Even without solar panels, homeowners could still save $600 per year.
A house built with solar panels, thick walls, triple-pane windows, and thick insulation will generate energy bills 75 percent lower than an otherwise identical home built without those features. TVA conducted a five-year study of three homes with matching floor plans, square footage, and sun exposure. The high performance, “zero-energy” home for a family of four would have an annual utility bill of about $400. The family in a typical home would pay $1,600 a year. And an energy-efficient home without the solar feature would see $1,000 a year in electric and gas bills. The high-performance home cost about $30,000 more to build than the conventional house.