Saving the environment one rooftop solar panel at a time sounds great, but really homeowners are just as concerned with how their renewable energy system will save or make them money (or both!). Solar energy – both solar PV for electricity and solar thermal heating – make for great ways to achieve both of these goals, offering homeowners excellent financial incentives and rewards while helping the environment. Installing solar thermal panels in your home will not just save you thousands of dollars over the years, it could also earn you tens of thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye. Let’s take a closer look at how this all happens by talking about the three main ways that solar thermal panels make money for homeowners.
Solar Thermal Heating Saves Money
Solar thermal panels saves money in two ways; monthly savings on bills and reduced taxes.
- Monthly Savings on Bills: Unless you’re already using an extremely high efficiency heating system, solar thermal panels will save you a lot of money over the course of a calendar year. With the SunPump, a solar thermal/heat pump hybrid, homeowners can expect to save at least a couple of hundred dollars on monthly bills every year compared to older, inefficient heating systems. This means that you can pay off the cost of your solar thermal heating system in just a few years, turning a big profit over the course of your new system’s lifespan.
- Reduced Carbon Tax: Depending on where you live, you might not have to worry about a carbon tax at all. That being said, some form of carbon/emissions tax is in place in many countries around the world, and more and more areas are introducing a carbon tax every year (so do plan ahead if possible). For homeowners, an inefficient heating system is one of the main contributors to carbon emissions. Obviously, upgrading to solar thermal heating (a clean, renewable energy source) will see a big drop in emissions and therefore carbon tax. It’s not something that will break the bank in terms of savings, but year after year this extra money all adds up.
Solar Thermal Heating Earns Money
Some people are put off of solar thermal energy because of the upfront cost of renewable energy heating systems. The way renewable energy heating works for homeowners is that you pay for the heating system you want first and then earn the initial cost of the system back (and then some) in monthly savings. So long as you can think past the short term, you will be able to see the financial advantage. However, it turns out that a solar thermal heating system can potentially add as much (or more) value to a home than what it costs to install, effectively giving homeowners an instant return on investment.
- Home Resale Value: A Berkeley Lab Study examined the sales of homes with solar PV systems installed compared to very similar homes without any solar panels. As you might imagine, homes with solar panels on their roofs were sold at a higher price compared to the homes without solar. Overall, they found that a 3.8kW system added an average of $14,000 USD to a home’s resale value. At an average of $4.31/Watt, this valuation would more than pay back the initial cost of most solar thermal systems.
Translating these findings to a solar thermal system like SunPump, which has models that can produce up to 10 kW, the value added to a home can get even greater. Of course, it’s impossible to predict the market value of a property with total accuracy, but the information published by Berkeley Lab (and backed up by several similar studies) shows you just how much of a premium a solar thermal heating system can add to the value of your home.
So remember, if you’re thinking about investing in a solar thermal heating system, you’re not just going to be helping the environment. You’re going to be saving money on monthly bills, reducing your carbon emissions/carbon tax, and adding thousands of dollars to your home in the process.