If you can make the upfront investment and qualify for the federal tax credit, solar power can reduce energy costs and give you years of free electricity. Your location also matters; homes closer to the equator benefit more from solar because of stronger sunlight exposure.
Before hiring a contractor, compare the shop with other big-ticket items, like a car or TV. Check for customer reviews, certifications and Better Business Bureau profiles.
Reduced Utility Bills
One of the primary reasons many people choose to install solar panels is to reduce their electricity bills. While solar energy cannot eliminate a homeowner’s entire electricity bill (National Grid has mandatory fees such as the Basic Service Charge and the CBC charge that aren’t affected by your generation), it can significantly lower it.
If your solar panels produce more electricity than you need at any given time, the excess power will be sent to the utility grid and applied to your account as a kilowatt-hour credit. This credit covers your electricity usage later when the panels aren’t producing, eliminating, or lowering your energy charges.
Additionally, live in a state offering net metering. Your utility company will pay you for the excess energy you send back to them (or credit your account with the money you have yet to spend). This can further reduce your monthly electricity bill.
Suppose you’re looking for a way to save money with solar panels. Compare quotes from different solar companies to find the best deals. EnergySage is a great resource that helps homeowners compare quotes and find the right solar company. They also provide customer reviews, certifications and Better Business Bureau profiles to help consumers make an informed decision.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity releases greenhouse gases, contributing to air pollution and climate change. Solar energy, on the other hand, doesn’t produce harmful gases and is a renewable source of energy that can be used to power our homes and businesses.
As a bonus, solar panels are made of materials that can be recycled. This means that when they reach the end of their life cycle, they can be reused to make new solar panels without creating additional emissions.
Unlike other renewable energy sources, solar does have a small carbon footprint due to the mining and transportation of the raw materials that make up the panels. However, this is a minor fraction of the overall carbon footprint. For example, a typical home solar PV system can offset 144 to 166 times more carbon dioxide per year than an average acre of forests can.
Solar can also help reduce electricity usage during peak demand periods with battery storage options. This can be especially beneficial in the summer when our energy use peaks and utilities have to spend more resources on maintaining their network. By generating your solar energy, you can cut your dependence on the grid and save money by selling any excess back to the national grid.
Increased Home Value
Installing solar panels will increase your home’s value and appeal. Solar-powered houses will be more expensive than homes without. This is particularly true if you reside in a state which offers incentives to convert your home to solar power.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, solar systems can increase your home’s value by $20 for every dollar you save on electricity. This can add up if you pay a few hundred monthly dollars for electricity.
However, it’s important to note that the resale value of your solar power system depends on a few factors. Most importantly, you want to ensure your solar energy system is owned rather than leased. A leased system can make it difficult to sell a house because the new buyer will be required to pay off your contract or take on the remaining payments in the event of a sale.
To avoid this problem, consider investing in a quality solar system from a reputable provider with a long labor and equipment warranty. Then compare the price of your system to similar solar options on the market to ensure you’re getting the best deal. You can start using an online marketplace that compiles customer reviews, certifications, Better Business Bureau profiles and more to help you find a reputable installer.
Homeowners can claim a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of installation costs. Additional rebates and incentives are also available for solar power systems depending on your state.
The cost of a solar energy system varies widely, but it typically takes 6-10 years to recoup the initial investment in most cases. However, leasing options offer zero or minimal upfront costs if you are looking for more immediate benefits.
You can also benefit from local and state programs that provide cash back or property tax exemptions, expedited permits and waived fees for residential solar installations. Many states allow homeowners to sell surplus solar electricity to the grid at a premium price.
For instance, in New York, residents can use the NY-Sun program for battery storage incentives, which helps offset up-front system costs.
To pursue these opportunities, speak with a trusted and experienced installer in your area. They will be able to walk you through the benefits of each option and help you determine the best way to go solar for your home.