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Solar panels become a more viable option for homes and businesses 

Posted: 6:36 AM, May 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-23 07:36:34-04

Over the past few years, the number of solar power installations have increased with more people looking to pull their power from the sun.

This means homes, businesses and utilities in some regions are investing in solar power.

This is largely because solar energy is becoming cost-competitive.

At the end 2018, the solar industry figured that there were more than 2 million solar installations in the US alone – and experts expect that number to double in the next four years.  For many, that means a significant drop in their electric bill.

“On average, having a solar system on a house, based on the number of panels, can drop between $50, $150, $160 a month or more if we can install a bigger system,” said SPI Go Green owner Gianluca Ferrario.

As solar panels become a more viable option for homes and businesses, some people are enjoying the benefits of this energy option.

Steven Taylor had solar panels installed on his roof last year. Since then, he said, he’s already reaped the benefits.

“Over the winter, of course, we had a lot of clouds and stuff, but I reduced the bill down, even with the clouds, down to 30-60 dollars a month, until the last 3 months of the spring here, I have had no bill at all. I actually have 70 kilowatts of credit above and beyond of what I used,”said Taylor.

If the solar panels are installed properly, they are going to last 25 years.

“In 25 years we projected between $50,000-$70,000 savings on the electric bill because of the solar panels,” said Ferrario.

“ If you are not going to be in your house for at least 10-20 years, it is not worth doing it, it is too expensive,” said Taylor.

The goal is to put more money back in your pocket, but before you sign up, make sure you do your research.

“I would say do a lot of research. Find out the background of the company, make sure they are legitimate because there are a lot of small companies that come and go. I found a company that’s been around the longest in the United States, 46 years, they have withstood the test of time, and that was one of the things that helped me make the decision to go with these particular people,” said Taylor.

The solar energy market in Texas is small, generating less than 1 percent of the state’s energy needs.

However, over the next five years, Texas is expected to install 4,266 megawatts of solar power, tripling the state’s current installed solar capacity, and making Texas the third fastest-growing solar energy producer behind California and Florida.

One megawatt can power about 200 homes in Texas on a hot summer day.

Texas is one of only two states in the nation that do not require utility companies to purchase excess energy from residential solar panels, a process called net metering. It allows home- owners to pay only for the net energy they consume or receive a credit if they generate a surplus.

If you are wondering, “Do solar panels increase home value” The answer is YES. According to a Lawrence Berkeley study, adding solar panels to your home increases its value by more than $14,000 USD on average. Your home can be sold for 3.47% more compared to homes that don’t have a solar power system.