So how much can solar panels actually save you every month?
Well, it depends on what you’re trying to save.
Financial Savings with Solar Energy
Most San Diego customers gravitate towards the financial savings that solar offers. Installing photovoltaic (PV) panels allows you to reduce your monthly electricity bill – starting on Day 1.
- If you lease your solar power system, the financial savings are limited. For the duration of your lease, you’ll have lower monthly electricity bills, but that’s it. To learn more about the benefits and limitations of solar leases, click here.
- If you finance your system with cash or a solar loan, the financial benefits continue. In sunny San Diego, the payback period of a standard installation is about 4 to 6 years (during which you have lower monthly bills). Once the system is fully paid for, however, you enjoy decades of free electricity – even as utility prices go up.
If you’re primarily motivated by long-term savings, we strongly recommend that you finance your solar installation with cash or loans. At Sunline Energy, we walk you through the steps needed to do either.
But some solar customers are more interested in the ecological impact of their installations. So let’s take a quick look at environmental savings.
Environmental Savings with Solar Energy
Solar is great for the environment. Once installed, your panels will continue to generate clean and free electricity for years. This means less fossil fuel, less pollution, and a greener environment.
But as green as solar is, you can’t begin counting its environmental benefits right away. After all, manufacturing solar panels requires energy – a lot of energy. And that power usually comes from fossil fuel (i.e. oil, gas, and coal).
It takes about 4 years for the clean energy your panels generate to completely offset the dirty energy used to make those panels. Thereafter, your solar PV system will produce net positive clean electricity for decades.
When talking about the environment, it doesn’t matter if you lease your panels or own them outright (via cash or low interest loans). The carbon offsets are the same. So if saving the planet is your primary goal, you can explore either financing route.
So How Much CO2 and Money Can Solar Panels Really Save You?
Great questions. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post when we look more closely at the numbers and dissect those factors that influence both financial and environmental savings.
In the meantime, if you’d like a free solar analysis of your home or business, contact us today to schedule an appointment.