Helping Consumers Understand the Payback Period for Solar Panels

Dec 01, 2023


Payback. We all want it at some point in our lives.

Whether it’s for a neighbor not scooping up after their dog who consistently goes in your yard or a semi-truck cutting you off on the interstate.

This could be just as riveting as a shoot’em-up revenge film…a gripping conversation about the payback period for solar panels.

Turns out solar panels aren’t seeking revenge, like Dirty Harry. They’re real givers by giving a return on your home buyers’ investment.

And with more buyers hungry for energy independence, our friend solar power has become a real crowd-pleaser. However, it comes with a hefty price tag.

While many people understand the reduced carbon footprint and long-term savings solar serves up, most stop in their tracks when they see the cost of adding solar panels to their homes. 

Savvy consumers don’t want to be stuck paying this off forever. They want to know when they’ll start to see a return on investment. 

Covering the payback period for solar panels with your buyers will give them the information they need to make informed decisions and explore how they can expand their system down the road.

What Is the Payback Period for Solar Panels?

To keep it simple, the payback period is the time it takes for the consumer’s savings to offset their solar system costs. 

It’s this break-even point that marks the beginning of financial gain for your buyer. 

Surprisingly, expenses other than hardware account for an increasing percentage of overall system costs.

These include:

• Permitting

• Financing

• Installation (the biggest cost)

Also, the payback period can vary significantly from project to project, based on home features and your buyer.

Why Is the Payback Period for Solar Panels Important to Consumers?

Purchasing a solar system is a big deal.

The high initial cost can turn consumers away from solar power, like garlic breath on a first date.

It doesn’t matter if they realize that this alternative energy source is their perfect mate and will save them money in the long run. Knowing the break-even point will help their decision-making. 

Once they understand how to calculate the solar panel ROI, your buyer may even feel comfortable making a serious commitment and extending that period by adding more features, or they may want to minimize their investment from the get-go.

What Else Should the Consumer Consider?

A solar system is a long-term investment that allows buyers to offset the cost of personal electricity consumption. But there are other pluses:

• Renewable Energy. Solar systems are a completely renewable energy source that reduces dependence on fossil fuels. For some consumers, green living and a light carbon footprint are reasons enough to go solar.

• Increased Resale Value. Having a solar system on a home increases its resale value by 4.1% per home. While considering the length of time they intend to remain in their home, consumers may also want information that gives them the increased resale value of solar-powered homes in their area. They’d be happy to learn their home will sell 20% faster.

• Freedom from the Unpredictable. A solar energy system offers independence from the electrical grid, which in most cases wasn’t built for extreme weather events or an ever-growing population.

• Financial Gain. If your buyer generates excess energy, sell it back to the utility company. Or get credits for power when your buyer needs it.

Why Is an Informed Consumer a Good Customer?  

As we’ve seen, solar panels are an investment that carries a tantalizing return rate. 

And now that you have a handle on the payback period, you can give your customer all their project details, including the payback period for solar panels, before they commit.

They’ll appreciate your straight talk, building trust between you both. It also hedges against complaints or buyer’s remorse (or revenge down the road…not really). 

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