While only 6% of American homeowners had installed solar panels on their homes by late 2019, 46% said that they have seriously considered installing solar panels at their homes.
Nearly all of those interested in installing solar panels or who have already installed solar panels are motivated to do so out of a drive to help the environment. Almost all of them are interested due to the utility bill savings they can benefit from, and nearly two-thirds are motivated by the tax credit they can receive by installing solar panels.
There are a lot of benefits to solar panel installation, so it’s no wonder that more and more American homeowners are considering switching to a sustainable energy source for their electricity.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of solar panels. But first, let’s take a quick detour to understand the difference between renewable energy and sustainable energy.
What Is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is energy that is sourced from renewable resources. These are resources that naturally replenish within a human timescale, including:
- Geothermal heat
This type of energy exists in contrast with nonrenewable energy, which is sourced from resources that can’t be readily replaced through natural means. These include the fossil fuels much of our world and economy has been relying on for quite some time.
What Is Sustainable Energy?
The term sustainable energy is a bit different than the term renewable energy.
When people refer to sustainable energy, they are talking about energy sources that can meet current needs without depleting the ability for future generations to do the same for themselves.
Sustainable energy sources will typically be in line with renewable energy sources. This is because renewable sources allow us to meet our energy needs now without compromising the ability of future generations to produce the power they’ll need.
Solar Panels Reduce Your Energy Costs
One of the most obvious benefits of installing solar panels on your home is to help eliminate or significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on electricity.
We all have to budget for utility costs, but what if you could reduce or eliminate your electric bill? There are a number of different factors that impact how much money you can save with solar. Typically, though, it will significantly reduce if not completely eliminate your electricity costs.
The number of direct hours of daily sunlight you receive, as well as the angle and size of your roof will impact how much money you are able to save.
The typical American family is, on average, spending about $1450 every year just on electricity. Electricity prices are volatile in nature, so it isn’t even very possible to predict what your electricity costs will be 10 or 20 years down the line.
When you install solar panels, you make an upfront investment for the installation. After that, though, any of the electricity you are able to produce from then forward doesn’t cost you a thing. If your solar panels don’t entirely offset your household’s electricity needs, you will still only be paying for a fraction of the electricity you would have without solar panels.
Are you interested in getting solar panels installed at your home? If so, follow this link to find solar companies near you.
They Come With Rebates and Tax Credit Incentives
You want to only save money with solar panels because of the electricity savings. You can also benefit from tax credit incentives and rebates. For example, you can receive a tax break for the first year of installation that is 30% of the total cost of installation and equipment.
There are also a number of state and local rebates you can receive for going solar. This means that you might be able to pay for 50% or more of the initial costs through these means.
There are also Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that you can utilize. These are basically when you sell your overstocked energy to businesses that are separate from the power company that trade in the energy market.
Sustainable Energy Systems Can Increase the Resale Value of Your Home
Having your home powered by sustainable energy sources is an appealing factor for many buyers who are shopping for homes. House hunters will be able to understand the utility cost savings they will experience by purchasing your home.
Someone looking to buy a home will also understand the appreciation potential of a house with solar panels.
It will likely become increasingly popular to use sustainable resources for energy rather than nonrenewable resources. As this happens over time, many homebuyers will see purchasing your home as a solid investment.
Supporting the Solar Industry Helps Create More Jobs
The rise of the solar industry has been very positive for the U.S. economy. The fossil fuel industry relies on mechanical operations, which doesn’t create many jobs. Solar panel installation, on the other hand, require manual labor, sales, and manufacturing, which helps to produce jobs right here in the U.S.
With increased support from local and state communities, renewable energy can help to create jobs in the U.S. for many years to come.
You Can Sell Excess Electricity Back to the Power Company
Whether you have solar panels installed on your residential property or your commercial property, you can be compensated for sending your unused electricity back to the grid. This is a program called net metering, where when your solar system produces excess energy, you can receive credits from the power company.
Many states have legislated net metering. There are also other communities and states where this is a voluntary incentive that is offered. Different states offer different prices for the credits.
Solar Can Help Create Stable Energy Prices
Over time, it is possible that increasing reliance on solar energy can help to stabilize energy costs. Since solar energy systems are incredibly low cost to operate, the competition this creates can help to stabilize the cost of other forms of energy in the future.
It is cheaper today to install solar power energy systems than it was even just a few years ago. It is anticipated that the costs associated with going solar will continue to drop in the years to come.
They’re Low Maintenance
Having a low maintenance system almost seems too good to be true for the average homeowner. Solar panels are truly remarkable in that you pay the install costs and you hardly have to put any money into after that.
Built to live outdoors, solar panels are able to withstand the elements of nature. They are also considered to be a static system, which means that they don’t need general maintenance and don’t have any moving parts. It is possible for solar panels to break, but they are built to last for at least 25 years.
Once your solar panels are installed, they start working and saving you money immediately. They do need to be cleaned regularly, which you can either do yourself or hire someone to do. Other than that, though, there is typically no maintenance required for this cost-saving energy system.
Sustainable Energy Sources Are Better For the Environment
We are all familiar with the negative consequences of relying on fossil fuels and nonrenewable resources for energy.
Both environmental and economic issues make using nonrenewable energy unsustainable. For this reason, many individuals and organizations have been driven to find alternative solutions.
The sun is the ultimate renewable energy source, with no threat of depletion over time. If we do run out of light from the sun, we have bigger issues to worry about!
This is also a form of energy production that can be used just about anywhere. Since it relies on a resource that is available in every corner of the globe, there is a lot of optimism about the use of solar energy throughout the world in the future.
They Can Provide You More Independence
When your solar panels are able to produce 100% of the electricity you use in your home, you can become energy independent. You won’t have to fret about rate hikes from the electricity company, as you are able to create the power you need without them.
It’s also possible to install a battery-backup system as a part of your solar system. This means that you can store excess energy for later use, without ever having to rely on the grid.
Battery systems can still be relatively expensive at this point. However, if complete energy independence is important to you, they’re worth looking into.
Sustainable Energy: It’s the Future!
With so much uncertainty in the world, it makes sense that so many people are interested in investing in renewable energy sources. Whether you’re worried about the environment, the future cost of electricity, the economy, or all of the above, there are a lot of good reasons to install solar panels on your home.