In the short term, solar panels are very expensive, but in the long run they can actually save their owners money, sometimes a lot of money, assuming that solar panels are installed and maintained properly. In fact, in some cases, a solar panel can even generate money for its owners, creating a return on the initial investment.
The initial disbursement of money for installing a solar panel may be high, although the cost of solar technology is steadily decreasing. Prior to installing solar panels, homeowners and renters who install with the permission of their owners should examine available subsidies and credits. Sometimes tax credits or discounts are offered to people who install the panels, and in other cases subsidies are available from the government or community agencies.
Another option is the rental of solar panels. Some power companies and solar organizations offer solar panel rental, where people pay a modest fee for the installation and then rent the panels for as long as they want to use them. Some of these programs are rented on lease, allowing people to make their initial investment in solar panels for a long period of time. Both of these options can help people save money from the start with solar panels.
Once installed and working, solar panels will start saving money right away, because they will reduce demands on the power grid. Some people turn on completely to the solar, disconnecting their home from the power grid or using panels to power a home that is outside of an area covered by public services. In the case of homes without a source of electricity provided by the utilities, the savings are immediate, because otherwise it would be necessary to pay the utility very high fees to extend their coverage. Savings for homes that have access to electricity from a utility will be distributed over time as people no longer have to pay their electricity bills.
Some power companies allow reverse measurement, where the electric meter runs backwards when solar panels generate more energy than the house can use. In this case, homeowners get a check at the end of the month for the energy they put into the grid. This also reduces overall demand on the grid, which can entitle customers with solar panels to special discounts or reduced electricity rates when they need it.
In order for solar panels to work efficiently, they must be kept in good condition. It is important to clean them regularly to remove dirt and other materials that can dim the solar panel and to properly tilt the panels so that they capture most of the light. As the seasons change, the panels must be rotated to get the most out of the sun, ensuring them the maximum possible exposure. It also helps to use energy-efficient appliances that will make the most of the energy generated by the solar array.