Can I save money by installing a solar energy system?

This question is being asked more and more as members look for ways to reduce energy costs. The answer is maybe, depending on many factors, and how fast you want to see a return on your investment.

Start with energy efficiency

Before installing a solar energy system, consider reducing your energy use by making your home more energy efficient. Many energy efficiency measures have a faster return on investment, and the initial investment is less than that of a renewable energy system.

Is solar energy right for me?

If you have made your home as energy efficient as possible and now want to install a solar energy system, contact your electric cooperative in the initial planning stages. Conduct thorough research on all aspects of any system before making the investment. Determine what your goal of the system is. For example, do you want to install solar energy because you believe it is the right thing to do? Or are you looking to save money? If you want to save money, carefully examine all the financial considerations first.

Financial Considerations

When evaluating the potential of installing a solar electric system at a home or business, considerations should include:

  1. Solar access: Missouri is fairly good in comparison to other parts of the country. Site specific access depends on installing the system so it is not shaded.
  2. Retail cost of residential electricity: Missouri is low in comparison to many other parts of the country. A lower electric rate makes the return-on-investment length longer than a higher electric rate.
  3. Available incentives: Solar energy systems may qualify for a federal tax credit.
  4. The total cost of the system: In addition to the cost of the solar system, there may be other costs to consider, such as liability, homeowners’ insurance, and property taxes.

Given the information listed above, evaluate your situation to ensure installing a solar system makes sense financially for you. Talk to your electric cooperative and qualified, reputable solar contractors to help evaluate your feasibility for solar energy.