Solar panels and their related hardware can be a major investment, especially if you are planning to pay for everything upfront. Making the transition may seem expensive at first, but you should know that in most locations, your solar payback period is less than 10 years — and that isn't even accounting for all the money saved on reduced utility bills.
Before we get ahead of ourselves and tell you about all the longterm financial benefits of a solar investment, let's cover how installing solar for your home or business reduces your utility bill.
Depending on some factors, such as your average energy consumption and the cost of electricity in your area, solar can reduce or even eliminate your monthly electricity bill. Even if you only use enough solar to cut your bill in half, saving $50 on an otherwise $100 electric bill with save you $18,000 in energy costs over the lifespan of your solar system.
Additionally, utility rates are only increasing, while the sun charges the same rate for its power (that's a joke, sunshine is free). In 2022, residential electricity prices are projected to increase on average by at least 3.8% when compared to 2021. We've also seem a drastic increase in natural gas and oil prices. Solar protects you from these spikes in cost; when you transition to solar, you lock in your electricity rate for the total lifespan of your system.
Let's think of an example using an average home in northern New England (specifically Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire). In 2020, the average New England household’s energy bill was $116 per month, around $1,400 annually.
Regardless of the upfront costs for the equipment and the payback period, if you were to install a solar photovoltaic system that generated enough power to offset this bill entirely, you would be saving $1,400 in year one. With a 3.8% utility rate increase each year, your savings would grow to $1,454 in two years, $1,508 in three years, and increase continuously throughout the lifespan of your system.
While the exact amount you can save monthly with solar will vary depending on your lifestyle, your location, and how you pay for your solar (upfront or through financing), installing solar is a surefire way to decrease your electricity bill and protect you from volatile utility rate increases. You can use our solar calculator to estimate how much you could save with solar.
Even if your solar system doesn’t cover 100 percent of your home or business' energy demand, you will still save money on a reduced utility bill. Additionally, if your solar energy system is connected to the grid (most are), you will benefit from net metering, regardless of your array's size.
Net metering is a way of energy billing that credits people with solar systems for the electricity they add to the grid. It allows you to divert any excess power produced by your solar panels to the grid and receive monetary credits on your utility bills for the amount you contribute. A solar array that meets even half your needs will still be economically advantageous if you can utilize net metering in your area.
An average residential solar system may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods when the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use (hence net metering). On average, 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid, and this exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.
Net metering allows utility customers to generate their own electricity cleanly and efficiently. During the day, most solar customers produce more electricity than they consume; net metering allows them to export that power to the grid and reduce their future electric bills.
At the end of the month your utility will reconcile the difference between your solar production vs. electrical consumption, and you either earn a credit or are billed accordingly. Earned credits carry forward up to a year.
Retail net metering is currently protected and accessible for new customers in all the states where we offer service: Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
Going solar save you money in the short term and long term, through a lower (or non existent) electric bill and a locked in rate that won't increase with utility price hikes. But you may be thinking, "hey, disembodied voice of ReVision, tell me how I'm going to save money when going solar is so expensive?"
The answer: it's not! Solar is more affordable than ever, thanks to decreasing overall cost of the technology, increased efficiency, and a plethora of incentives, tax credits and state specific programs that help reduce the cost of installing solar.
Solar is Increasingly Affordable →