Is It Time to Install Solar Panels?

If your electric bill is busting your budget, look to the sun for relief

Using electricity to turn on the lights, run the AC and dry your clothes is getting more costly.

At the same time, the cost to generate electricity with solar panels that convert sunlight to energy has been falling for a decade. Ten years ago, an average 6 kWh residential solar system could cost N9 Million or more. But now a typical home installation will run between N3 – N4 Million — a drop of more than 60 percent.

Homes with solar energy systems sell for 4.1 percent more, according to online real estate marketplace Zillow, and the fact that renewable energy is more environmentally friendly, and the case for solar gets a little sunnier.​

“The biggest reasons for powering your home with solar is reducing or even eliminating your electricity bills and doing right by the environment by lowering your carbon footprint,” says Nick Liberati, communications manager at EnergySage, a renewable energy marketplace that helps people comparison shop solar projects. ​

In fact, a recent SaveOnEnergy and CNET survey found that the top motivations for switching to solar were to “save money on electric bill” (82 percent) and “environmental reasons” (65 percent).​

So should you bite the bullet, pay the up-front costs and go solar?

It depends on a number of factors. Here, we’ll break down what you need to know to make an informed decision.​

WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO GO SOLAR?​

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what types of homeowners benefit most from solar panels, there are a few key factors to consider.

For starters, living in a state where the sun shines virtually all the time, is a big plus.

What side of the street you live on is also important, since the more sun you get, the better.​

​“Generally speaking, the best fit for solar would be a single-family, stand-alone home that you own, with a southern-facing roof that’s in good condition and receives little shading,” says Liberati.

Homeowners who have high electricity costs are also good candidates

​There are other benefits of solar that go beyond dollars and cents. One plus of not relying on the traditional electric grid is so-called “resiliency,” says Liberati.

“When paired with a battery, a solar panel system can keep the lights on during outages,” he says. Batteries for a solar system are available on our e-Commerce platform; PSC SOLAR UK

​IS IT WORTH THE TROUBLE?​

The answer is YES.

Your utility bill savings are immediate. And “over time, the system pays for itself”. “Rather than always paying a utility for all your electricity, invest in your own solar power system — that’s the bottom line.”

The payback period for solar is typically 7 to 10 years.​

How much will you pay for electricity once your solar system is installed? It depends on how much solar energy your system produces and where you live. But the savings can be meaningful.​

“In a productive solar month, typically in the spring and summer, a bill can get down to N0

“In the fall and winter, when there are fewer hours of sunlight, a utility bill may vary from 25 percent to 100 percent of your previous bill without solar.”

There are many variables, he adds, including the size of your system and your monthly energy consumption.​