Solar Electric Systems – About Money Or Personal Principles

Solar electric systems convert the power from the sun to electricity for either your home or for a business. You can either install a system that powers and stores electricity for your home – this is known as off the grid, or you can install a system that allows you to sell electricity back to the power company. By converting solar energy into electricity to power your home or business, you need less energy from your power company. In most residential solar systems, the average savings averages out to be about 30% energy bill savings.

Solar Systems Increase The Value Of Your Home
To answer this, consider this question: Would you be willing to pay more for a home that saved you on your monthly electric bill? Most people would answer yes. There is value to having a home that already has solar power added to it. Having to add solar power to a home after the fact is so far not well received because of the up front costs associated with installing solar PV systems to a home.
According to the U.S. Dept. of HUD, a reduction of about $1 in your electric bill translates into an increase in your home’s property value of around $20. Therefore, if you installed a 3 kW system that saved you $500 per/year your home value would go up by $10,000. If the cost of this system after rebates cost let’s say $13,000 then you would have to own the home 6 months after installation of your system, and sell your home for the extra $10,000 to break even. After 6 months and a regular appreciating home value real estate market it is all money in the bank.

How Do I Know Which Solar System To Buy?
Generally there are several factors that go into what system to pick. The general guideline that most solar power companies use is you need a 1 kW system for every 1000 ft2 of your home. In general the recommended size is a 3 kW system for most homes. This size system will on average save you around 30% on your annual electric bill.
The second factor in determining the size of the system that you pick is how much roof top do you have to install panels on. The 3 kW system needs around 350 ft2 to install. If over time you want to add to your system, most PV systems are very easy to add on to. If you have the space to install a bigger system and you want to pay for a bigger system, you can go up in size for a larger annual savings on your electric bill.

How Long Until I See My System Pay Me Back?
The average payback period is around 10 years. This figure is hard to pinpoint because every system is different. Another differentiating point to the pay back period from location to location is the amount of sunshine you get annually. Cities like Denver and Phoenix get over 300 days/year of sun. With this kind of exposure to the sun, systems in these cities would pay back their owners faster than someone who lives in the northeast where they get much less sunny days per year.

Cost Is Not Everything – Make A Difference For The Environment
Residential solar power systems are still not too popular because they are expensive to install. In order for American home owners to embrace the idea of solar power and to choose to have systems installed on their homes, the price of these systems has to come down some more. Or the upfront costs of the system have to be absorbed over the lifetime of the unit. There are perhaps other policies that could be put into place by the federal government to make installing these systems a reality for the majority of homeowners.
But, is money the only factor in choosing to install a solar system for your home? As climate changes occur and global warming seems to get worse, installing solar power for your home may become more of a personal cause to making a difference than a financial decision. Other factors that can be minimized with reducing your dependency on the commercial electrical power grid include pollution, mining and drilling which is very destructive to land and life as well as it is a dangerous occupation, distribution of fuel around the world takes additional fossil fuel resources, in some cases could reduce the production of nuclear waste, and last but not least the use of water.
Buying a solar electric system for your home could be all about making a statement that it is time to make a change in the world away from our dependence on fossil fuels thus taking steps to minimize global warming and climate change.