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6 Ways Solar Can Help Save Money

  • 4 min read

Solar energy is among the most popular forms of renewable energy. Solar power comes from the sun and is converted into usable energy through modern technology. Typically, this consists of solar panels attached to the roof of your home.

Solar provides one of the cleanest and most stable forms of energy, which allows us to move away from sources that create pollution and harm the environment. Not only is solar better for the environment, but it's also better for your wallet!

Electricity costs are usually the largest expense in a household and will only continue to rise. Don’t worry though, solar can substantially lower or offset these costs in a variety of ways. We’ve listed the top 6 below!

1. Save money on electric bills.

This one is the most obvious. When you have solar panels installed, you are no longer relying solely on the utility company to provide you with electricity. Instead, you’ll receive clean, free energy from the sun! 

During the day, when the sun is visible, you’ll receive solar energy. At night and during shaded periods, you’ll receive energy from your local utility company like normal. Less energy is typically consumed over night so this alone would probably slash your electric bill by more than half. 

You also have the option to get a solar battery and store the excess solar energy that your panels produce during the day. This stored energy would then power the home at night, essentially eliminating your electricity bill all together!

2. Save money with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).

Solar Renewable Energy Credits or SRECs for short, are credits paid to you by the utility company for producing solar energy. This is not extra energy that you’re selling back to the grid, but simply a credit for producing renewable energy in the first place.

I know what you’re probably thinking, why would the utility company pay me for the solar energy that I produce and use myself? The reason is that energy companies primarily produce energy from less sustainable resources like fossil fuels and state and federal governments have set rules requiring a certain percentage of their energy to come from renewable resources such as solar.

Rather than adding solar energy to their existing infrastructure, it is often more cost effective to simply pay you to produce it for them! The solar energy that they pay you for counts toward their minimum production requirements so it’s a win-win for both you and the utility company.

3. Save money by net metering.

Unlike SRECs that pay you for solar energy that you produce and use, net metering is the process of selling excess energy that you don’t use back to the utility company. They will credit your account with the cash equivalent of whatever energy you don’t use. 

Typically, this is kept as a running balance in your account to offset the periods when you use more energy than you produce, such as at night. The utility company will often settle these accounts once or twice a year.

For example, if you’ve generated less energy than you’ve used over the course of the year, they’ll send you a bill at the end of the year for the difference. Alternatively, if you’ve produced more than you’ve used, you get a check instead! Regardless, it almost completely eliminates the hassle of keeping up with those pesky electricity bills on a monthly basis. 

4. Save money with installation tax credits.

There are both federal and state tax credits available to homeowners for installing solar panels. These incentive programs exist in all 50 states, regardless of the age or condition of the home. 

When you file your taxes, you’ll include the cost of the solar panel installation, and then you’ll receive a credit back for a portion of the costs. The federal credit alone could be up to 30% of the installation costs! The state tax credit adds even more money to your wallet. I doubt your local utility company is going to give you this much money back anytime soon!

5. Save money on hot water.

Solar energy does not have to be limited to only solar panels. There are several forms of solar energy that can save you money. Since heating water is one of the largest electricity expenses in a home, a solar hot water heater can produce huge savings even without solar panels!

Solar hot water systems capture energy from the sun just like solar panels and then use it to heat the water that you use for showering, washing clothes, etc. The amount of savings depends on how your water is currently heated since electricity, oil, natural gas, etc. typically vary in cost.

Note that if you install solar panels to power your home and your water is currently powered by electricity, then it’s likely not necessary to also install a solar hot water heater. Solar hot water systems are a good idea for those looking to save with solar, but not quite ready for full panel panel installation.

6. Increase property value.

Having solar panels installed on your home can substantially increase the property value. Not only will you see an increase immediately after the installation, but homes with solar panels also appreciate at higher rates than those without.

The reason is because the owner of a solar-powered home can expect to pay less over the long run in energy costs, tax credits, and rebate programs. This lasting value is reflected in the home price whenever you decide to sell. 

A study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory found that solar panels typically add approximately $15,000 to a home’s value. There aren’t many upgrades that can increase a homes value this much instantly. Add that to the ongoing electricity savings and tax credits and solar is a no-brainer. Don’t you think?



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