How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

Image for Men installing solar panels

Solar panels for homes in Illinois have become more and more popular in recent years, as this equipment becomes more widely accepted and accessible. The push toward sustainability and renewable energy use has led homeowners to seek out new alternatives that are both better for the environment and better for their budgets, thanks to reduced energy consumption. If you’re thinking about making the switch to solar energy, one question that is likely on your mind is: “How efficient are solar panels?”

How Efficient Is a Solar Energy System?

When discussing solar panel efficiency, not everyone knows exactly what efficiency means in this context. Solar panels are a name commonly used for equipment containing photovoltaic cells (PV cells), which take in sunlight and convert it to usable electricity for the home. Efficiency in this situation refers to how much of the sunlight taken in by the cell is actually converted to electric power.

When solar panels were in their early days, efficiency wasn’t all that great – this information has led many to believe solar isn’t an efficient or viable renewable energy option. Today, the efficiency of solar panels is typically reported between 11 to 15 percent. However, today’s silicon solar panels are usually a bit more efficient, at 22 percent efficiency. With technological advancements being made every day, solar panels continue to improve as time goes on.

Benefits of Solar Panel Installation

With about a 22 percent efficiency rating currently, many homeowners don’t understand the significance of this number, as it seems low compared to what we think of for a highly efficient furnace or other home equipment. The fact of the matter is, any electric energy provided by solar panels is free electricity that a homeowner does not have to pay the utility company to use – and with net metering options, excess energy produced by a home’s solar panels can actually make the homeowner money.

The benefits of installation go much further beyond just how efficient solar panels are. Aside from the ability to generate electricity for home use, homeowners benefit from other perks that include:

  • The renewable energy tax credit is still in effect for solar panel installation. For systems installed through the end of 2022, homeowners can claim 26% of qualifying installation costs as a tax credit. In 2023, the credit reduces to only 22% of qualifying installation costs – currently, this program is set to expire at the end of 2023 unless it is renewed by Congress.
  • There may be other incentives available through state or local programs for homeowners who install a solar energy system. These incentives can help reduce the cost of your investment and lower the payback period from its already low average of just 3.5 years.
  • Installing solar panels can improve the value of your home. With consumers making the push toward renewable energy use, a home with a solar panel system becomes very attractive to buyers. In this already hot seller’s market, solar installation can help you fetch top dollar when selling your home.

Contact Edelman for Solar Panel Installation in Illinois

How efficient are solar panels? Will solar panels work for my home? These questions and more can be answered by our expert team of solar panel installers. Find out more about solar panel installation for your home when you contact us today.


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