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Are solar panels a good idea for your house? Here's what to know
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Are solar panels a good idea for your house? Here's what to know

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Many homeowners across the country are switching to solar energy, with more than 4 million installations expected in the U.S. by 2023. But there's one thing many owners fail to think about: end-of-life disposal.

During a summer of heat domes and high temperatures, it’s easy to let the sun just get on your nerves. But year-round, the sun can benefit you by pumping energy into your house courtesy of solar panels.

A solar-energy array will be one of the costliest projects you can add to your home. However, it has gotten less expensive in recent years, thanks to systems getting more efficient and effective.

On average, a new solar system costs about $25,000, with most falling between $17,000 and $32,000. But it also adds value to your home, makes you more energy-independent and lowers the need for fossil fuels.

However, solar power isn’t just a good idea for the environment — it’s also good news for your utility bills. Experts estimate that you can expect to save about $20,000 over the lifetime of the average solar system, and it could be much higher. The exact amount you save depends on your region, how much sun you get and the cost of energy where you live.

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South-facing rooftops are ideal places for residential solar panels.

In many cases, your energy system can be tied into the local grid. “Net metering” means that any energy you generate beyond what you need for your home is delivered into the system, and you receive an energy credit on your bill. During these periods, your power meter might literally run backward. This is particularly helpful to very hot and sunny areas. When heat is way up and air conditioners are running high, it eases the load on the grid to have some houses delivering energy back.

Take great care when hiring your solar-energy contractor. This job requires balancing many factors, including your home’s energy needs, the placement of the panels, how much sunlight hits your region and your local grid.

Solar panels are extremely durable.

In most cases, they carry a 25-year warranty. Various types of panels have their own benefits and drawbacks. Your solar pro will be able to explain the different options available to you.

Tax benefits

In addition to lowering energy bills, solar power can make a serious dent in your taxes.

The federal government offers a generous Investment Tax Credit to homeowners who install residential solar.

You can deduct 26% of the cost of a home solar system from your taxes, provided the unit was installed in 2021 or 2022.

The deduction drops to 22% in 2023 and expire in 2024.

Many states, localities and even utility companies offer benefits or incentives to install solar. Ask your solar pro what benefits are available in your area.

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