September 29  |  Home Inspiration

Solar Panel Homes: Savings From the Sky

Money may not grow on trees, but it might just fall from the sky. Many homeowners are installing solar panels on their homes in order to convert natural energy into electricity. The upfront investment of installing solar panels ultimately saves you an average of $2,400 per year.

Some solar panel companies offer free installation and just expect payment for the price of the actual materials. This cost ranges between $15,000 and $40,000 for residential properties. This initial out-of-pocket investment might make your heart skip a beat (and not in a good way), but if you do some quick math, the initial cost will be paid for through the month-to-month savings accumulated long-term. Solar panels can essentially pay for themselves.

Solar Panel Homes

If you’ve seen these mysterious mirror-like additions to roofs in your neighborhood, but had no clue what they were, we’ll make it pretty simple. In short, solar panels harvest natural sunlight energy and convert it into electricity. This electricity can be used to power an entire home or business, from light bulbs to ovens.

Solar Panel Homes

As Colorado boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, its residents are wise to take advantage of the free, natural energy emitted from the sun at all times — even on cloudy days. How much energy does the sun produce? We’re so glad you asked! Let’s put it this way. There is enough energy emitted from the sun every second to power the United States for 9,000,000 years. What?! Since you’ve been reading this, the sun has stocked us with energy we could be using in the year 270002015. So it only makes sense to harness that energy and transform it into something extremely useful.

Not only do solar panels have an impressive ROI track record, you can also become a valuable resource to your utility company, which in turn will add more money to your pocket. Several utility companies will actually buy electricity your solar panels have gathered that you did not use. And that can often be 20-40% of a household’s total solar production. This process is called net metering.

Solar Panel Homes Net Metering

You might be thinking, “All of this sounds great! Where do I sign up?” Or maybe the thought of transforming your quaint cottage home into a shiny space station doesn’t quite settle well with you as “Back to the Future” scenes are flashing through your mind. You are now dreading your next Homeowner Association meeting.

But alas! There are several attractive options for disguising your money-making machine in order to not attract as much unwanted attention from your neighbors. Also, if you’re not willing to jump right into the solar world (or solar system, if you will), there are some small steps you can take to ease into this significant transition. Or maybe you could test out the power of solar by resting in these re-charging stations disguised as public furniture, which are of course powered by the sun.

Solar Panel Homes

Solar Panel Homes

Overwhelmed? So were we. This is a good place to start. It doesn’t hurt to input some information to see how much installing solar panels at your home could save you, as savings vary depending on several financial factors. Because this calculator may not be completely accurate or personalized, you might also consider reaching out to a local Fort Collins solar panel company. They will be able to give you a more complete picture of your financial future with solar panels.

Alt E Wind and Solar | 970-482-SOLAR (7652)

Burnham-Beck & Sun | 970-482-6924

For more information on solar energy, including pros and cons and installation basics, check out Solar Action Alliance. They have tools that will help you get started on your own installation as well as country-wide promotion materials for solar energy. You can even look through Colorado-specific pros and cons and learn just how long it will take your solar panels to pay you back!

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: SolarCity and City of Fort Collins.

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