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Solar Buying Guide

Written by Caitlin Ritchie

Edited by Hannah Hillson

Last updated 10/19/2022

6 min read


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Solar energy FAQs

  • Depending on your energy usage and the size of your solar system, it’s likely that you will experience savings in the form of significantly lower energy bills every month. Over time, these savings may surpass the amount you paid for the solar system, making it a good investment. Many consumers who finance their solar system find that their monthly payment is lower than their monthly electricity bills were before installing solar, which equates to savings as soon as their system begins generating power. SaveOnEnergy solar advisors can help you estimate your monthly savings when you go solar.

  • Solar panels usually have a lifespan of around 30 years, although they can last even longer if properly maintained and protected against deterioration. Most manufacturers offer warranties for performance and product. The performance warranty guarantees the products will work at a certain efficiency level for a set amount of time. The product warranty guarantees the products will not have any defects or breakage for a set number of years. The industry standard for these warranties is between 15 and 25 years.

  • The payback period for a solar system is how long it will take to pay off the total cost of your system. The average payback period in the U.S. is between 6 to 12 years, although your financing options and normal energy bills will play a big role in how long the payback period lasts.

  • The number of solar panels that make up your system depends on the wattage of the panels you choose. For example, to build a 6.5 kW system, you would need more 200W solar panel modules than you would if you chose 400W panels. The average U.S. household typically needs between 15-25 solar panels to power their home. Use the SaveOnEnergy usage calculator to estimate your home’s monthly electricity consumption. From there, you can better determine how many solar panels you would need for your system.

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