Solar is affordable

Installing solar panels is a top way to make a home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, but setup and up-front costs can make the move unaffordable to many homeowners.

To make the change less cost prohibitive, states and companies are increasingly offering new financing arrangements.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. residential solar market grew nearly 62% last year and isn’t expected to slow in 2015. The face of the solar panel owner has evolved: it’s no longer just early adopters or super-conscious environmentalists. Young homeowners and families are looking to install panel to help combat high energy prices.

The price of energy continues to go up every year and is a big part of monthly budgets. It’s crossing the pain threshold and a solar system is an easy way to go.”

Homeowners can typically save 10% to 20% of their electric bill using solar power, although the exact savings will depend on how much electricity is consumed, the efficiency of the panels and current electricity costs.

In the past, homeowners would have to front the entire cost and buy the solar panels and then rely on government tax credits and state incentives to help make the price tag more palatable. But the cost of solar panels has fallen sharply since the end of 2010, making them more affordable.