Atlanta is one of the greatest cities in the United States - you know it, we know it, but not everybody knows it! The blend of the beautiful, sparkling skyline and the lush forest make it an incredibly unique city environment. But there's something else that makes Atlanta great - it's an incredible place for residential solar panels!
We know that those harsh Georgia summers are NOT one of the things that make Atlanta great, but they are the reason that solar power is such an incredible option for Atlantian homeowners!
If you live in Atlanta or the surrounding suburbs, you have probably seen a lot of your neighbors installing solar panel systems on their homes. And there's good reason for that. It's a great place to go solar!
In this guide to Atlanta solar, we'll take you through the different benefits of going solar and customize them to the Atlanta area. We will do custom calculations for solar cost, payoff time, return on investment, and energy bill savings. If you are considering a solar installation in Atlanta, Georgia, this guide is the place to start.
If you are considering putting solar panels on your home, you likely already know the main benefits of transitioning your home to solar energy. But we're going to break them down anyway.
When you replace the majority of the electricity used by your home with solar power, you reduce the amount of energy that you have to buy from your local utility company. Your average electricity bill will be reduced by around $1,000 per year.
While financial considerations are the typical reason for switching to sun powered energy, there are also significant environmental considerations. Your home will use less of our limited natural resources and will contribute far less to the pollution that comes from burning natural gases and coal. If you care about climate change, then transitioning to renewable energy is perhaps the biggest contribution that you can make as an individual.
If you are harnessing the power of the sun, you aren't fully dependent on the power grid for survival. If something happened, your home could continue to power itself and remain habitable no matter what the situation. You also insulate yourself from wild fluctuations in energy prices. As energy continues to get more expensive, your investment in cost effective solar panels continues to be more profitable.
Now you may be saying: "Okay, that's all well and good, but how much is it going to COST?" And we have answers for you! To begin, check out our infographic on average solar system prices in the Atlanta area:
A typical solar panel system size in the Atlanta area is a 5 kW system. If you have an average size home and average energy usage, then this size will likely work for you. As you can see from the graphic, the cost would be an estimated $14,700.
Of course it varies among different solar installers so it's important to get a quote from a number of different contractors. This is also the raw cost before any rebates or tax incentives, which reduce the cost significantly. Speaking of which, let's dive into them!
The main reason that you may want to consider intalling a solar panel system in the near future is because there are a lot of tax credit and rebate options that are set to expire after 2023.
This is the biggest benefit to going solar in 2021. Update: the Federal Solar Tax Credit of 26% has been extended until 2023! This program started with a 30% rebate until the end of 2019 and is now set at 26% until the end of 2022. We highly recommend that you try and get that system installed in 2021 to take advantage of this tax redit.
If you receive 26% in tax credits for the $14,700 solar panel setup, you would end up receiving $3,822, bringing the total cost of the system down to $10,878.
Georgia Power recently took steps to offer Atlanta, GA residents the opportunity to sell their excess solar energy back to the company. This means that when you are producing more power than your home is actually using, that energy will be pushed back into the grid and Georgia Power will pay you for it by crediting your power bill. This is important because without this program (called net metering), all of your excess power would go to waste.
Now, we know that most of don't have $11,466 laying around to buy a solar panel setup outright. Here at Solar Action Alliance, we recommend that if you want to buy solar panels for your home, you look into financing options. Other options are to lease them or go through a Power Purchase Agreement (but we actually don't recommend these because they don't add to the value of your home and reduce the cost-effectiveness of going solar).
You can secure a loan through your bank or through solar company manufacturers, who often have agreements with installation companies. There are two types of loans: secured and unsecured. With a secured loan you can use your home as collateral. This can lead to lower interest rates and approval with lower credit scores. With unsecured loans, you don't have to borrow against your home but the interest rates tend to be higher and the credit score requirements are stricter.
Okay, so you've either purchased your solar installation outright or you have received a loan to pay for it, what happens now? Well, the answer is pretty simple: you start to reap the rewards!
Our example system size, 5kW, generates approximately 6,750 kWh (kiloWatt hours, the unit we typically measure electricity by) per year. The current average rate for electricity in Atlanta is 11.9 cents per kiloWatt hour. We simply multiply the amount of power that you are no longer relying on the utility company for (6,750) by what they charge for that electricity ($0.119) to get $803.25.
This means that each year you are saving $803 on your energy bill. And this is before we even factor in constantly rising energy costs!
This means that you would pay off your system within around 14 years (though likely much faster than that because the cost of electricity is always on the rise). This means that the remaining 11 years of the expected lifespan of your system (25 years) are pure profit.
One of the best reasons to go solar is that residential solar panel installations are not only one of the best risk-free investments you can make, they are also one of the most valuable upgrades a homeowner can make. Let's do the math.
You paid $10,878 for your solar panels. They are paid off by year 14. For the next 11 years you are profiting $803 annually (though, like we said, this number should only continue to get bigger). That's a net profit of $8,833 on energy reduction alone!
But that's not all. A solar installation has been shown to add about 4% of value to homes in Atlanta, GA. Let's use the median home price in Atlanta, $300,000, to calculate how much value can be added through solar. A 4% increase would make a $300,000 home into a home valued at $312,000. Pretty incredible!
So between the $12,000 in added home value and $8,833 in reduced energy costs, your investment in solar nets you about $20,833. And this is after your solar panels have already paid for themselves! The return on investment (ROI) over the 25 year lifespan of your Atlanta solar system is a whopping 182% or 7.28% per year, which is virtually unheard of for a risk-free investment.
Here at Solar Action Alliance, we pride ourselves in helping people all over the United States determine whether solar panels are a good choice for their home. We firmly believe that solar energy is not only a solution to our climate crisis but also an incredible, high-efficiency investment for homeowners to make.
But we don't just provide information. We also enable Atlanta residents to make the transition and free themselves from reliance on energy services by thoroughly vetting and forming relationships with Atlanta solar installers. We find solar installers that offer a reasonable price, quality service, and the highest tech and latest model panels and systems. It's important to find someone you trust for an installation because it's a purchase that is going to impact your life for decades to come. If you want to get started today, or if you just want to receive a few quotes or numbers of trusted companies in the Atlanta area, just enter your zip code below to get started:
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