Thinking about installing home solar panels and a home battery? Solar rooftop panels and home batteries are now more affordable, accessible, resilient, and efficient than ever before. We’ve rounded up five benefits of solar energy that matter the most.
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Five Reasons Home Solar and Batteries Is an Excellent Choice
1. Gives you control over your electricity
Home solar panels and a home battery can offer freedom from the utility companies with predictable electric bills. This helps you avoid peak electricity rates and provides reliable back-up power when the grid goes down.
Electricity costs across the country have risen by 15% over the past ten years, and this is a trend that’s likely to continue.1 Solar service agreements can offer low and predictable rates that are typically less expensive than your electric company’s rates, so you can expect, on average, to pay less for power when you go solar.
In some areas, solar-powered batteries can also buffer you from peak electric rates, or Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. These rates are set by your local electric company, and vary by time of day: Electricity is more expensive during periods of peak demand and less expensive during low demand periods. With a rechargeable home solar and battery system, you can avoid the most expensive rates under a TOU rate structure while further optimizing your energy savings.
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A solar-powered home battery will also give you freedom from the next blackout. The United States has the highest number of power-outage minutes of any developed nation, which will only increase in the face of extreme weather events and an aging power grid. Sunrun’s Brightbox home battery system replenishes with solar power and removes the inconvenience, uncertainty, and expense of refueling a gas or diesel-powered generator.
Home solar is a clean, emissions-free, and renewable energy source. Unlike fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, home solar doesn’t release harmful pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions—like carbon dioxide—into the air and water supply.2
By decreasing air pollution, solar can prevent $167 billion in health and environmental damages and save more than 25,000 lives.3 In New York, a household that switches to renewable sources like solar panels can eliminate the equivalent of burning over 5,000 pounds of coal and the resulting carbon emissions.4
Home solar’s potential is immense. If we could capture all the solar energy on the planet for just one hour, we could power the whole world for an entire year.5 When you reduce your carbon footprint, you’ll help to eliminate harmful emissions from burning fossil fuels. Renewable energy technologies are the key to a cleaner and brighter future for all.
3. Increases home value
Another advantage of home solar and batteries is the increase in home value. Across the U.S., solar panels raise a home’s value by 4.1% on average. That means a home valued at $500,000 could get a $20,500 increase.6
Specific numbers vary between each installation and property, yet recent studies show an average increase in resale value between $4,020 and $5,911 for each kilowatt of solar panels installed.7
The price of an average rooftop solar installation and battery is generally recouped in the home’s sale price. Plus, households that purchase solar are rewarded with lower energy bills and healthy tax incentives that can cover the system’s costs multiple times over the life of its warranty.
The length of time that a solar-powered home is on the market often varies by region of the country. A solar energy installation will help sell your home 20% faster than residences without solar panels.8
The numbers say it all: Installing home solar panels is a sound investment. Whether you’re upgrading your home for a future sale or making it your forever home, property values typically increase significantly.
*These findings are based on home solar systems purchased by the household.
4. Qualifies for tax breaks and cash incentives
Many people choose to get solar and batteries through third party ownership, allowing them all the benefits of the system for just a low monthly rate. However, others choose to buy their systems outright. The average cost of solar panels is about $16,200 – $21,420.9 Based on where you live, you can cover a substantial portion of the cost of your solar PV system and may even pay it back in a fairly short amount of time thanks to the federal solar tax credit, local rebates, net metering, and more.
Solar renewable energy credits, or SRECs, can help home solar system owners earn a return on solar. Some states set a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires companies that provide electricity to get a portion of its energy from renewable sources like home solar. To meet the RPS, electric companies can buy solar credits from home solar energy systems. Home solar system owners can sell SRECs through an aggregator like SRECTrade, which bundles up their SRECs and sells them to the electric company.
When excess electricity is produced by your solar system, it is sent back to the grid and the electric company must buy that energy from you. Consumers that sell their extra energy to the electric company then use that amount to offset their total electric bill. They can also draw upon these energy credits during times when their electricity usage is greater than their solar production, such as a heavily overcast day or during the night.
Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
As of 2020, you’ll also be eligible for the federal tax credit if you buy your own home solar system outright. The tax credit can reduce the cost of a solar installation by 26%, including a solar battery purchase.10,11 That means if you purchase a 6-kilowatt system for $18,300, you’ll pay $12,810 after you receive your tax credit.
The federal solar tax credit is scheduled to drop to 22% in 2021. After 2021, the tax credit is slated to be phased out. That’s why the best time to go solar is now.
State Tax Credits and Cash Rebates
In addition to the federal solar investment tax credit, states and cities may also provide cash rebates for your solar system to further reduce the cost of your solar system. The size of the solar tax credit will vary from state to state. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSRE) to find tax credits and rebates available in your area.
Performance-Based Incentives (PBIs)
Your state or electric company might also have performance-based incentives, or PBIs. A PBI pays you credits for the electricity your solar system produces. The incentive rate is determined when your system is installed.12 Rather than pay you upfront, a PBI is paid based on your solar system’s energy production over a period of time. A feed-in tariff (FIT) is a common type of PBI.13
Your state or municipality might also offer property or sales tax exemptions. Households understand the value of property tax exemptions. Purchased solar systems may increase the value of your home by up to $15,000 on average, so you’ll get even more bang for your buck if you decide to move.14 Depending on the sales tax rate in your state, a sales tax exemption could result in considerable savings if you purchase your solar system.
5. Costs have fallen
The cost of home solar systems have dropped dramatically in recent years, falling more than 70% in just the last decade.15 The cost of home solar batteries have dropped substantially as well.16
Despite falling costs, out-of-pocket expenses can add up. That’s why Sunrun offers a home solar service agreement to make renewable energy accessible and affordable to all, with a Sunrun Guarantee that covers you for 25 years. There’s no question that clean energy sources like home solar are what we need to keep the air clean, enjoy reliable power, and protect our communities.
Sunrun will help you with everything from designing a custom solar system and installing solar panels to monitoring and maintenance. Sunrun only partners with the most experienced solar installers in your area so you can rest assured your solar installation is in good hands.
Get a Free Quote Today
See why Americans across the country are enjoying the advantages of home solar with Sunrun and get a free quote today. You’ll be connected with one of our expert Solar Advisors who will help you every step of the way.
Whether you already have rooftop solar panels or are considering going solar, you’ll want to make sure your panels are working at their full capacity. While solar panels are incredibly durable and are designed to offer many years of worry-free performance, there are ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your panels.