Many people like the idea of solar energy, but aren’t convinced it’s for them. If you’re one of them, there are a few things you need to know.
For starters, traditional energy comes with various drawbacks. It’s limited, its price is always rising, and it produces pollution. All fossil fuels emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases, contributing to global warming.
By comparison, solar panels help create a safer future for the next generations. That said, that’s far from their only benefit. If you’re trying to understand solar energy, all you need to do is look at its many practical applications.
Not sure where to start? Here are 7 good reasons why you may want to consider a solar panel investment.
1. Reduced Electricity Bills
Did you know that the average U.S. household spends over $110 on electricity each month?
Now, there are several factors that influence these costs. The size and location of your house play a key role here, as well as your home appliances. Oftentimes, your energy expenses may mount up to more than $200 overtime.
The best way to cut these costs is to install a solar system. Though the initial investment remains high, solar panels have never been more affordable. The average solar system will set you back $2.96/watt.
Keep in mind that the IRS still offers an investment tax credit for installing a solar panel. In 2020, this credit is worth 26 percent of your purchase. This opportunity will expire after 2021, so don’t hold off your decision for too long.
According to recent studies, solar panels should last for at least 25 years.
Since the photovoltaic technology is still new, it’s hard to tell what happens after that. One thing we do know is that all solar panels are prone to degradation. The average degradation rate for solar panels is 0.8 percent per year.
Of course, this depends on the quality of solar panel materials. Some premium solar panels have a degradation rate of 0.3 percent. Even with a higher rate, solar panels can operate at 88 percent of their original output.
Another thing you should know is that most solar panels come with two warranties. The performance warranty usually guarantees 80 percent production at 25 years. Most equipment warranties guarantee 10-15 years without failing.
3. Power Outage Protection
Do you live in an area where power shortages are frequent? If so, a solar power system can serve as the perfect plan B.
Other than the system itself, you’ll need a compatible solar battery. That way, you can use the solar battery storage for backup power during a shortage. If you already installed a solar system, you should still be able to add a battery to it.
Depending on your location, you may want to opt for a larger battery that gives you more power. For example, shortages in South Carolina can last up to 20 hours. Shortages caused by natural disasters should also be a consideration.
4. Environmental Impact
This is the obvious one, but it still bears mentioning. By using solar panels, you’re directly contributing to a cleaner environment.
As we mentioned, traditional power sources are a key factor in global warming. Coal and fossil fuels are among the biggest producers of carbon pollution. Some dirty sources of energy produce vapor that helps create acidic rains.
Also, consider that electricity needs to travel a great distance to reach your house. Most of the time, this process sees a major loss in power during the transmission. The losses range between 6 and 15 percent.
By setting up a solar system, you’ll completely avoid these issues. Solar panels harvest their power from the sun and don’t produce greenhouse gases. They also consume 20 times less water than nuclear power plants.
5. Increased Property Value
If you’re wondering, “Do solar panels increase home value?”, the short answer is yes. The longer answer is a bit more complicated.
On average, installing a solar panel increases the value of a home by 4 percent. Depending on what solar installation you opt for, the value can be much higher. For instance, solar umbrellas are both economical and pleasing to the eye.
If you live in an area where electricity is expensive, a single solar panel may boost the property value through the roof. Larger houses receive higher nominal boosts in value as well.
6. Job Creation
One of the less-known reasons to go solar is the ability to create more jobs in the solar industry.
From 2010 to 2015, the solar industry grew by a whopping 168 percent. By the end of that period, this led to the creation of 250,000 new jobs. Keep in mind that setting up a single solar farm may require the help of 15-20 workers.
Installing a solar system also allows you to contribute to your local economy. Most solar providers are fighting tooth and nail to maximize their market share. By getting a solar panel, you’re helping them create a suitable product.
7. Bright Solar Future
If you’ve been following the news, you’re likely already aware that solar power is the future.
With governments taking action on climate change, the solar era has officially begun. Right now, there’s no bigger priority for humanity than finding a substitute for traditional energy. Our fossil fuel reserves are almost gone.
No matter where you look, you’ll see evidence of this global green push. For example, every major car brand is looking into creating electric vehicles. The biggest selling point of these cars is that they use clean energy as fuel.
Paradoxically, the emergence of clean energy has led to a rise in electricity costs. According to research, these prices will keep rising by 3 percent each year. In other words, having a natural power generator at home will come in handy.
More on How to Understand Solar Energy
As you can see, going for solar power now can be a great help in preparing for the future.
One final tip: learning about solar power has its own benefits. Remember, solar power will become our primary energy source. The more you learn about it now, the easier it will be to grasp the changes in the world around you.
Interested in other articles that will help you understand solar energy? Want to make sure that going solar is the right choice for you? Check out our Technology section!