Installing Solar: Harnessing Solar Energy and the Benefits
A Popular Topic
In recent media, renewables have become a popular topic, especially solar energy. We have seen everything from utility companies, municipalities, businesses, homeowners, and schools installing solar. We have also seen proposed legislation and changes in utility policies and energy rates. The higher demand for lower-cost energy, along with improvements in technology have paved the way for making solar a more efficient and economical alternative for consumers. Additionally, state and federal incentives such as tax credits, aggressive depreciation schedules, grant programs, and various financing options have made solar energy an attractive environmental and financial decision.
Benefits of generating your electricity using solar:
Reduce Your Electricity Bill(s) and Save Money
Solar arrays generate electricity which can be used to offset all or a portion of your energy needs, creating savings on your monthly energy bill. The savings are dependent upon several key factors such as the size of your solar array and your energy usage. Once the solar system is paid for, your electricity from it is free, and you can begin to build a cash reserve with the money you previously paid your utility company. You can enjoy your savings over the 40+ years of the solar array’s lifespan. Also, you may be eligible to reduce your tax liability through federal and state renewable energy tax credits and/or depreciate the equipment. Additionally, grants and other incentive programs are often available to make solar an even more attractive economic option.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Solar energy is truly a renewable energy source that can be harvested and used to fuel our electric needs. Solar energy is plentiful, compared to other energy sources such as fossil fuels. Traditional sources of fuel used to create electricity, like coal and natural gas, emit gases which cause air pollution, whereas a solar array produces clean energy, improving public health. Solar modules are composed of recyclable components and once installed, produce zero-emissions. Solar greatly reduces your carbon footprint due to less coal and gas needed to meet your electricity demand. On average, in one year, a single solar panel can produce enough to replace the equivalent of 787 miles driven in an average car, 352 pounds of coal burned, or 36 gallons of gas.
Increase Your Property’s Equity
Reducing the energy costs of your property correspondingly increases its value as remodeling or building an addition. Solar panels, regardless if they are roof or ground-mounted, increase a properties attractiveness, much like having lower property taxes or being located in a certain school district. Property values can appreciate as much as $20 for each $1 in energy bill savings. Additionally, utility rates will continue to increase, therefore the savings from the solar array will continually increase. Solar panels can also extend the life of a roof by protecting it from the elements. Roof-mounted solar panels block the sun from hitting your roof directly. Instead of the sun being absorbed by the roofing, the energy is being absorbed by solar panels; keeping the house a lower temperature and potentially extending the life of the roof under the panels.
Solar panels installed on your property have come a long way from the solar lights in a yard or similar solar products found at hardware stores. Solar panels are tested and rated to withstand extreme weather conditions including severe hail, wind, and temperature variations. Panels come with manufacturer equipment warranties up to 25 years of their possible 40+ year life expectancy. Solar arrays have no moving parts which mean little maintenance and no wear and tear. Internet-based solar energy monitoring is also available to assure your system continues to operate properly for decades to come. Choose an installer backed with a warranty on their workmanship and resources to provide excellent customer service and support.
Installing Solar: Now is the Time
The solar energy revolution continues to grow as it becomes a sound financial investment. Solar is an investment, not an expense. It will provide you with decades of low-cost energy at a fraction of the cost provided by your utility. Solar energy can reduce or eliminate energy costs, saving money as soon as it is installed. Utility rates will continue to increase, but your cost of energy and the benefits which solar provides will stay the same.