Solar energy is a renewable source of energy, which makes it an exceedingly attractive choice in powering your home: the cost is usually a one-off (except for some government taxes), you start seeing savings in your electricity bill right away, and the government rewards you for this eco-friendly choice in the way of tax credits. However, the main thing stopping homeowners all over this country from installing solar roof panels en masse is the startup cost, as even just buying them comes with a hefty price tag. Because of the high initial cost, many people wonder if it’s even worth getting them put in. We’re here to answer that question and tell you, one way or the other, if it’s something you should look into.
How Much Do Solar Roof Panels Cost?
It’s impossible to give a single dollar figure as to how much solar roof panels cost because of how each state manages the following factors differently:
Solar power incentives
Solar power regulations
Maturity of solar market in a specific geographic location
However, like computers, the price of solar roof panels has been steadily dropping since they first came into existence. To give a rough idea of how much it would cost — with the best option by far being to just get a quote in the city/state you live in — you’d be looking at anywhere from less than $10,000 to as much as $40,000. The areas of the United States where solar panels tend to cost less are the Northeast, California, Arizona, Minnesota, and parts of the Midwest, while the cost spikes if you’re living in Wyoming, South Dakota, parts of the Northwest and parts of the Deep South.
Benefits of Solar Energy
Other than the initial cost of solar roof panels, there are almost no downsides to getting them installed on your roof. That’s not to say it’s a completely flawless way of powering your home, but the benefits do far outweigh any disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the more major selling points of solar roof panels.
1. Renewable: Once you have the solar roof panels installed, you’re set to power your home for just about forever. The sun isn’t going anyway anytime soon (at least not in your lifetime or the dozens of generations that’ll follow), whereas other sources of energy, like fossil fuels, have a limited lifespan.
2. Noise: The sun shining on your roof is silent, so you won’t be bothered by loud sounds that come from other renewable sources of energy, like wind turbines. You’ll still have some noise inside your home, but that’s to be expected; anytime electricity powers something (even if the sun is behind it), there’s going to be a bit of noise.
3. Independence: Unless the government puts a barrier between the sun and your solar roof panels, or unless you have a month straight of no sun and all rain, you’re going to be able to power your home independently of electric power grids. And with people sucking up more and more electricity, which causes brownouts and blackouts, you’ll be doing just fine with your own source of power.
4. Return on Investment: Because of solar roof panels’ high initial cost, you will have to wait a good little while before you can fully recoup the cost of them. It’ll take patience and waiting more than five years, but even in your first year, you’ll start seeing money come back from them.
5. Tax Incentives: Depending on what state you live in and how strong their solar power program is, your tax breaks can range from measly “pocket change” to a very handsome kickback. Either way, there’s almost always something financial the government will give back to you for having solar roof panels.
Disadvantages of Solar Roof Panels
As we mentioned earlier, solar roof panels aren’t a perfect concept, or at least, they’re not a perfect concept right now. However, the drawbacks we’re going to list below are few and far between, and almost never a hindrance to getting solar roof panels installed.
1. Initial Cost: It’ll be a hard pill to swallow when you first hear of how much it can cost to get solar roof panels installed as nationally, There are a few states where the cost won’t run you too much at all, but for the most part, you’ll be looking at $20,000 to $30,000 to get the panels installed.
2. Inconsistency: For solar roof panels to actually power your house, you need a fairly steady source of sunlight. Homeowners in states like Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida can face many more rainy days than other states, while homeowners in states where winter slams in harshly will be concerned with snow accumulation blocking the sun from reaching the solar roof panels. Another thing to consider is if you live in a place where hurricanes or tornadoes are common, as storms can bring in clouds, which aren’t conducive to powering your home.
3. Maintenance: Unfortunately, solar roof panels aren’t self-cleaning, so you’ll have to periodically go up there to make sure the panels are clear of dirt and debris. And if a bad storm hits, your panels may become damaged and need to be repaired.
The Verdict: Are Solar Roof Panels Worth It?
Despite any drawbacks, the answer is still wholeheartedly yes. Solar roof panels will start paying for themselves the second you install them, you’ll have decreased reliance on other sources of energy, and you’ll be doing a hugely eco-friendly favor to the environment.
But if you live somewhere where your access to the sun isn’t as steady as other places, you’ll probably want a backup system in place to ensure you always have power to your home.