There’s no getting around it: installing a solar energy system is expensive. If you’re considering solar panels for your home, you’ll want to know how much they’ll save over time. That way, you can determine if they’re worth the upfront investment.
In Colorado, solar panels can save you an estimated $35,000 over 20 years. However, that figure may be lower or higher depending on specific aspects of your home and the solar energy system you choose.
Your solar panel savings will ultimately depend on five main factors:
- The size of your solar energy system
- The efficiency of the solar panels you choose
- Direct hours of daily sunlight in your area
- The size, orientation, and pitch of your roof
- The upfront cost of your solar energy system
We’ll go into more detail about each of these factors to share how they will influence the cost savings provided by solar panels.
The size of your solar energy system
Some homeowners install a few supplemental solar panels to reduce the amount of electricity they pull from the grid. Others install more extensive solar energy systems that cover 100% of their energy usage.
The more you rely on solar energy, the higher your long-term savings will be. Solar energy has lower operational costs than *regular electricity, leading to increased savings over time.
*This depends on local utility rates. In general, solar energy is less expensive than regular electricity throughout Colorado.
A solar energy expert can help size your new solar panels based on your family’s energy consumption and long-term savings goals.
The efficiency of the solar panels you choose
More efficient solar panels produce more electricity for your home, increasing your energy savings over time.
Efficiency ratings for residential solar panels typically range anywhere from 15% to 22%. These percentages refer to the solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into solar energy. For example, a 15% panel will convert 15% of the sun’s energy into usable electricity for your home.
You’ll want to consult with a solar energy expert to help you choose which panels work best for your home and budget. If you have limited space, you may need to install high-efficiency panels to get the energy savings you desire.
Direct hours of daily sunlight in your area
The longer the sun shines directly on solar panels, the more energy the panels can harness. Ultimately, homes in sunny areas will receive more long-term solar energy savings than homes in overcast environments.
Luckily, Colorado gets lots of sunshine, which makes our state ideal for solar energy systems. That said, some areas in Colorado get a little more sunshine than others. A solar panel expert can help you calculate how much power your panels will generate based on the direct hours of daily sunlight in your area.
The size, orientation, and pitch of your roof
The best location to install solar panels is on your roof because it directly faces the sun. Roofs that are too small or face away from the sun limit how much energy the panels can absorb, which reduces your potential energy savings.
The ideal roof for solar panels is shade-free and oriented towards the sun during the day. Additionally, the roof should be large enough to accommodate several panels so that the system can provide sufficient power for your home.
The upfront cost of your solar energy system
Like we mentioned in the beginning, installing a solar energy system is expensive. In fact, the cost to install solar panels can range anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 in Colorado.
As a homeowner, you want to make sure the long-term energy savings provided by a solar energy system covers its installation expenses. Once your energy savings surpass the amount you initially invested in the system, any additional money you save is profit. To get the most profit, you want to lower your upfront costs as much as possible.
The first thing you’ll want to do is consult with a solar energy expert to get a quote on the cost to install solar panels for your home. The contractor you work with can help you look for ways to reduce the upfront cost of the installation by applying for rebates, tax credits, and other incentives.
Additionally, the contractor will likely recommend purchasing solar panel equipment rather than leasing it. In the long run, it’s much more expensive to lease solar equipment than it is to buy the equipment.
Want to know how much you can save with solar panels?
Contact us at (720) 370‑3344 or schedule an appointment online below. We can help you determine your long-term savings and provide you with equipment recommendations from the best solar panel manufacturers.
Learn more about what to expect when you work with us by visiting our solar installation page.