How Much Money Can Solar Power Save You on Your Monthly Energy Bill?
Georgia’s Energy Bills 5th Highest in the Nation
When you start investigating your options to install solar power for your home, farm, or business, the most important number is the Return On Investment – the ROI. In other words, depending on how much you spend on installation, when will you recover your costs, and how much will you profit after that?
Once you’ve recovered your costs, every month after that means savings. And with solar, the savings get really big, really fast, after the ROI date is reached. For Georgia especially, the potential long-term savings are especially large.
A recent article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution revealed that Georgia has the fifth highest energy bills in the nation. The $328 monthly average includes both gas for the car and electricity for the house. Electricity alone averages $157 per month. And this is for home residents, not farms or businesses, which most likely will have much larger monthly energy bills.
Those large electricity bills you’re tired of paying actually make solar power an even better option for Georgia residents than, say, people in Washington state, which has the lowest electricity bills in the nation because of all the hydropower.
Your monthly savings from solar power will be far greater than is even possible in some states.
Cost Breakdown – How Soon Will Your Electricity Be Free?
Take a look at your own monthly energy bills. If you’re around average for Georgia homes, you’re spending well over $100 a month just for electricity. If we assume your new solar panels will reduce your bills by $100 a month, you will save $1200 per year on electricity. If you have the roof space to install enough panels to eliminate your bill entirely, then on average you’d save $1800 each year.
The following table assumes a $15,000 installation cost for your home’s solar power system. Again – this is highly speculative. Do not take these numbers as firm projections or actual costs. Use it as a loose guide to see how much you’ll save long term, depending on various hypothetical monthly energy bill savings from solar power.
Energy Bill Savings from Solar Power
||Years to Break Even
With solar tax incentives like the Investment Tax Credit (cuts 30% of your total costs) and accelerated depreciation, you can get your new panels installed for much less than the actual price. These incentives slash the time it takes to break even, and boosts your solar ROI by thousands of dollars.
If you’re planning to move in two years, the table suggests it’s probably not the right time for solar, even if you can save $150 a month. Unless your main interest in solar energy is to reduce pollution, as well as the other non-financial benefits of solar power.
But if you’re going to live in your house for a while and can save the majority of your electricity costs from solar power – you are in a position to reap tens of thousands of dollars in long term savings.
One more nugget to consider: Solar panels have 25 year warrantees, and you can reasonably expect them to last from 35 to 45 years. So the ROI is even larger than what you see in the table the farther out you go.
The First Question You Need to Ask
How much solar energy can I expect to get from panels installed at my home? This is the primary question you need to ask your solar consultant. The answer depends on a number of factors, such as roof space, shading, and other variables, so it can’t be answered in just a few minutes. But it’s the key to all your solar energy savings projections.
Once you know this, you can figure out how big a chunk solar power will bite out of your utility bill. From there, you can determine your ROI.
Here are 9 more questions and answers about solar power that will help you understand some of the other factors you may have to consider.