Are Solar Panels a Worthy Investment for Your Home?

While the cost of powering your home with traditional energy systems continues to rise, the installation costs of solar panels and alternative energy sources are on a downward spiral. When you make the switch from the environmentally-unfriendly and expensive power grid to solar energy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the switch sooner. The fact is, solar energy costs may have a high upfront installation price, but for many homeowners in Austin, solar panels can save them a ton of money in energy costs over the long haul. Plus, the power company will start to pay you for the energy your solar panels produce. Today, we’re going to investigate whether or not solar panels are a worthy investment for your home.

Who is not an ideal candidate for installing solar panels?

Some people won’t benefit from installing solar energy panels. Mitigating factors to solar panel installation include:

  • You live in a cloudy place.
  • Your roof gets a lot of shade.
  • Your energy costs are low.
  • You live in an area that doesn’t offer any significant rebates or other incentives to install solar panels.
  • Your roof is too small.
  • No one is home during the day.
  • You need to fix or replace the roof very soon.
  • You plan on moving.

Who can most benefit from installing solar panels?

  • You live in a place that gets a lot of sunshine. Austin, Texas, is one of the sunniest places in the U.S.
  • Your roof isn’t shaded. If your house is clear of trees and foliage, then your roof probably gets a lot of sunlight that installed solar panels can capture and leverage into energy for your home.
  • You pay a lot in electricity and home energy costs. If your power bills are at least $250, then you’ll see an average return on your solar power investment within 3 to 5 years. After which, you’ll save significantly on energy costs and may even start generating enough power that the electric company pays you.
  • Most of your energy costs happen during the day. Solar power will save you the most money if the majority of your energy usage occurs during the day. The more power you use during daylight hours, the faster you’ll see a return on your investment.
  • You live in Austin. This part of the country has a ton of competition among solar panel installers and strong market activity. Austin homeowners pay less than the average U.S. homeowner for solar panel installation. Overall, costs to install solar panels are dropping in Texas year-after-year.

What does the average Austin homeowner pay for solar panels?

The average cost of solar panels in Austin is $3.22 per watt. In the U.S., the average size solar panel system is 5 kilowatts or 5,000 watts. So in Austin, the average homeowner will pay $16,100 for solar panels, but that’s before rebates, and other tax incentives kick in. On the whole, Texas is one of the most affordable states to install a solar panel system in, but it’s even cheaper to install panels in Austin. Austin homeowners, on average, spend around 100 dollars less on a solar panel system than other Texas homeowners.


What about solar energy rebates?

The U.S. government and the state of Texas have put together many tax incentives and rebates to encourage people to invest in solar energy. Solar energy is good for the environment and cuts down on energy waste and fossil fuel consumption. For Austin residents, they can take advantage of the Austin Energy Rebate when they install a solar power system from an Austin Energy improved installer. The Austin Energy Rebate gives homeowners $0.50 for every watt in the system they install or up to 50% of the costs of installing the solar system. Install a system of 6 kilowatts, and you can get back $3,000 from the Austin Energy Rebate. Also, the Federal Solar ITC offers addiction tax incentives for solar panel installation.


Does the solar tariff make solar panel installation worth it?

The Value of Solar Tariff or otherwise known as the VOST program is available to people who own or lease their solar system. VOST will pay for every kilowatt hour of energy that your solar panels produce, at a rate of 10.6 cents per kilowatt. With VOST, you would still pay your utility company for the electricity you use at standard residential rates, but you get a credit on your bill for the amount you produce each month. Credits also roll over to the following month. Unused credits at the end of the year roll over to the next year, too.


How do all of these incentives fit together to make solar panel installation a worthy investment?

On the front end, the Austin Energy Rebate and federal tax incentive will save you on significant upfront installation costs. Once installed, your solar panel system will lower your utility bills, and the VOST program will pay you for energy production. If you plan on staying in your home for at least five years, you will see a significant ROI when you install a solar panel system.

Encōr Solar has been installing solar panels for hundreds of happy customers in the Austin area. When you contact Encōr Solar, you’ll get a detailed quote of how much installing solar panels will cost once you take advantage of various energy rebates and tax incentives. Encōr Solar can also help you figure out how long it will take for you to generate an ROI after you install a solar energy system. Contact Encōr Solar today to find out what their experienced solar energy installers can do to lower your energy bills.


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