Spend enough time living in a sunny state and you’ll hear people boasting about how they cut their electricity bills by investing in solar panels for their home. You may even be tempted to join them. After all, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) finds that the average homeowner pays around $111 per month for electricity. In sunny southern states like Arizona and Florida, this number goes up to $128 per month. That’s $1,500 a year!
Of course, before you run out and invest in a solar panel system, you probably want to know how much you stand to save. Solar panels require an investment after all, and their return is determined by how much they’ll shrink your monthly bills. Can you power your whole house with solar panels, or will you need to pull some power from the grid?
Can a House Run Completely on Solar Power?
The short answer: Yes, you can use solar energy to power your entire house. In fact, some people have used expansive solar panel systems to go off the grid completely, turning their homes into self-sustaining ecosystems (at least as far as energy is concerned). Most of the time, however, homeowners will keep using their local energy provider as a backup for cloudy days or long periods of foul weather.
In some states, electric companies will still charge you a low fixed charge to remain connected to the grid. In other states, installers can set up your solar panels so that any excess energy they generate gets funneled back into the grid. In exchange, energy companies provide you with credits you can use to draw free energy back from the grid overnight or on cloudy days.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed to Power a Home?
The number of solar panels you’ll need to completely power your home depends on several factors: where you live, how much energy you use, how efficient your panels are, and how much power your panels were designed to produce. That’s why a quick internet search will provide a plethora of answers to this question, ranging from as few as 15 panels to as many as 45.
Instead of listening to the internet pundits and their array of unhelpful answers, we’d recommend reaching out to a trustworthy local solar provider. At FOR Energy, we’ll send a team of solar experts to your house to evaluate how much sunlight you receive and how much energy you consume. Using that information, our Energy Pros will design a custom solar panel system that meets your needs. We’ll also explain how many solar panels you need and why, allowing you to rest easy knowing you’re making the best decision for your home.
How Much Will It Cost to Install a Solar Panel System?
The cost of your solar panels will depend on your manufacturer, system size, and where you live. So, once again, we’d recommend reaching out to a trustworthy local solar installer to discuss your needs and the corresponding system costs.
When you do, it would be worth discussing the various discounts and tax credits available that can help cover the cost of your system. For example, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) provides you with a tax credit that will help cover up to 26% of system costs after you install your system. Many states offer property tax and sales tax exemptions on solar panel systems, and some states like California, Colorado, and Texas will offer rebates to qualifying homeowners. Finally, states like Arizona and South Carolina will offer state tax credits that help cover part of your system costs. Opportunities like this can make investing in solar panels surprisingly affordable.
Want to learn more about the benefits you’ll enjoy after investing in a solar panel system for your home? Contact FOR Energy today and schedule a free solar consultation!