Renewable Energy Source
Fossil fuel remains a resource in declining supply that, when burned to create energy, releases harmful byproducts into our atmosphere. Solar power has the potential to help us minimize our use of fossil fuels and the impact we have on the environment.
Reduces Electric Bill
Solar energy can help most consumers power their homes as an alternative or supplement to purchasing electricity from a grid. With power prices on the rise, consumers stand to save a considerable amount on monthly power bills by switching to solar.
A home reliant entirely on solar power features the capacity to function entirely off-grid, especially when supplemented with a solar battery system to maintain power during non-daylight hours. These battery systems can also turn solar systems into emergency backups during power outages.
Solar Panels Increase Home Values
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every dollar a solar panel saves you on your electrical bills increases the value of your home by $20. Also, homes with solar panels sell for four percent higher than those without them. If a home has solar panels, its owners will be saving money in the long run, increasing its appeal and value.
The start-up costs for a solar system represent a significant expense, but the costs are usually mitigated by savings on the electric bill. Consumers can often break even on the investment—usually within six to 10 years—and then start reaping the benefits well before the system needs replacement or considerable maintenance.
Once installed, a solar system requires little maintenance as long as it remains unaffected by environmental factors. If panels are kept clean and free of debris, they should continue to function without any additional action by the consumer for many years.
Regarding maintenance, professional service for your panels can cost between $140 to $180, while an annual inspection or cleaning can cost about $150. However, solar panel warranties typically cover them with performance guarantees.
Benefits the Community
A process known as net metering allows consumers to sell excess electricity their panels produce back to the utility company, further reducing utility bills. This often reduces a community’s reliance on fossil fuels, as well.
Solar energy is extremely versatile, and can provide power not only to our homes and appliances but to places where channeling power from a grid is impractical or impossible, such as remote, off-grid regions, satellites and boats.
Rising Power Prices
The price of electricity has been on the rise for the past ten years and remains unlikely to decrease in the near future. Solar power can help the consumer keep bills low and with net metering, many consumers can even sell extra energy back to the utility company to turn rising electricity prices to their advantage.
Technology Is Improving and Prices Are Decreasing
Technology has improved tremendously since the early days of solar power and advancements continue to be made every day. Better yet, despite these advancements, solar’s ubiquity appears to have driven its cost down, making solar more accessible to more consumers. Many state incentive programs and a federal tax credit can also help consumers minimize the out-of-pocket amount they spend on a new solar system.