How Solar Panels Can Reduce Your Energy Bill AND Your Carbon Footprint

By the team at Unbound Solar, with amendments by Rebecca Lee

As people start to worry more about how the harmful by-products of energy sources are growing, there has been an increasing number of homes installing solar panels.

Solar panels come with other cost-saving methods adding to the list of ways to reduce your energy bill. Under new laws, installing solar technology on your property could make you eligible for a 26 percent tax credit on purchase and installation costs!

Keep reading to discover how solar panels can reduce your energy bill, how they work and how much they typically cost.​​

An Overview of Solar Panels

Solar Panel Acceptance

It used to be rare to drive around neighborhoods and see solar panels installed on the roof of homes, but now it seems it’s on every home you pass by. It’s not surprising after a study showed that many Americans are taking action to help the environment.

If you live in an area that’s covered with clouds most of the year, you might have heard rumors that solar panels won’t work. That’s simply not true. While solar panels do need sunshine, they don’t require direct sunlight.

However, if there’s a blanket of snow covering the panel, it won’t be operational until the sun comes out to melt the snow off the angled panels.

Another rumor people have heard is solar panels end up causing more pollution in the long run. The EIA has thoroughly debunked this myth, stating that no air pollution or gases are produced and affect the environment it takes over.

Solar Panel Operation

So, how do solar panels work?

On a high level, the process boils down to a few steps:

  1. Direct/indirect sunlight hits the solar panels
  2. The sunlight generates DC currents
  3. The DC currents run through the inverter which converts the DC currents to the more commonly used AC
  4. AC currents move from the inverter to the breaker
  5. The breaker box directs the electricity to any appliance that needs energy
  6. Excess unused AC electricity moves to the utility meter
  7. When devices need more electricity than the panels produce, it’s drawn from this meter

On a smaller scale, the process is equally simple. Every photovoltaic solar panel contains solar cells made from silicon.

The solar cell separates the electrons from the photons and sends them through an electrical circuit. From there, it follows steps three to four shown above.

woman in shock lookig at bill

Source: TeodorLazarev/

Effects on Energy Bill and Carbon Footprint

Electricity Bill Savings

When you choose to invest in solar panel kits, the return on your investment is considerable. As stated earlier, because the sun produces free energy, you save in one way by not running your meter.

Two things can happen when the day ends and the panels aren’t collecting energy from the sun. The first scenario involves sending power back to the grid, but this is advantageous because it causes your meter to reverse. So you’re not exactly giving the energy you collected away for free.

The second scenario involves the home battery that comes as part of the solar panel kit. The battery stores excess electricity so you can use it at a later date. However, this doesn’t give you the benefit of turning back your meter.

The potential for solar panels to offset your monthly power bill or even completely eliminate it is high.

Take a moment to review your power bills over the past year and look around the house to see if there’s anywhere electricity is used when it shouldn’t. This means checking for some of the following:

  • Leaky ducts
  • Broken seals on doors and windows
  • Inefficient light bulbs

Solar panels do cost money upfront, but the amount you save over the years is more than enough to offset the costs.

energy saving idea board

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Because solar panels produce all their energy from the sun, there’s no need to use limited resources, such as fossil fuels. There are little to no emissions involved in the process of converting energy into electricity.

Depending on where you live, one home fitted with solar panels can reduce carbon emissions by at least 1.3 tons annually! The reduction of carbon emissions is possible only because the sun is a natural and renewable energy source.

Even though the process of collecting energy for your home doesn’t involve emissions, manufacturing the panels do. However, the industry has been working overtime to lower those emissions in the manufacturing process and the materials.

Regardless of the minimal emissions, the carbon footprint of a solar panel is approximately 20 times lower than the emissions put out by fossil fuel energy sources.

The Cost

The cost to purchase and install solar panels can be initially substantial, running anywhere between $15,000 to $25,000. The final price you pay is determined mainly by your location.

While it seems like a lot of cash to put forward, you have to remember to add in the federal tax credits you’ll be eligible to claim towards both installing and the product itself.

Many providers also add incentives to purchase through them, so make a few calls and shop around! After doing the legwork, if the costs are still high, you might find that leasing solar panels might work better in your situation.

While leasing solar panels benefits from lower upfront costs, you won’t own the panels outright and may not be eligible for specific incentives.

Keeping Your Wallet and the Environment Green

Installing solar panels is one step homeowners can take to step in front of the environmental crisis the world is facing. And while the emissions caused by solar panel production are high, manufacturers have been working non-stop to make the process more environmentally efficient.

The good news is, the solar panels on your house don’t emit any, so you have a clear conscience and more cash in your pocket in the end!

How Solar Energy Can Reduce Your Household’s Monthly Living Expenses

By Rebecca Lee

Hello, adventurers! Prepare to dive deep into the shimmering world of solar benefits. In our age, sun rays don’t just tan our skins during beach trips; they’ve become the modern-day treasure chests waiting to be unlocked by savvy homeowners everywhere. 

Think of the sun not as a distant star, but as a friendly benefactor, gifting not socks, but a wealth of green savings.

A Leaner, Lighter Electricity Invoice

The thrill of witnessing dwindling electric charges is unmatched. But pondering over how to unravel those monthly digits? If the math behind your bills eludes you, delve into this article for an insightful guide on calculating living costs. 

Believe me, the elation you feel when spotting that shrunken bill post solar-panel setup rivals the exhilaration of a last-minute game-winning goal. The sun, an often-underestimated colossal furnace, is bequeathing you with complimentary power. 

As months become years, and your expenses dwindle, the upfront solar investment seems every bit worth it. Picture it as pouring funds into a mystical energy tree—wherein leaves are solar cells, and fruits? They’re tantalizingly slashed bills!

Financial Perks from the Powers Above

Ever wished for a bigger return from those tax dollars? The universe heard you! Transitioning to solar isn’t merely a pat on Mother Earth’s back; it’s akin to receiving a golden nod from administrative bodies. 

Tax deductions, sweetened deals, and irresistible incentives: they’re all on the table for the taking. As you channel the sun’s might (imagine a triumphant movie score here), your wallet feels the weight of rewarding bonuses. And, achieving a green home while pocketing some green? 

That’s pure solar poetry.

A House with an Eco Crown

Picture this: Two equally charming homes are up for grabs. One, however, boasts of solar brilliance. Which one entices you more? If you share a love for the future (and I have a hunch you do), you’d be gravitating toward the home with the sun-kissed edge. 

Properties adorned with solar installations aren’t just the talk of the town; they’re the emblem of visionary living. Their resale prices often soar, not just for their aesthetic but the long-haul savings they promise. It’s akin to having a rooftop that doesn’t just shield, but shares gifts every dawn.

Your Shield Against Ever-Climbing Utility Rates

Witnessed the relentless creep of energy tariffs and sighed in dismay? Solar energy is your white knight, ensuring you’re never at the mercy of fluctuating rates. With solar systems, you’re essentially sealing an energy deal at today’s price. 

Gone will be the days of biting your lip at the mention of utility spikes. Relax, have a tea, and indulge in the comfort of being in charge of your power story. With solar, you’re not just the landlord of your abode, but the master of its energy rhythm.

Self-Sufficiency: No More Grid Grumbles

Ever been interrupted by a sudden blackout and wished for a personal power backup? Solar’s got your ticket out of the unpredictable grid roller coaster. Visualize this: as darkness engulfs the block, your abode shines, powered by reserved solar juice. 

This storage isn’t just an energy reservoir but a beacon of self-reliance, illuminating even on the cloudiest nights. It’s akin to having a hidden treasure chest, but instead of gold, it brims with precious kilowatts. Pure electric bliss!

Earth’s Advocate with a Silver Lining

Step aside superheroes, going solar is akin to donning an Earth-savior cape. With each photon your panels harness, a chunk of carbon gets averted. This green stride isn’t merely a gesture towards our furry polar friends. 

In many locales, walking hand-in-hand with nature brings its own fiscal rewards. As penalties for polluters rise, your solar array might ensure you sail smoothly without feeling the fiscal pinch. You might not get a parade in your honor, but your ledger? Oh, it dances with joy.

The Beauty of Simplicity: Low Upkeep

Hearing “minimal fuss” is a universal sigh of relief. If solar arrays were a genre of music, they’d be a soothing lullaby. Once they’re a fixture atop your haven, they stay loyal, demanding only occasional pampering. 

Shedding the intricacies of other energy setups, solar systems prefer straightforward care: a clean sweep and a periodic once-over. They’re like that evergreen tree in the backyard, thriving with just a sprinkle of attention now and then.

Powering Up Your Earnings

And now, for the grand act! Think of crafting a delightful dish and getting rewarded for sharing the surplus. This mirrors the joy of channeling excess solar juice back to the grid. In regions touched by the brilliance of net metering, your residence doesn’t just dwell under the sun; it collaborates with it. On days when your panels flirt more intensely with the sun, know that the surplus isn’t just warming your heart but padding your pockets too.

As our odyssey under the sun wraps up, it becomes evident that solar isn’t just the energy of today, but the ethos of tomorrow. It’s not merely about figures and savings; it’s about envisioning a world powered by nature’s benevolence. So, every time the sun’s embrace warms your spirit, take a breath. Recognize it not as mere warmth, but as a gentle nudge from Mother Earth, urging us to harness the magic suspended in the blue yonder. To brighter dawns and even brighter promises!

Embracing solar is more than just an eco-friendly choice—it’s an affirmation of our commitment to a greener future. It’s the act of looking up, acknowledging the vast potential above, and choosing to integrate it into our daily lives. So, when the sun’s rays caress your face next time, let it serve as a gentle reminder of the boundless opportunities it offers. To harnessing golden rays, cherishing nature’s gifts, and walking hand in hand towards a luminous tomorrow!


Rebecca is the Content Manager at Extras, a freelance writer, and an avid reader of self help books with a focus on finance. A big believer in taking action, she wastes no time tackling obstacles that lie ahead. When it comes to her endeavors in business and entrepreneurship, she’d rather be stuck with oh well than what if.