The Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels: What Happens After a System is Paid Off?
Solar panels have been a growing trend for many years, helping reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions. As the technology continues to evolve, more and more households and businesses are turning to solar to power their businesses and residential homes. Solar energy has grown substantially and with understanding of how solar works, the advantages, and what happens after you pay off your system, has made it more attractive to the average homeowner.
Overview of Advantages of Using Solar Panels
Solar panels are aiding in the effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and making electricity more accessible to households around the world. Solar power has many advantages over traditional electricity sources, such as:
• Cost savings – Depending on the size of the solar panel system and the efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cells, households can save substantial amounts of money by reducing their energy costs by 30%-50%.
• Easy maintenance – Solar power systems are relatively easy to maintain, require very limited upkeep, and have a lifespan of 25-30 years.
• Eco-friendly – Solar energy does not emit any carbon dioxide or other pollutants and does not require any water for energy production, making it a much friendlier source of energy than power plants.
Benefits of Being Able to Sell a Home with Solar Panels Included
In addition to the cost savings and environmental benefits, solar panels can also increase the value of a home. According to a study conducted by Zillow, homes with solar panels sell for 4.1% more than homes without them, and they tend to receive an offer faster. As solar power continues to grow in popularity, having solar panels may help make a home stand out in a crowd of potential buyers and entice buyers to place a higher offer than with a single family home without solar power.
Explanation of the Process of Paying Off Solar Panels
For those looking to install solar panels, there are three main options for paying for them.
• Purchase outright – Solar panel systems can range anywhere from $10,000 – $30,000 or more, but the cost requires a one-time payment. This option enables customers to own their energy production and take advantage of the tax credits available.
• Solar Lease – With a solar lease, customers pay nothing upfront and make a fixed monthly payment to a solar provider who owns the system. Typically, customers can save up to 20%-30% on their electricity bill, but they do not enjoy the tax credits available from owning the panels.
• Solar Loan –Similar to a solar lease, customers pay nothing upfront and make a fixed monthly payment to a lender for a solar loan. With this option, customers will own the system and will take the full advantage of all available tax credits.
Overview of Warranty Options Once Solar Panels are Paid Off
Once the solar panel system is paid off, the warranty typically lasts for up to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer. Many manufacturers are offering longer warranties to ensure their customer’s systems remain in peak shape for as long as possible. Most manufacturers also offer performance warranties that provide a minimum output of energy with warranty periods that exceed 25 years.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Provider for Solar Panel Installment
When choosing a solar provider, there are several factors to consider, such as:
• Cost – The cost of the system, warranties, and ongoing payments should all be considered prior to making any purchase.
• Installation – How long will the entire installation and system setup take? What IT expertise is required to get the system running and how responsive is the provider with customer service?
• Customer Service – Find out how the provider will handle repairs and customer support. How experienced is the team? Is there a knowledgeable team available to answer questions?
Possible Higher Return on Investment When Selling After Solar Panels are Paid Off
Once the solar panels are paid off, the system will generate free electricity for many years to come and can most likely return a sizable portion of the cost of the system in the event the house is sold. According to a survey conducted by The Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, solar can return a net present value return of around 5% over an entire 25-year system lifetime. Due to the cost savings of having solar, the house should be more attractive to potential buyers and can increase the overall value of your home.
Review of Traditional Electricity Bills Versus Average Solar Panel Bills
The average household in the U.S. pays around $120-180/month on their electricity bills. Solar panel costs are usually much less than this, usually around $50/month with a solar loan payment or as low as $0/month in some states when customers opt for zero-down solar.
Tips for Potential Solar Panel Purchasers
When considering solar panel systems, customers should research state and local policy and make sure their roof is suitable for installation. Additionally, make sure to get several quotes for the installation, compare estimates for materials and hardware, and ensure you have the necessary permissions and have made calculations for any tax credits or rebates you may be entitled to for installation of a solar panel system. Finally, consider the size of the system you need and if you have the money to pay for any upfront costs.
What Happens After You Pay off Solar Panels?
Once the solar panel system is paid off, customers can look forward to many more years of free electricity and potential savings. Depending on the type of agreement the customer had with their solar supplier, there may still be some costs associated with having a system in place. However, there are also potential tax credits and rebates that customers may be entitled to depending on their state of residence. Additionally, if the home with solar is sold, there could be higher returns on the investment due to the increased value of the home with solar.
In concluding, solar power is an increasingly attractive option to reduce the energy costs of residential and commercial properties. With a one-time purchase or loan payment for solar panels, households or businesses can enjoy years of free energy and potentially increase the value of their property. Customer should research the applicable state and local policies and calculate the tax credits and rebates available to make sure a solar panel system is the right choice for their home or business.