Why Invest in Solar Panels in Michigan?
Michigan homeowners are burdened with extremely high electricity rates. In 2017, Michigan rates were 12th highest in the nation. Between June 2017 and June 2018, electric rates for the state increased by 1.3%. Michiganders are paying more in utility bills than ever before.
“These higher electric bills are particularly burdensome since Michigan has some the highest heating bills in the country. Overall, Michigan’s high electric rates and severe rate skewing has diminished the quality of life for many households,” writes Utility Rate Watch.
This upward trend has many Michigan homeowners looking for alternatives, and solar energy is one of the cleanest, most efficient options on the market.
Why Invest in Solar Panels in Michigan?
Unlike traditional energy sources such as electricity, gas, and coal, solar power is renewable energy. It’s sustainable, which means it’s friendlier to the environment and your wallet. The majority of Michigan’s electricity comes from coal-fired and nuclear power plants. The cost for that traditional energy is expected to increase in the coming years. The sun’s energy is constant—and free.
For many, solar systems help lower electricity bills. That means keeping more of your hard-earned money in your wallet instead of handing it over the utility company. Solar energy systems save you money and put control in your hands—or, rather, on your roof. They offer protection against rising traditional energy rates in the years to come. Solar energy systems can also “pay you back” if you decide to sell your home. Studies have shown homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar, and homes with solar tend to sell faster than homes without.
Because of these reasons, we are on the verge of an energy revolution in the United States. “The rapidly declining cost of solar is a sign that the world may be on the verge of a dramatic change in how we power our buildings and vehicles,” writes Business Insider. “The price drop is likely to spur a shift toward renewable power sources like wind and solar and away from fossil fuels like oil and coal.”
Change in energy sources is coming. Switching to solar can benefit you today and into the future.
But aren’t solar panels expensive? Not when you think of them as an investment—one with a high rate of return. Over the long-term, they pay for themselves and save you money in utility costs. There are also tax credits and incentives to help offset the initial costs of purchase and installation.
Home Solar Systems Are at Their Lowest Cost in History
Residential solar arrays and systems are at the lowest price points ever. Costs for buying and installing solar have dropped 53% since 2010. Thanks to advances in design, manufacturing technology, and process efficiency, solar energy is an increasingly affordable option for many homeowners.
How much do solar panels in Michigan cost? The answer largely depends on the specifics of your system.
One of the great things about solar energy systems is they are customizable to the needs of the homeowner and features of the home. But if you’re looking for a ballpark estimate, the average cost of solar panels per watt in Michigan was $4.71/watt for December 2018. A typical 6 kW system cost $28,270 before the federal solar credit and $19,789 after the credit, according to Solar Reviews.
If this sounds like a large investment, remember the money you’ll save in utility costs. Solar power systems reduce your energy bills, perhaps even eliminating them entirely. They start paying you back on day one, the minute you turn them on. Solar has the potential to offset your electric bill by 76-100% in Michigan. That adds up to a lot of money over the 25+ year lifespan of your solar system!
Solar Tax Credits Save You Even More Money
One major way to reduce solar panel installation costs is tax credits and incentives. The federal government offers a 30% investment tax credit, called the ITC (also known as the solar tax credit). The State of Michigan also offers net metering to help offset the costs of investing in solar. Combined, the savings can be significant.
The ITC offers a tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system. As long as you own your solar system through direct purchase or a loan, you are eligible to claim this credit on your taxes. The ITC was extended into 2022 and beyond, but the tax breaks offered through this credit scale back after 2019]. In 2020, homeowners can claim a 26% tax credit. In 2021, the credit shrinks to 22%. In 2022 and beyond, homeowners can claim a 10% credit. If you’re thinking of going solar and want to maximize your savings through the ITC, you’ll save more purchasing a system before the end of 2019.
Remember that the average solar panel system in Michigan costs $28,270. With the ITC of 30%, that’s a savings of $8,481, lowering the cost of the system to $19,789. And with Michigan’s [whatever the program ends up being] program, you could save even more.
Solar Is A Reliable, Consistent Energy Source for Your Home
One common misconception people hold is that solar energy is only for sunny, warm climates. The truth is that solar systems are designed to work in any climate, including Michigan’s variables of sun, fog, and snow.
Solar energy is not generated by heat; it’s generated by light. And Michigan gets plenty of it! Solar panels work by absorbing daylight—not direct sunlight. Sunny days provide a lot of energy, but so do winter days. Think of all the light reflecting off of snow-covered trees and rooftops in the colder months. This is prime solar energy, ready for absorption by solar panels.
Modern solar panels are designed with a system of lenses and mirrors to maximize any light reaching the cells—even on cloudy days. And if you’re concerned about snow, panels can be tilted in such a way to help minimize accumulation and increase snow slide off.
Further, solar panels are designed for minimal maintenance. They have no moving parts, and they are durable against the elements. The only maintenance they require is a good cleaning and inspection a few times a year. When you’re cleaning your gutters, installing holiday lights, or doing routine roof maintenance, inspect your solar panels and clean off any debris. It’s as simple as that.
Ready to Go Solar for Your Home?
Start saving on your electric bill. Buy a solar energy system today. Modern Mill can help you decide which system is right for your needs and home. Contact us.