That said, there is broad agreement that solar electricity is expensive. These solar savings result in a leveled cost, making solar panel systems a feasible financing alternative for clean energy. When it comes to the energy cost of new power plants, onshore wind and solar energy are now the cheapest sources and cost less than gas, geothermal energy, coal or nuclear energy. When comparing their initial costs, solar panels may seem more expensive than traditional diesel generators.
Interestingly, the same political and market forces that have helped deliver affordable solar energy to Australian residents are also responsible for the problems seen with Australian solar installations. I was very surprised to read that solar systems in the United States are more expensive to install than in Australia. Under this type of plan, the benefit of a solar system may depend on the use of household electricity; in certain areas subject to tariffs that increase dramatically as consumption increases, large households (with large energy needs) may benefit more from solar panels that offset high-cost marginal consumption. While this is sometimes the case, solar panels will significantly reduce your electricity bill each month and are worth the overall investment.
This is even clearer considering the addition of new capacity to replace old solar sites as they are removed (gross, dashed line). Once you've done all these calculations, you're likely to end up with just one number of the number of years it will take for a solar system to pay for itself by saving on your energy bills. Then determine what your current utility rate is, keeping in mind that utility rates tend to increase by 2.2% or so each year (yet another reason to install solar panels). But in addition to offering energy independence and environmentally friendly renewable energy, solar panels also have the potential to save you thousands of dollars over the life of the panels.
While solar panels can help you save money on energy costs, it's important to know the overall costs of starter solar panels in order to be able to plan a budget. In other words, most homeowners will eventually see a benefit from a solar energy system; it may only take decades for this to become a reality.