What's the return on investment for solar panels?
The return you get on your investment will depend on what your current electricity costs look like. Though a solar panel system is a substantial investment up front, over time, it can more than pay for itself.
Generally, solar panels create enough energy to power your whole house. Let's imagine you spend $15,000 to install a solar panel system and are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit on that installation. If your normal electric bill is $200 a month, it will take you 55 and 1/2 months to break even. Now, that may seem like a long time, but from that point on, you're actually making money by virtue of not paying for electricity.
Are solar panels a good investment for you?
Solar panels can save you money on electricity while adding to the value of your home, but they're not right for everyone. For one thing, they don't work for every home design. Whether you have the right setup depends on the direction your home faces and what roofing materials you have. You'll need to have a solar installation company come out to do an assessment to determine if you stand to benefit from solar panels.
Solar panels also may not make sense if you're not planning to stay in your home for very long, as there's a break-even period you'll need to get through before you reap the financial benefits of having the system in place. And if you don't tend to spend a lot on electricity, it'll take even longer to recoup your investment.
Also, some people don't like the look of solar panels. Whether that bothers you will depend on your aesthetic preferences, but it may be an issue for prospective buyers when the time comes to sell your home.
Ultimately, solar panels can be a solid investment and save you a lot of money in the long run. Crunch the numbers to see what sort of return you're looking at and decide whether they're the right choice for your home.