Solar power used to be a prohibitively expensive technology, but recently, the cost of residential solar panel systems has dropped … by a lot. And what once seemed like a futuristic option is finally taking off.
Cleaning solar panels. Credit: Flickr user bkusler
“Solar is one of very few home improvements that starts paying for itself the minute it is installed and turned on,” says Mike Newman, an outreach manager for Clean Markets, a firm in Philadelphia that works with businesses to maximize energy efficiency.
In general, he says, homeowners can recover the upfront cost in as little as three to four years—or as far out as 10 years or more—depending on local utility, state, and federal incentives, as well as the cost of electricity.
Now that China and other nations are churning out lower-cost panels, prices have dropped across the board. Improvements in technology have also…
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