Ask A Roofer: How Long Will It Take Solar Panels To Pay Off?

Ask a Roofer | December 17, 2020

When considering adding a solar system to your existing roof, it requires research. Because of the cost of solar panels, many want to know how long it’ll take before you’re actually saving money. Joyland Roofing president, John Esh, answers this question for you.


Since we’ve been installing rooftop solar systems, the questions that we get asked is, “How long is it going to take for me to pay [the solar panels] off? When can I expect a return on investment?” It’s a great question, It’s a big investment!

Lifespan of Solar Panels

Usually in Pennsylvania, it’s taking 12-14 years to get to that break-even point. Then after that, you’re looking at an additional 15-18 years of lifetime.

Solar panels are lasting for 30 plus years right now. If you consider the fact that at half life you have it all paid off, the rest of the lifespan you keep the cash instead of sending it to your utilities.

It’s a solid investment that does depend a little bit or varies somewhat on where you are. In Pennsylvania, there is no state incentive for solar installation like there is in Maryland and other states. So, you might even get a better return on investment depending on which state you’re in.


Federal Tax Credit

There is across the board a federal tax credit which is available in all states. That percentage is off of the entire installation cost of the system. So, if you have a tax bill at the end of the year you installed solar, you can reduce your tax bill by the federal tax credit percentage of that installation cost. Now the tax credit on the federal level is something that’s going away. In 2019, it continue[d] at 30% but then in 2020 it’s reduced to 26% and in 2021, it’ll be reduced further to 22%.

They’re saying that after that, they are going to shut it off and religislate to figure things out again.

Now is a great time to just in, it’s still a hot solar market no matter where you’re at with a great return on investment. Now’s the time to do it while the federal tax incentive is at its highest.

Speak with a Roofing Expert at Joyland Roofing


Talk to a Solar Expert

At Joyland Roofing, we install solar panels across southeastern and southcentral PA. Whether you’re looking to replace your entire roof system before going solar or if you’re just ready to start saving on your utility bills, we are ready to talk to you! You can discuss with one of our qualified sales consultants if your roof is a good fit for solar.