The Cost of Solar Panels: Is it Worth It?

If your energy costs have been getting higher each month and you’re looking for ways to cut back, you may have considered installing solar panels on your roof. But in your research, you may also wonder if the initial cost of solar panel installation is worth it. Today, let’s take a look at cost vs. long-term value so you can determine: are solar panels worth the cost?

The Cost of Solar Panels: Is it Worth It?

First off, we live in a great state when it comes to solar panel incentive programs that range from rebates to lower taxes to net metering. It’s important to note that incentive programs are constantly evolving and being revised, which means you should always do your research before committing to solar. When you partner with Golden Group Roofing, rest assured we will keep you apprised of the latest state and federal rebates and incentives to tackling a solar power project in Massachusetts.

Solar and Roofing Installation Case Study in Hopkinton MA. A Golden Group Solar team member installing solar panels on a house in Hopkinton, MA.

Robust incentive programs in Massachusetts for the cost of solar panels

Tax credits for solar panel cost

Worried about the cost of solar panels? There are resources in place to help offset the price. The Federal income tax credit (ITC) is available to Massachusetts residents and allows you to deduct 30 percent of the total cost of your roof’s solar panel system. You can claim this clean energy credit on your federal income tax return, which reduces the amount you will owe in taxes. While not technically a tax deduction, it’s a reduction in the taxable income on which your taxes are calculated. The average ITC in MA is about a $5,733 credit.

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

The SMART Program gives homeowners a rebate for every kilowatt-hour they produce as part of their solar power system. This ongoing benefit helps homeowners pay off their solar equipment while maximizing their return on investment (ROI).

One mandate in Massachusetts, known as net metering, gives you a credit for every kilowatt-hour of energy the grid receives at the retail rate for every kilowatt-hour you take from the grid. This is great news for Massachusetts residents because we have some of the highest electricity rates in the nation – nearly double the national average in fact. Under the Massachusetts net metering policy, you can minimize your electric bills and optimize your savings at the same time.

Boost in home resale value

In addition to helping homeowners cut back on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint, one of the biggest benefits to installing solar panels is the increase in your home’s resale value. In general, your home value increases by $20 for every $1 reduction in your annual energy bills, resulting in long-term savings that spell good news for your property and your wallet.

Let’s say your solar system saves you $400 in one year. This means your home value will increase by $8,000. This gives you peace of mind in general, but if you are planning on selling your home in the future, you could get a higher asking price – especially if you have buyers who are similarly eco-conscious as you. In fact, the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report says that nearly 70 percent of home buyers ranked energy efficiency as extremely important when it comes to home features.  

Those potential buyers said they were willing to pay about four percent more – or $9300 – for homes with solar panels on the roof than those without.

Breakeven point of solar panel installation

It’s tough to nail down the actual price you would pay for your solar panels without an in-person consultation and inspection. But on average, in Massachusetts, the cost of solar panel installation ranges from $15,130 to $20,470. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, the price ranges from $3.03 to $4.09.

How can you be sure you’ll make that money back in the form of energy savings through the years?

Here in MA, the average payback period is nine years, give or take, with a range of six to 12 years. But even if your breakeven point comes at the longer end of this range, you will still end up saving money over the long haul.  

There are many resources out there that can help you calculate the savings that come with solar panel installation. Check out the EcoWatch Solar Calculator, which can help you determine how much you could save when installing a solar roofing system. You can also get recommended sizing, financing options and timelines for an estimated ROI.

Golden Group Solar team working on installing solar panels. This is for blog post about the cost of solar panels.

In conclusion: are solar panels worth the cost?

In the end, whether or not solar panels are worth it to you in the long run will be dictated by your household size, energy usage, your ability to pay for upfront costs, and your willingness to perform annual maintenance such as solar panel cleaning. There are many factors to consider, such as the weather (MA has its share of cloudy/snowy days throughout the year, which can impact effectiveness); your roof’s shading, size and steepness; solar incentives available at any given time; and the level of energy your household consumes.

In general, large families who consume a lot of energy on a daily basis will find it more worthy of their investment to install solar panels than a small family or couple with lower usage requirements. However, those with an eye on eco-conscious living will find more value in the long-term money and environmental savings. The best way to determine if solar is right for you is to consult with a trusted roofer in Hudson.

Get a FREE estimate on solar roofing panel installation today.

We can help guide you in your decision to install solar panels on your roof. This includes everything from cost and timelines to placement and amount. To learn more about solar panel roofing and why we’re the best ones for the job, schedule your free appointment online or call us at 508-873-1884. We’ll even review your electric bill to assess your future solar savings and determine the cost of solar panels for your home.