Are solar panels worth it in Texas? The state is noted for its hot temperatures and many days of sunlight, which means that installing solar panels could certainly be worth it here. Solar panels need direct sunlight to function, and the higher the quality of that solar light, the better. As you think about switching to renewable energy, it's always a good idea to think about the many resources you can use to make solar systems here not only good for the environment but also affordable. SmartSolar can help you. Reach out to us to learn more about installing a solar energy system for your home.
Why Solar Panels Are Worth It in Texas
In general, most homes in Texas will be better off with a solar panel system. There are several key reasons for this.
In Texas, the global horizontal irradiation (GHI) is 4.8 kWh/m2. That is one of the best levels in the U.S., and that makes installing a residential solar panel system ideal here. If you have enough roof space to install solar panels, then doing so could be worthwhile. Take a look at what you may see if you invest in solar energy for your Texas home.
1. Solar panels can meet solar power demand here
Today's solar PV system can easily meet the needs of the average household in Texas. To find out how much energy you consume, start by looking at your electric bill. You will notice the amount of electrical energy you use each month. Determine what the average amount is (or what the highest amount is) for your home over a 12-month period. Texas solar panels are likely to meet this need. That means there are enough solar panel systems available to meet the energy production goals of most modern homes in Texas.
2. It can be affordable
The investment in solar power for a home is more affordable now than it has been in history. The cost of solar panels has fallen significantly in the last few years, from well over $3,600 in 2013 to $1,848 in 2018, per kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Keeping this in mind, there are a few things that play a role in how affordable solar panels will be for you.
The total solar system cost depends on how many solar panels you need. This is determined by the amount of solar panel efficiency the system has. Some are designed to be more efficient than others, such as monocrystalline solar panels.
You also have to consider the financial incentives that are available. That includes the federal solar tax credit, which works to reduce your income taxes by up to 30% of the cost of the solar system. That is a great way to lower your costs when having solar panels installed. You may also qualify for other ways to save money on your solar investment through Texas incentives and discounts available. Check out any local solar rebates that may be available to help lower your costs. For many Texas, solar panels are more affordable because of this.
3. Get off the grid
Another reason residential solar systems can be such an important tool for many property owners is that it allows you to have an off grid solar system. That means you are not dependent on the local energy company, such as the electric company, to provide power to your home. If you consider the fact that a single storm can leave you without power for days at a time, the investment in solar energy makes it worthwhile just to have the confidence that your system will be there, generating power for you.
Aside from having the electricity you need from the electricity produced by your solar panels and not having to worry about power outages, you are also less at the mercy of changing rates in electricity costs when you have your own solar power in place. As electricity costs rise in your area, you may not have to worry about that. This increased energy independence makes it financially beneficial to have a solar system in place for most homes. It helps you take full advantage of the energy game.
4. Net metering could help you lower your costs
In some areas of the Lone Star state, you may be able to sell excess electricity back to the electric company. This is called net metering, and though the terms and conditions differ, many power companies are working to make this an option.
For example, say your solar panel system produces more energy than you need to use at your home. That means your home solar panels can generate electricity that is then sent to the grid. That means that you could receive a rebate from your electrical provider to further reduce your costs.
5. Solar batteries provide protection during storms and bad weather
Solar panels work best in direct sunlight. Yet, when they are operating, they will generate enough electricity to power your home. Anything extra can then be placed in solar batteries linked to your system. That way, when night comes, and there's no sunlight, you still have the ability to tap into solar power that's been stored.
The same applies to bad weather. Solar panels work only in the sunlight to create energy. Solar batteries hold onto that energy so that you can use it when the weather is bad. More so, your home is likely to be connected to the electricity grid. In situations where you cannot produce your own electricity, you can pull from the electric grid as you have been.
6. They require minimal maintenance costs
Most of the time, solar panels do not require any type of maintenance and upkeep. The average pay back period for solar systems is 12.6 years, which means the system will pay for itself in half of its lifetime. Most systems will work efficiently for 25 years and sometimes longer.
During that time, you are not likely to have to worry much about maintenance. You may need to have them inspected from time to time. Keeping them free from dirt may be necessary. Yet, you don't have to wash them because the rain does that for you.
Should You Invest in a Solar System?
There are many factors to consider when making the decision to invest in a solar system. You need to think about the way solar energy systems can change the way your home functions. For example, with solar power, you will no longer be generating as much of a carbon footprint because you are not using fossil fuels.
After solar panel installation, you will carry on using your home's electricity in the same way you are. A residential solar system works just like any other power system. It is likely to meet your monthly electricity usage goals, too.
What about solar panel cost?
For many people, the reduction in utility bills will save money, making it worthwhile to invest in your own solar panels. Still, you have to pay a lot of money up front to get solar panels installed. The cost of solar panels is dependent on the system you install, its efficiency, and how much solar energy you need.
When considering solar worth, know that you can:
- Pay for the system upfront and, in doing so, not have to worry about interest costs
- Use a loan to purchase the solar panel system reducing your initial costs out of pocket
- Lease the solar panel system, which means you do not have to pay any upfront cost, but you will not own solar panels outright.
No matter which method you use, the system produces solar energy that uses the sun to power your home. The direct benefit is that it provides environmental benefits to you and the planet. During peak sunlight hours, the right solar panel system produces enough energy so that you do not have to worry about using the electric grill. If you want to lower your utility bills and you have the right roof orientation for solar panel installation, go for it.
Making the Decision That Is Right for You
Solar installation is a big decision that you will want to make wisely. Our team can help you do that. Allow us to estimate your electricity usage requirements, the amount of peak sunlight hours your home receives, and any net metering or other benefits available from your local electricity provider.
SmartSolar.org can help you figure out if installing solar panels on your home would be a good idea. Reach out to us today to learn more about the tax credits available through the investment tax credit at the federal level, too. Take our SmartSolar.org quiz to see what you can expect.