The effects of solar panels on your electric bill, wallet

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The recent heat wave has residents facing larger than normal electric bills and residents are exploring different options to save such as solar panels, but are they worth it?

“First thing I would say is that it’s not free electricity,” Jeremy Couch, a Wichita Falls homeowner, said.

With the recent heat wave, residents are experiencing abnormally large electricity bills, and solar panels can be a viable option for your home if you meet certain criteria.

“So, if you are one of the lucky people that have plenty of roof space for the demand that they need, you can get rid of the electric bill,” Nicholis Gilleland, vice president of Davis Electric, said. “Depending on who the electric provider is, some of them will allow you to get rid of the electric bill, but you can at least get rid of 75% of your bill.”

While this may be true for some, several factors come into play to determine if the investment in solar panels is right for you.

“Solar doesn’t work for everybody though, just cause you have to have great sunlight and you have to have taxable liability to take advantage of the federal tax credit and it depends on who your energy provider is,” Gilleland said. “Some of them are really horrible with solar, some of them are really great with solar, so there’s a lot of factors that go into solar panels.”

One resident has experienced solar in a different light and urges homeowners to do their research.

“Most people come into it thinking, you know, it’s going to be free and they find out the hard way typically on that first two or three bills that ‘hey, I need to pay attention to what my usage actually is,’” Couch said. “If anything, you become more aware of how much power you’re using.”

While solar panels can make a dent in that electric bill, they can also make a dent in your pocket, even with certain tax credits. But, there are always other options available to save.

“Before I put solar panels in, I would actually go upgrade my home,” Couch said. “If you’re going to spend that kind of money to upgrade your home.”

Some options that could be more cost-effective would be to upgrade your windows; single-pane windows let in heat. Another option would be to upgrade your AC. Try spray foam insulation. The goal is to keep the heat out and the AC in. Then, there are always solar panels if they are right for you.

If you are interested in saving money on your bill, experts would like to remind residents to educate themselves to find what the right option for your home is.

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