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Do Solar Panels Really Save You Much Money on Your Bills?

Updated on June 23, 2012

Everyone Wants Solar Panels

Today, in this day and age, everyone wants to save as much money as they can. People buy cars with better gas mileage, carpool, and look for ways to lower their electric bills. One popular way to do this is to buy solar panels. These panels harbor the energy of the sun and convert it to energy you can use. Any extra energy created can be sold back to the grid. People can now eliminate their electric bill and gain a little cash. Sounds great right? Not so fast. While solar panels are a great way to lower your electric bill, you may end up paying more than you did before you bought your panels.

Average Household Monthly Electric Bill
Average Cost of Solar Panels

Cost of Installing Solar Panels

The above table lists the average monthly electric bill for a typical American household and how much a solar panel system would cost to install. If you divide the total cost of installing the solar panels by your average monthly bill, you can find out how many months it would take to break even, meaning how long it will take before your investment pays off. In this example, it would take the average American 364 months or around 30 years before the cost of the solar panels are justified! Although you will have eliminated your electric bill, the original cost of installing the solar panels is 364 times as much as your current monthly bill. Are you planning on living at your current house for 30 years? For the majority, the answer would probably be no.

Reader's Poll

Do you own solar panels?

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What now?

Ok, now that your know how long it will take for you to break even, is buying solar panels worth it? Well, even though the time involved seems like forever, there are also other benefits to consider. Buying solar panels is a great way to help improve our environment. By harboring nature's energy, you reduce the amount of pollution emitted by your electric provider. Having solar panels on your house may also increase the value of your home, so if you do move, you might be able to bridge the gap through the increase of value. There are some significant disadvantages to owning solar panels as well. You will only be saving money if the sun is shining. On rainy or cloudy days, the solar panels will not be making any energy. Also, if you use a lot of electricity at night, you may have to buy some electricity from the grid. Lastly, solar panels can be damaged by hail. If you live in an area with frequent hail storms, you might want to reconsider.


An easy way to find out how much it will cost you to install solar panels, use this calculator: All you do is enter your monthly bill, how much you want to offset, and who your electric provider is. With that information, you can decide for yourself whether investing in solar panels is right for you.


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      monkeyy 4 years ago


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      hi yellow 5 years ago

      hehe lololo

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      joekreydt 6 years ago

      this is cool. they wouldn't do much good where i live because there're a lot of trees around