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Are solar panels worth it?

Solar panels aren’t new technology, but they still have a cloud of mystery surrounding how they work. The good news is that they aren’t all that complicated. In some cases, the solar system may feed a bank of batteries, allowing the home to store electricity overnight or when cloudy conditions prevent effective electric production. In other cases, the system may wire directly into the home’s grid, allowing the user to back feed energy to the utility company, often for a profit. In some cases, the system’s production may even offset the bill completely. This depends on many factors, however, and these factors may determine whether solar is worth it or not.

So, are solar panels worth it?

There are certainly times when solar panels are worth it. It does depend on a few factors.


The location matters. The closer a home is to the equator, the stronger the sun’s intensity will be, and the more potential energy the solar system can create. These homes will see a greater benefit in terms of energy production than homes in the more northern latitudes. Homes in states where electricity is more expensive (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, for example) will benefit more from solar panels than those where electricity is relatively cheap (Louisiana, Washington, Oregon and North Carolina).

Federal, Local and State-Level Tax Incentives

Certain incentive programs may make installing solar panels worth the investment. For instance, folks who install solar panels between 2022 and 2032 may be able to take advantage of a dollar-for-dollar solar tax credit of up to 30% of the system’s overall cost. 

Energy Bills and Consumption

In most cases, a solar panel system can reduce the homeowner’s electricity usage, reducing their energy bill. But, in ideal conditions, the best solar panel system may actually make the homeowner money. As the system produces more electricity than the home uses, the homeowners may be able to sell the extra wattage to the utility company each month. 

Property Value

Solar panels will make your home more affordable to maintain over time and energy efficient, and they can positively impact your property’s value. Depending on your location, the quality of the installation and local market conditions, the impact solar panels will have on property value will vary. The long-term savings on electricity bills can offset the initial solar panel installation cost, making them a wise investment for many homeowners.

Environmental Impact

It’s no secret that solar panels are great for the environment. Since solar panels generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gasses or requiring the extraction, transportation or combustion of fossil fuels, solar panels have the lowest environmental impact compared to other forms of energy production. 

Are solar panels worth it in Texas?

Texas homeowners pay an average of $30,935 to install solar panels or $21,654 after the 30% federal tax credit is considered, which is right around the national average. Many Texas homeowners wonder if solar panels are worth the investment.

With an average electricity price but the fifth-highest demand for energy in the entire country, most homeowners will save big in the long term from a home solar conversion. So, are solar panels worth it in Texas?

While Texas is the second most popular state for solar conversions, solar panel installation won’t be right for every Texas resident. It’s important that you assess your home and have a reputable solar installer help you decide if solar panels would benefit you and ultimately save you money. Below are some of the things to consider that can help you decide if solar panels are a good fit for your home.

  • Your home’s energy use
  • Cost of going solar in Texas
  • Average payback period in Texas
  • Average buy-back rates in Texas
  • Your roof’s exposure to the sun
  • Solar outlook in Texas

Your Home’s Electricity Consumption

Solar panel systems are sized based primarily on your energy needs, and the value of your panels also largely depends on this criterion. Homeowners who use fewer than 500 kilowatt-hours will typically find that solar panels aren’t worth the investment, as they pay for themselves by reducing or eliminating their energy bills.

Texas ranks fifth in the country for homes with high energy needs, with the average home consuming 1,132 kWh per month. While there are other factors to consider, this means the large majority of households will benefit from solar panel installation from an energy consumption perspective.

Texas has unusually high energy prices as well, making solar conversion even more beneficial to most homeowners. You can check your average energy usage on your past electric bills.

Are solar panels worth it in California?

California consistently ranks among the best states in the country for solar-friendliness, and it’s currently the best place in the nation to convert to solar energy.

Californians pay an average of $16,380 before the federal tax credit, or $11,466 after the 30% credit. This is well below the national average, and residents also enjoy a number of solar incentives provided by the state and the federal government that increase the value of solar panels overall. So, are solar panels worth it in California? 

Even though California is the number one state in the country for solar conversions, going solar won’t be right for every homeowner in the area. Determining if solar will benefit you takes some careful calculations, and there are several things that can influence your decision. We’ll discuss the most significant factors below.

  • Your home’s energy use
  • Cost of going solar in California
  • Average payback period in California
  • Average buy-back rates in California
  • Your roof’s exposure to the sun
  • Solar outlook in California


Solar panels are generally considered valuable in homes that use more than 500 kilowatt-hours every month. You can determine your average energy usage by looking at your past electric bills. In California, the typical consumption is just 572 kWh. Homeowners who use much less than the average might find that the return on investment is too low to make going solar a worthwhile endeavor. However, the average energy rate should also be considered. Most CA residents will still benefit from solar conversion even if their energy needs are a bit low.

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