calculate how much solar energy you’ll need to power your complete home entirely using solar energy. You’ll need to know how much electricity you use on a monthly basis to do so. This will allow your solar contractor to estimate how much energy your panels will need to generate each month to power your entire home.

Of course, monthly usage and solar power production potential are projected to fluctuate throughout the year. The reserve capacity of today’s state-of-the-art domestic solar battery storage is the solution to maintaining a consistent power supply for your home. Your solar batteries allow you to store the excess electricity generated by your solar panels on longer, sunnier days for use at a later time when the weather is less sunny.

Solar batteries ensure you have enough electricity to run your complete home during periods of less direct, bright sunlight, without the system automatically drawing from the public power grid.

Evaluate your climate region’s solar energy production capacity.

Whether you can expect to generate enough solar energy to power your entire house year-round depends entirely on the environment you reside in. Examine whether the climate in your area has the ability to produce enough solar energy to power your entire home on a continual basis.

Running a house fully on solar throughout the winter months may be more difficult for homeowners in colder, cloudier climates, such as those along the northwest Pacific coast. Residents may go weeks without seeing direct sunlight, while residents in the southwest may go weeks without seeing a gloomy day.

These climatic changes, combined with circumstances unique to your home and lifestyle, can mean the difference between being able to operate fully off the grid or continuing to rely on your utility company for at least some electricity.

Assess your solar production environment based on your home’s surroundings.

Consider the number and location of huge trees growing around and near your property, as well as the heights of nearby houses and other structures. Large trees and tall homes that are close enough to your home to create heavy shade across your roof for more than a third of the bright hours might impair the efficiency of your solar energy system significantly.

Are solar panels too heavy to be installed on a roof?

Solar panels intended for rooftop installation are not heavy enough to compromise the structural integrity of a roof. However, there are a few other issues that could make the panels too heavy to install on your roof. Depending on the construction or age of your home, these could include roof damage or infrastructure issues. Before you invest in a solar panel system, have your roof inspected by an expert to guarantee that your property is ready for solar panel installation. However, before Pink Energy installs solar panels on your roof, a team of engineers will inspect your roof and trusses to guarantee that they can sustain your new array.