Most people know there are savings to be had when it comes to solar home systems, but exactly how much one can save is an open question. There is no simplistic way to answer it without first knowing how photovoltaic panels actually work.
The size of the solar home systems will determine how much power can be generated by the PV panels. Each panel can only generate so much solar electric power, and this is why most installations link several of them together in an effort to produce enough energy for the home or business. The linked cells send their gathered electricity to the inverter, where it is made ready for use within the home or business. The greater the number of panels in a PV install, the more power is produced for the building.
While it is true that larger solar home systems are more expensive, they can recoup the cost of investment much faster than a smaller installation. With the proper number of panels being installed, it’s possible to generate enough energy to say goodbye to the local utility company forever, as this power is produced off the grid. The smaller the unit, the more dependent the homeowner will be on the utility company for excess power that isn’t produced by their existing panels.
So, in short, the size of the solar home systems will ultimately determine how much money will be saved in the long run. There are other variables to consider as well, however. Geography is an import factor, as some regions receive more sunlight than others. The southwest generally receives much more sun than other areas of the country, and people in the northeast need a significantly larger unit to compensate for their reduced exposure on a daily basis. Generally, areas in the south are bathed with more sun energy.
Some states offer incentives or rebates when purchasing solar home systems. There are tax exemptions available to those who buy their panels, rather than just leasing them out, as long as the client is the owner of the home or business. Some states also run what is known as net metering programs. This means that a resident with PV panels can sell any excess electricity produced beyond what is needed back to the local power company. There are other prerequisites a resident or business owner must meet, and quite a bit of paperwork to fill out, but this can turn a nice profit when the program is started.
The costs of solar panels continue to drop, so the monetary savings for anyone that installs photovoltaic panels are quite significant. Having a PV array installed provides a great failsafe in case the electric company has an outage. Electricity generated by the sun is also much cleaner and it helps keep the air clear. As technology in this field has improved, so have the savings that result from PV usage. The result of technological advancements has driven the price of PV arrays to an all-time low, making this an affordable option for nearly anyone, regardless of their location within the U.S.