As the threat of climate change looms ever closer, many of us are already thinking of measures to reduce our carbon emissions and preserve the planet. There are many ways you can go green today, and one of the most accessible ones for homeowners is solar panels. You can probably see them on the roofs of nearby homes or commercial buildings.
However, not everyone has a space where they can install one. Their roof may be facing the wrong way, made of incompatible materials, or not be a good fit for a host of other reasons. Thankfully, some homeowners have outdoor spaces where they can install solar panels — not on the lawn or in their yards, but on their pergolas. A solar pergola is one of the most cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing ways to add solar panels to your home.
Curious about how and why? We’ll discuss solar pergolas, their benefits, their pricing, and more below.
So What Is a Solar Pergola, Anyway?
First, you’ll want to know what a pergola is. Many people might not be aware of them, since gazebos are more popular. A pergola works similarly, with a roofed top that shields occupants from rain and sunshine. However, a gazebo is not quite as effective at shielding people from the sun since its roof is usually made of a transparent material.
Like gazebos and pavilions, a pergola serves as a resting spot outdoors. Many people add outdoor furniture, lighting, and plants to make their pergolas cozy and inviting for guests and other family members. Because it’s usually placed in a spacious area, a pergola is exposed to abundant sunlight. That makes it a perfect spot for solar panel installation.
Is a Pergola With Solar Panels Worth It?
The quick answer is YES, it’s very much worth it to have solar pergolas. On its own, a pergola doesn’t do much except provide shelter, and it doesn’t really do a good job since most of its sides are exposed. It also lets in sunlight. For many homeowners, it’s mainly a place for entertainment and rest.
Installing solar panels on it brings a pergola to the next level. Not only is the roof now completely shaded, but you’ll have another power source that’s independent of the main grid. You might as well install an outdoor kitchen in it — summer get-togethers and afternoon grills will forever be upgraded!
What Can a Solar Pergola Do for You?
There are many ways a pergola with solar panels can make your life easier. Here are some reasons why some people build pergolas just to get electricity for their home:
1. Reduce the Electric Bill
The rising cost of electricity has made many people conscious about leaving the lights on or having the AC operating for too long. And who can blame them? Power bills are taking bigger and bigger chunks from everyone’s monthly budget. Having another source of electricity is one of the best ways to reduce your spending without sacrificing your comfort.
A pergola with solar panels that can produce just 2KwH of power can save you up to $1300 annually. The more powerful the panels, the more savings you’ll get. The initial investment might be daunting, but the long-term effects are so worth it.
2. Increase Home Value
If ever you want to put your property up for sale, having a solar pergola will increase its value. In fact, you can sell your home for up to 4.1% higher than the median value if it has some sort of solar panel system. These additions also increase the demand for your property. That way, you have more negotiating power and the property won’t stay too long in the market.
3. Qualify You for Tax Credits
Having any sort of solar panel system on your property makes you eligible for some tax credits. This applies to federal income taxes, and you can make a claim for a percentage of the cost of the system. Having solar panels isn’t enough, however. You still need to be the owner, and the system should be located in your primary or secondary home within the country.
4. Show Kindness to the Earth
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using a pergola with solar panels is knowing that you’re doing what you can to protect the Earth. Electricity from the main grid is still powered by burning fossil fuels in many states, so solar panels can resolve some of this guilt. You also won’t ever have to worry about losing power in crucial moments — the sun is an effectively infinite energy source. So as long as it’s shining, you’ll have the power you need.
What does a Solar Pergola Cost?
There is a lot of variation in the pricing of solar pergolas because of the many factors at play. The surest way to save is by building the pergola on your own or with an affordable contractor. It’s an easy and uncomplicated structure, and if you already have one, all you need to worry about is the solar panel system installation.
On average, an installation can cost you $16,000. However, there’s a huge price range that can go as low as $3,500 and as high as $35,000. Factors like the location, the size of the system, and the photovoltaic models used are the main reasons for this wide range in costs.
Let Atlasta Solar Center Help
Ready to have a pergola with solar panels on your property? Atlasta Solar Center is here to help! We’re a trusted authority in Colorado for all things solar, working on residential and commercial properties so owners can transition to greener energy sources. Contact us today for a free quote!