According to the US Energy Information Administration, just in 2020, the US used a whopping 3.8 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, making it the second country in the world for power usage, just after China. Today, under 20% of this energy comes from renewable sources, and just 2.3% derives from solar.
However, it has never been clearer that fossil fuels no longer represent the future and cleaner energy sources are on the rise. That is why investing in solar power for your home in NJ or NY is not only convenient – but it can also represent a profitable investment for years to come.
At True Home Solar, we understand how intimidating the upfront costs of installing solar might be. However, today, thanks to federal and state incentives, as well as the increased efficiency of solar power systems, you can offset these costs and even establish an additional income stream. Here is how.
Solar Panels: An Overview
Solar power systems – known as photovoltaic (PV) technology – have been around for over 70 years. However, it was only in the early 2000s that the reduced associated costs and increased efficiency made them popular among property owners.
Today, residential solar panels arrays have evolved to meet the changing energy needs of US households. While output may vary depending on your house’s location, hours of daylight, weather, and system efficiency, most arrays are able to supply enough energy to cover the daily needs of a household.
The Costs of Solar: What You Need to Know
Since this technology was first introduced, the cost of solar panels for homes has been consistently decreasing. In 2022, the average cost of a solar panel array hovers around $10,626 and $13,230, after the standard 30% tax credit offered by the government. It is important to keep in mind that this cost can vary depending on the number of solar panels and how much energy you need your panels to generate.
While installing the initial module is the most significant upfront cost you are bound to face, you will break even on your investment within 10-20 years. Some of the costs you need to budget for include:
- Installation of modules, inverters, and metering equipment
- Workmanship and labor
- Optional battery storage to accumulate unused energy
- Maintenance, repair, and operating costs
For most homeowners, installing home solar panels on their NJ or NY property can be highly beneficial in terms of energy efficiency, costs, and property value. However, if you still have doubts that this is the right option for you, the solar experts at True Home Solar are always available to answer your questions.
Solar Panels Can Reduce Your Energy Bills
There are endless reasons why solar panels are the smart choice for your home. But the most evident one is significant energy cost savings. While most homes with solar panels are still connected to the grid, most of their energy needs are offset by their PV modules. This can help you avoid a portion or the entire amount of your energy bills.
Offsetting Your Energy Costs
Among the most common reasons for homeowners to invest in solar panels is the desire to reduce their environmental footprint and lower energy costs. After all, utility costs have constantly been on the rise over the past 14 years, and, in 2021, Americans faced the sharpest year-on-year electricity price increase since 2009.
Solar panels can undoubtedly help you reduce the cost of daily life. But the extent of this help varies depending on several factors, including:
- Local solar irradiation levels – this refers to how much electromagnetic radiation the sun delivers to a certain geographical location, and it is at its highest around the equator.
- The home and array orientation – arrays located on south-facing rooftops benefit from the highest solar irradiation, especially if there are no objects, trees, or taller buildings obstructing sunlight.
- Your utility company’s charge schedule – solar panels produce the most power during the afternoon and in summer. If your utility company charges increased rates for these times of the day, you will be able to offset a great portion of your utility costs.
Selling Solar-Generated Electricity
Another way in which you can benefit from solar panels for your home is by selling any solar-generated electricity in excess to utility companies. You can do so by applying for a net metering plan and putting the extra electricity generated by your solar array into the grid.
This is a cost-effective way to get credit for your utilities and pay less when you are using electricity coming from the grid.
Incentives Can Help You Reduce Your Solar Costs and Installation
While the transition from traditional energy sources to renewables is happening slowly, governments are on the same page: clean energy sources are the future, and these future needs to come fast.
That is why governmental organizations, state departments, and utility companies are providing a wide range ofsolar incentives.Here are some of your options, but do not forget to check with your state or municipality for other local incentives and benefits.
The most prominent solar incentive comes from the federal government in the form of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This tax credit can be as high as 30%, thus offering you a one-third reduction on the cost of your solar energy system. Federal incentives change often – so, keep an eye out for the latest benefits and rewards!
If you are looking to install solar panels in your New York or New Jersey home, you will be able to benefit from two major state incentives:
- The Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) – These certificates allow homeowners to receive payments from local utility companies in exchange for contributions to the Generation Attribute Tracking System (GATS).
- The New York State Solar Equipment Tax Credit – this state-based incentive allows you to enjoy a credit of 25% on qualified solar tax expenses and can be worth as much as $5000.
Incentives From Your Local Utility Company
Your local utility company might also run incentives to help them meet the increased energy needs of local consumers. Check for monetary incentives, credit, and rewards for inputting excessive energy produced by your solar panels into the grid.
Installing Solar Panels Can Boost Your Home Value
Installing solar panels in your home in New Jersey or New York can be an extremely smart investment, especially when it comes down to increasing your property value. They do so by:
- Lowering electricity bills and creating a more efficient home for you and future owners
- Homebuyers are always more concerned with making greener choices, and homes with renewable energy sources can help them lower their environmental footprint
- For homebuyers looking to invest in solar panels, it is more convenient to buy a home with already installed modules
Partnering With the Solar Experts at True Home Solar
At True Home Solar, we have helped hundreds of homeowners in New Jersey and New York find the perfect solar energy system for their unique needs. Contact us at (845) 920-9131 today to learn about what to expect from the costs and benefits of solar.