While the cost of solar is falling overall, many homeowners can experience sticker shock when they see the price of solar panels. The good news is that most homeowners will be able to take advantage of zero-down financing and government incentives that can reduce the cost to almost nothing. But is it a smart investment? Consider a few points:
The sun isn’t going anywhere. Every day, enough solar rays hit the United States to power the country for more than 10 years. Even cloudy Germany is now supplying over 50% of their power with solar technology. Solar panels, as an investment, will continue to produce power long after they’ve paid for themselves in savings.
Solar technology is very reliable. Solar panels were first developed in the 1950s. In fact, the Vanguard 1 satellite, launched in 1958, is still orbiting the earth with power coming from attached solar cells. Solar technology is relatively simple to construct, with few moving parts. Most systems require little or no maintenance over their lifetimes and almost all outproduce their warranties.
Solar installers offer great warranties. Most solar panels system come with a 25-year limited warranty. This typically includes guarantees of minimum production from the system over that timeframe, and can even include insurance against disasters like a fire.
Solar saves money right away. Many investments can take years before they start to build a return. Not solar. Solar panels can reduce or eliminate your power bill starting on the first day of use. Some states offer attractive options for solar-powered homes through a process called net metering. This allows homeowners to sell their excess energy back to their utility company for cash or future credit, and can further offset the costs of getting started.