Can You Make Money with Solar Panels?
You have been thinking about installing solar panels for a while now, but the fact that they can save reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on your utility bills still haven’t convinced you to move forward. But recently, you’ve heard people you know who have solar panels say that they are actually making money off of their investment. Your ears have definitely perked up and now you’re really intrigued.
Can you really make money with solar panels? And if so, how?
Let’s take a look at these questions and see if we can give you a definitive answer.
What’s the Deal?
Your friends have been saying that their solar system is producing so much energy that they are actually selling the power that they generate back to their utility companies.
In your mind, you are picturing getting a big check in the mail from your utility company once a month for all the solar power you generate and don’t use. However, it’s not as simple as that. While yes, there is a chance that your utility company will pay you for the power that you generate, don’t use, and it goes back into the grid instead. But in order to do that, you have to take advantage of something known as net metering.
What is Net Metering?
Net metering lets you take the energy that your solar system produces and you don’t use, and sell it back to your utility company. An estimated 20 to 40 percent of the solar energy that is created goes right back into the grid, which is pretty substantial. This energy helps to lower electric bills for other people. In fact, it is a mandatory requirement set forth by the US government for utility companies to purchase the surplus energy that residential solar systems create.
Determining How Much Energy You’re Solar Panels are Generating
In order to calculate how much solar energy you can sell, you first need to determine how much energy your solar panels are creating. To do this, you will need to assess the equipment that measures energy production – your power meter.
Your home has a power meter attached to it. Within that meter are gauges that track the amount of energy your home uses, as well as an inverter. Your power company will use the inverter to measure how much energy your solar panels are generating. If it is determined that you are producing more energy than you’re using, your utility company will apply a credit to your utility bill – or they may even offer you a refund in cash.
How Much Money Can You Make Off of Solar Panels?
The amount of money you can make on the energy your solar panels generates depends on where you live and your utility company. Additionally, the cost of using a net metering system – the system that feeds the excess energy that your solar panels generate back into the grid – will affect how much money you can make.
On average, homeowner’s can see a reduction of about $400 in their utility bill each year. However, again, that amount does depend on the factors that are mentioned above; you could make more money, or you could make less.
Are There Other Ways to Make Money Off of Solar Panels?
Yes! There are several incentives offered for installing solar panels. These incentives can include tax credits, rebates, and tax exemptions. For instance, if you live in an area that offers a 30 percent federal tax credit, you can recoup 30 percent of the total amount of money you invested on your solar panels. However, it should be noted that incentives to vary from location to location, and they aren’t available in all areas.
Summing It Up
Solar energy is much more affordable than ever before, and it seems as if the prices of installing a system will continue to drop. Additionally, it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce how much you rely on the use of fossil fuels, such as oil, the prices of which continue to rise. You can even manage to make a few bucks on your solar panels, which makes installing a solar system even more attractive.
If you are looking to save money on your utility bills, improve the health of the planet, and possibly make a bit of money, too, installing a solar panel system can certainly be worth your while.
To learn more about solar energy and how it could benefit your home, speak to a reputable company that specializes in solar panels. They will be able to help you determine what type of benefits you will be able to reap, as well as what type of system will best suit the needs of your home.