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Do You Really Save Money By Installing Solar?

If you've been interested in going solar and have had someone out to give you a bid, you may have had sticker shock. Solar is an investment on par with a car. This can seem like a huge investment when you already have a perfectly serviceable agreement with the utility company bringing electricity into your home.

You're trading a couple of hundred dollars a month for something that costs thousands. You've been told that solar can save you money, but with the initial investment how can that be true? The fact is, solar really will save you money. Read on to discover why it is absolutely one of the best investments you can make for your home and your wallet.

Compare the Cost

First, put that sticker shock to rest with a quick comparison to other big-ticket items in which you might invest for the home. Start with an average cost for solar panels, which can range from $15,000 to $40,000 depending on where you are in the U.S.  Remember too, that even if you spend an average of $27,500 for solar, there are significant tax breaks and local incentives that can bring the net cost down to under $10,000. Your investment in solar is going to last for about 30 years with no additional maintenance or replacements.

For most people, the average cost of solar is about the same as buying a new car. Your new car loses its value over the next five years. You'll need to pay for fuel, maintenance and repairs. A Volkswagen Jetta GLI costs around $27,500. Over five years, Edmunds says that brand-new car will actually cost about $42,000. At the end of five years, you will likely sell your car for a fraction of what you paid and will then have to buy a newer and, likely, more expensive car. Even assuming no price increase in new cars, over 30 years you'll potentially spend $252,000 on your vehicle.

Unlike a car, other investments can add more value to your home. Installing an in-ground pool will set you back an average of $52,000, with annual maintenance of $2,000 and annual additional utilities and repairs of $2,500. Over 30 years a pool will cost you about $187,000. On the more conservative end, a mid-range kitchen remodel will set you back about $67,000. Unlike cars and pools, your kitchen remodel doesn't have a lot of hidden long-term costs, but you can see it is still double the cost of a solar system installation. Installing solar panels from Bakersfield is like having insurance for the rising costs of electricity. The ability to produce your own energy saves you from having to buy expensive power from electrical companies.

See the Benefit

Taking your energy from solar can completely negate your electric bill. Most people are spending about $1,450 a year on electricity and those rates are increasing over 2% a year, but have years where they have jumped 10%. You will immediately be saving most or all of that $1,450 per year. The average solar system has paid for itself in seven years. Over 30 years you will have saved about $30,000 above and beyond the cost of your system. Compare that to the continuous outlay you have for many other big-ticket items.

There's a chance you won't be in your home for 30 years. If you sell your home before the system is paid off, is there really a benefit? Yes, there still is a benefit for you. One, you can take the system with you if you want to. On the other hand, houses that have solar systems sell for about 4% more and they sell far more quickly than houses without solar. For a smaller investment than a pool or kitchen remodel, you can achieve the same or greater gains on resale.

Solar is one of the only investments that adds value to your home, has low to no associated maintenance costs and saves you money.

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