Savings On Solar: The Basics

Solar power generation comes in all shapes and sizes. They can be industrial-sized power plants, or smaller, more manageable home-based units that work like battery-operated generators. But, for all this diversity, people seem to talk about one thing that’s common among all: savings. They say you pay less for the same energy output. Is this true?

Crunching Numbers

The typical American household pays an average of $114 a month for electricity. That translates to roughly $1400 a year, as per data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). To date, the costs have experienced a steady climb since 2008, and is projected to increase at least twofold by 2032.

It suffices to say that people are in the hunt for ways to slash their bills. Several people choose solar as an alternative. But you have to consider the basic requirements of solar panel installation first. For one, panels are practically useless in a locale which doesn’t see enough sunlight. This is what experts call “insolation.” Next, there’s the initial purchase price and the cost of installation. All in all, solar panels can be pricey upfront. It’s the potential they hold that interests people the most, though.

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Money, Money, Money

Google has a nifty tool that allows people to see how much they can save from solar panels, all for the next decade. It works just like Google Maps—people enter the location, Google scans the neighborhood, and calculates how much sun it receives and how much area is there for solar panel installation.

Take this, for instance: a community that receives 1,742 hours of sunlight annually and has 22,881 square feet of space for solar panels stands to save a great deal. In this case, it’s as much as $14,000 for the next decade. This tool is aptly named Project Sunroof, though coverage is pretty limited. It’s only available for locales in the San Francisco Bay Area, Central California, and greater Boston.

Solar panels can save you a lot of money. That is, if you strongly considered your home’s “eligibility.” Remember that not everyone can take advantage solar. Those who actually can are in for a treat.

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