In the US, there are tens of millions of solar-powered homes, and many reasons for going solar. Most often, people go solar to reduce the amount they pay for energy, to increase their homes value, and to power their home on a cleaner source of energy that is more environmentally friendly. A home solar system provides an opportunity for anyone who is looking to lower monthly electricity bills and make a long-term, low-risk investment that's good for the planet.
There are several methods to go solar, but working with a professional installer is the best option. A qualified installer can securely install a solar system on your home, as well as assist you plan it and get the required equipment and permits. Many installers have connections with solar finance organizations that can assist you with a solar loan if you do not intend to pay in cash.
Solar systems can be divided into two categories: "grid-tied" systems and "grid-agnostic" systems. Grid-tied systems only allow you to use your solar energy when the grid is operational. You can't use solar power if the grid goes down. This safety measure prevents power from returning to the system while repairs are being made. Grid-agnostic systems contain a switch that can temporarily disconnect a house from the grid, letting you use solar power in an outage. Although solar-only grid-agnostic systems have recently entered the market, solar-plus-battery systems still make up the majority of these systems.
Due to inflation, rising interest rates, and most utility companies increasing their rates year-over-year, it typically makes the most sense to go solar as soon as you can. In most instances, solar can be installed year round.
In most instances, you can get solar panels on your home at no upfront cost if you choose to purchase your panels with a loan or a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). With a loan, you will typically pay substantially less than what you currently pay in energy, and completely avoid rising energy costs due to utility companies increasing their rates, or inflation. A loan will typically include the cost of all the panels, permitting, and installation. In regards to the cost of the panels, it is first useful to understand that the cost of solar systems is expressed in "dollars per watt." The total number of solar panels is used to calculate the size of the entire system. Solar panels have wattage ratings. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the typical size of a solar system in the United States is 5 kilowatts (5,000 watts), or 20 solar panels with a 250 watt capacity each (SEIA). The price per watt is calculated by dividing the whole cost of installing a system, which includes labor, inverters, and other equipment, by 5kW. The SEIA3 reports that in 2020 and 2021, the average cost of a solar system was about $3/watt. In accordance with that, a 5kW system at $3/watt — a typical-sized system at a typical price — would cost $15,000 to purchase. The best method to understand charges is to speak with an installer. The components you select are one of many additional factors that affect price.
Solar systems have a long lifespan, and should last decades. Many significant solar panel manufacturers offer 25-year production warranties. An installer is the best source for learning about the lifetime worth of a solar system because they can put together a proposal that lists the warranties and the lifespan of the different systems.
The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), or as the U.S. Department of Energy4 puts it, "a dollar-for-dollar decrease in the amount of income tax you would otherwise owe," is the biggest incentive for installing household solar. The Federal ITC will start offering a 30% tax credit for solar installations on September 1, 2022. Additionally, there are frequent state and municipal advantages. Your tax advisor may explain these incentives to you and possibly assist you in claiming them.
Instead of paying your electric company and getting nothing but energy in return, by switching to solar, you’ll instead be paying for an asset rather than a liability. Solar is a lot like switching as a renter to owning a home. Instead of paying rent, you now pay for a mortgage. The difference is, with a mortgage, you have equity in your home to show for your payments at the end of the day, unlike paying rent. The same goes for a home solar system. Your payments go towards paying off an asset that you own, instead of an expensive commodity that continually goes up in price that you will continue to pay on an ongoing basis.
More than 29% of systems constructed in 2025, up from around 10% in 2021, will have battery storage added, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Battery storage is becoming more and more popular among homeowners. One reason is to have electricity at home in case the grid goes down. When the grid fails, conventional "grid-tied" solar systems are unable to power a residence. Some people decide to employ battery storage to store any additional solar energy generated during the day for usage at night.
In most instances, you’ll pay much less towards the payments of a solar system than you would toward your current energy provider. That being said, the amount of money that may be saved depends on a number of things, including how much power you use, the size and cost of your solar system, whether you paid cash, took out a loan, or leased it, and your region's electricity prices. You can estimate how much money you'll be able to save by working with professional installer, who can also assist you grasp all these elements.
You can go solar in a number of ways. One option is to pay for a solar system in full up front, much like you would for a car. A loan can be used to pay for a solar system as well. In leases or Power Purchase Agreements, some solar businesses let you pay a set fee for the energy your solar system generates while they own the installation on your house. Your possibilities can be better understood with the assistance of a solar installation, many of whom have connections to solar financing companies.
As more drivers adopt electric vehicles, the prospect of going solar gets even better. A car plugged in and charging during the day at a solar home is fueling up on sunshine, which is cheaper and cleaner than other automotive fuel sources.