As environmental concerns have grown and more research has emerged that backs climate change, switching to solar panels may be an effective way to wean off of our dependency  of harmful means of electricity production. Harvesting energy from coal, nuclear power plants, and other sources of energy that are detrimental to the environment are still common practices today. However, by using renewable sources of energy (I.e. from solar panels) this can offset some of the damage and reduce our carbon footprint.

Solar panels have been making headlines for a few years now, and are not uncommon to see on many houses. Many places throughout Europe, particularly in destinations with sunny weather (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Greece, etc.), often crown their roofs with solar panels on their homes. Surprisingly, solar energy is also effective in Germany and Austria, where the weather may not be so clear and sunny, but they still are able to harvest much of their energy from the

It’s clear that this is a clean source of energy, but the costs may deter some people from investing in them. How much exactly will solar panels cost you? Will you get a return on your investment?

In short, the answer is: yes.

Over in the United Kingdom, a program launched called the “Feed In Tariffs” will essentially pay those that install solar panels on their roofs 1,000 Pounds each year from the 7-10% tax free return on solar energy. The catch? Paying an average of between 10-20,000 Pounds up front. However, if you have the cash or if there are incentive programs that exist that subsidize the costs of installing solar panels, you can experience remarkable savings by going green and using solar energy.

Costs associated with installing solar panels vary by state or country. Similar programs to the Feed In Tariffs exist throughout Europe. Be sure to look into any programs that exist that may lower your initial costs or put them off to the future, so that the savings can come rolling in throughout the years.

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It’s not often considered, but the savings experienced from solar panels extend beyond directly cutting your bill in half and tax subsidies. In addition, solar panels increase your home’s value and, “in California, homes with solar power typically sell twice as fast as homes without this feature”. So if you ever consider selling your house in the future, or flip houses as a profession, installing solar panels will add even more value to your home and is more likely to be snatched off the market.

Do you have solar panels? Let us know about your experience and how much you average in savings in the comments.

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