Are solar panels worth the investment?
FOX 35 INVESTIGATIONS: Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Many people install solar panels to cut the cost of their utility bills, but for some, the modules have a financial responsibility that they did not expect.
CLERMONT, Fla. – – Many people install solar panels to cut the cost of their utility bills, but for some, the modules have a financial responsibility that they did not expect.
Angel Rodriquez regrets installing solar panels in his Clermont home.
“A dream turned into a nightmare,” said Rodriguez. “From the expectation that it would be an advantage for me, it became a horror. It became a burden to have this. That you don’t want her every day.”
Rodriguez says the system, panels, and installation cost him around $ 20,000 and that the monthly payments felt like another mortgage. He also said the system made selling his home difficult.
“If you want to sell your house, it takes an act of God,” said Rodriguez.
Since Rodriguez did not cash out the solar panels when he brought his home to market, not only would potential buyers need to be approved for the mortgage, but they would also need to be qualified to take on the loan for the solar system.
“Well, there is the problem, right? If they can’t pay the loan and most people are unwilling to buy it directly in cash, they got extra money that didn’t go into their payout,” said Rodriguez’s broker Milton James.
James says this is a problem, especially with first-time buyers.
“They save 3.5% to put down a house and often they try to get help with closing costs. They can’t afford to buy the house and take the payments or just buy it outright.” It creates a big liability problem, “said James.
A solar system has advantages. The Department of Energy says solar panels can lower your electricity bills, add value to your home, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to EnergySage, installing a 5 kWh system in Florida costs about $ 13,000 on average. It will take approximately 11 years for a solar investment to recover, but over 20 years the consumer can save approximately $ 23,000 in utility bills.
James says the investment can be financially beneficial over time if the consumer is later to sell their home and the panels pay off.
“It’s something positive, something negative. Sometimes it’s an asset, like an added value to the house,” said James. “If you keep the house long-term and save long-term with the solar panels, it could be good for the environment and your electricity bill.”