Five Reasons Why You Should Go Solar
Solar power for residential use has seen many innovations over the years. Costs of purchasing panels have gone down thanks to technological developments, and the importance of investing in clean energy is more relevant to today’s society than ever before. However, many people may still be on the fence in relation to installing solar power for their own homes.
In fact, while 6% of U.S. homeowners have already installed solar panels, an impressive 46% say they have given serious consideration to the topic. If you are one of the millions of Americans thinking about adding solar power to your home, let’s take a look at the major reasons why you should go solar!
1. It Pays For Itself
One of the major reasons why so many people have invested in solar power for their homes is that it is incredibly affordable. While the initial costs of solar panels and installation are certainly a significant investment, homeowners will get that money back and then some over the course of their solar panels’ lifespan. Additionally, people with solar power may qualify for special tax credits depending on their respective state rules.
In fact, the average home can save between $10,000 and $30,000 in utility costs over the lifespan of solar panels. This has been a major driver for installation nationwide and will likely continue to be the case as technological innovations have enhanced the affordability of solar systems. Between 2010 and 2020, the price of solar panels decreased by an astonishing 82%. This is due to developments in the manufacturing process that have served to make solar power more affordable than ever.
Another important consideration in the financial area is the rising cost of energy. Energy costs have increased dramatically over recent decades and will continue to do so as the demand increases. With energy costs historically rising and solar costs historically declining, the financial benefit of solar panels will only continue to improve as we move forward.
2. Solar Power Is Sustainable
Sustainability is a trending topic around the world and one of the many reasons more people are turning to solar. Most of our world’s energy sources are finite; however, solar is one that will not run out. Switching to solar power helps the environment as a clean, green source of energy that can also help you to lower your carbon footprint.
When you use solar power, you can rest assured that you are not contributing to climate change as solar power does not produce any greenhouse gases. A single residential solar system can offset 178 tons of carbon dioxide over its lifespan. This is equal to planting over half a million square feet of forests. Consider the impact that would occur if the number of homes using solar energy doubled or tripled.
3. Solar Panels Are Durable And Relatively Low Maintenance
One of the most frustrating aspects of investing in new technology is worrying about repair and replacement costs. With solar panels, this is not an issue for a number of reasons. First, modern solar panels have a very long lifespan. Most are warrantied for 20 to 30 years. This means that any damage or problems occurred will be fixed by the manufacturer, giving the buyer peace of mind. Even after warranties expire, solar panels still function well, just at lower levels of efficiency.
However, the benefits of solar power are more than the warranty. The simple fact is that solar panels are very durable. They are able to hold up in all climates and can resist high winds, heavy rain, and even moderate hail. The strength and durability of solar panels are some of the reasons they function well in any climate.
Additionally, solar panels are relatively low in maintenance. If you own solar panels, you will need to clean them (much like washing the windshield of your car) with water every three to four months. This is relatively easy maintenance. The only other thing needed is to clear snow from them; however, the angle of solar panels means that snow typically falls off shortly after the sun comes back out after a snowfall.
4. It Increases The Value Of Your Home
Many people worry that solar panels will diminish the value of their homes. Fortunately, the opposite is actually true. Research from the Department of Energy found that solar panels add $5 per watt in resale value. With the average system being approximately 3,600 watts, this means an additional $14,400 in value to your home. Considering that the cost of purchasing solar is only $3 per watt – and, as noted earlier, falling – they are a net addition in value as soon as they are installed.
This estimate is very similar to a study done by the real estate website Zillow, which found that solar panels increased the value of a home by approximately 4%. This isn’t surprising. A benefit for a prospective buyer is having much lower utility bills. With solar panels lasting 30 years or more, they provide a long-term benefit that can be marketed effectively when selling a home. In fact, Solar Oregon conducted research finding that homes with solar panels sold twice as fast as homes without solar panels.
5. Solar Panels Are Worthwhile In All Climates
When people think of solar energy, they tend to focus on images of bright, sunny areas like southern California or Arizona. However, the reality is that warm, sunny areas are not even the places where solar panels are most efficient. They function best in cold, sunny climates as panels that get too hot slightly lose efficiency.
But what about climates with lots of rain and snow? They tend to work well there too. While cloudy weather reduces the efficiency of solar panels, the reality is that the biggest predictor of the utility of solar panels is the cost of electricity. This is why areas like Philadelphia see more financial benefits than sunny areas like Orlando.
Modern solar systems also have a number of options for how to optimize extra power generated on sunny days. Systems can be purchased with batteries that can be charged and used to generate power on less optimal days. Systems can also send excess power back to the utility grid using something known as net metering to provide consumers credit for excess power generated in some markets.
Many Americans have considered taking the plunge into solar power for their homes. While solar power was a difficult decision a decade or more ago with systems being very expensive, developments have made solar power much more attainable. In the modern environment, there are many important reasons why you should go solar.
Solar power provides excellent financial benefits which are only expected to improve over time. It is also environmentally beneficial, promoting a sustainable future. Furthermore, modern solar panels are durable, relatively low-maintenance, and function well in all climates. They also add value to your home. Thus, there are many reasons why solar panels are a valuable investment that make sense for homeowners.