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97% of Americans Overestimate the Cost of Solar Panels

So how much *does* it cost?

By Georgia de la BertauchePublished 6 years ago 3 min read

Times are rapidly changing. The earth is getting hotter and it is obvious that part of the reason we don't embrace alternative sources of energy is largely because we have been told constantly that it is too expensive and even if you did go in that direction, you would never make your money back.

This simply isn't true. Whether it's misinformation, a lack of proper marketing, or false word of mouth, many people who haven't looked into solar or alternative energies by themselves often know very little about it. According to Vermont Law School, 97% of Americans overestimated the cost of solar panel installation. That is a crazy high number. Hopefully this article should shed some light.

What can solar energy do for you?

Save thousands of dollars:

One of the biggest reasons to go solar is that you can potentially eliminate or at least significantly reduce your electric bill.

The average solar system in America saves you a whopping $20k over 20 years. That's $1k a year in savings—hello vacation!

In some states like Hawaii where the electricity is more expensive, the savings are even higher. On average, residents save $64k over 20 years.

Help grow the country into a leader in renewable energy:

As the cleanest domestic energy source available, solar energy is far more than just powering your home. It even supports broader national priorities like jobs, economic growth and perhaps most importantly, climate change mitigation.

Help the planet:

When compared to fossil fuels, there are:

  • 96%-98% less greenhouse gases than energy generated from coal.
  • 95% less toxicity to humans.
  • 86%-89% less water used.
  • 80% less land terraformed or occupied.

Many businesses and home owners alike go solar because they are focused on trying to minimize environmental issues like climate change and the health problems that are related to carbon emissions.

By taking the step to installing a solar power system, a typical two-person household can reduce their carbon emissions by approximately three to four tons annually.

How much does it cost?

For the typical home, solar panels can cost between $4.5k - $12k. That means potentially you could make back your money in savings in as little as approximately 5 years.

Obviously there may be extra costs dependent on the situation, but I think the important thing is that it's probably a lot less than you thought it was all in all.

The average cost of solar panels has decreased by 60% since 2011.

The government offers incentives of up to $6k dependent on states—there are also federal and local tax cuts.

What does this mean for the future?

A couple of the other benefits to utilising solar energy are:

Protect against rising energy costs: One of the most clear cut benefits of solar panels is the ability protect yourself against rising energy prices. In the past ten or so years, residential electricity prices have gone up by an average of three percent annually. By making the move to a solar energy system now, you can fix your electricity rate and protect against unpredictable increases in electricity costs.

Increase your property's value: Many studies have found that homes equipped with solar energy systems have higher property values and sell more quickly than homes not equipped with solar power. Appraisers are increasingly taking solar installations into consideration as they value homes at the time of a sale, and it is very likely as homebuyers become more educated about solar, demand for properties that are equipped with solar panel systems will continue to grow.

Who provides these services?

These are some of the top solar panel companies in America and the world (in no particular order):

More Information

For more information check out the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

Other useful sites for a balanced look:

Energy Sage

EDF Energy


About the Creator

Georgia de la Bertauche

Student at Staffordshire University studying Interior Design & Qualified SEO Marketer

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