Are Solar Panels Really Worth It in Boston?
You may have heard the news about the car company Tesla developing a new form of solar panels. Tesla solar panels look like regular shingles on the roof and power the home and car with environmentally friendly energy. As this news creates buzz in the real estate world, New England home owners ask ourselves the same old questions about solar panels. Will they save me money in energy costs? How will they affect my home value? And will they continue to generate energy despite long New England winters? Jacob Realty did some research for you. Here is what we found.
How much do they cost up front?
The price tag is jarring. Installation of solar panels costs between $25,000 and $35,000. But thanks to a handful of Massachusetts and federal tax incentives, you do not have to cover the whole cost. You can talk to a loan specialist about your options, but expect to hear about programs like the Massachusetts Solar Loan Program, Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit, and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. State and federal programs like these do not just cut your up-front cost. They also provide tax rebates for years to come. As always, check to make sure tax rebates and incentives have not expired every year. Also, it would make sense to check with your accountant.
How much money do they save?
The short answer is plenty. According to a study by North Carolina State University, Boston is the second best city in the country to install solar panels in your home based on the metric of energy savings. Assuming you spend about $100 a month for energy, you can expect to save nearly $1,800 a year in electricity bills. You might see particularly dramatic savings during the summer, when the panels generate more energy than you need to power your home. You can either save the extra money as a credit with your electric company to cut costs during the winter, or sell the excess electricity to your energy company to power other homes in the neighborhood. Either way, you are seeing savings. On top of that, the market value of your home will increase by about $15,000, according to a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.