Once thought of as a gimmick or an unrealistic dream, today, solar energy is very much a reality for many homeowners who use it to power their homes and enjoy all the environmental and financial advantages it has to offer. In fact, the rate of installations of solar panels on homes across the US and UK continues to grow, as more homeowners are finding it increasingly important that their home is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. What makes solar panels all the more attractive is a real possibility of having dramatically reduced electricity bills, especially since electricity prices have been steadily climbing over the last few years.
If you are looking to make your own home more green, and save on electricity, installing solar panels and powering your home with clean renewable energy from the sun is the way to go. Switching to solar energy is a major step and a serious investment, so it is important for you to carefully weigh all the pros and cons before picking up the phone to call you local solar installer.
Clean energy is good for our Earth
One of the top reasons homeowners choose to switch to solar power is that it is beneficial to our environment. Today, it is no secret that conventional electricity generation is a highly polluting process.
In the US, 50% of all electricity is generated by coal-powered plants, 20% comes from natural gas-powered plants and another 20% is generated by nuclear fission-powered plants. Toxic emissions from all these plants pollute our air and contribute to global warming. This process also continues to propagate our country’s dependance on foreign oil, while at the same time depleting valuable fossil fuel reserves.
By contrast, solar energy is not only clean and abundant, but also sustainable. The sun can provide us with electric power indefinitely, and without contributing to pollution and global climate change. It is truly empowering that an individual homeowner can make a positive impact on the environment by installing solar panels on his rooftop. EPA Research shows that by installing a 500 kW solar panel system, it is possible to prevent the emission of approximately 1,200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. This is equal to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 100 passenger cars.
Accessible in remote locations
If you home is located in a remote area that has no access to the electric grid, solar power is an ideal option. A solar panel array can be installed in any location (climate and roof conditions permitting) so that the home will have a supply of electric power. Many homeowners who are connected to the grid, often choose to go off the grid, and solely rely on solar power for the purpose of solely using a clean energy source.
Because prices for conventional electricity continue to rise, it is actually cheaper to rely on solar energy. Depending on the size of your solar panel array, and your home’s electric needs it is possible to save 15-30% annually on your electric bill. While the initial savings will not be high, since you will be paying off the initial cost of the solar panels and instillation, once your equipment is paid off, you can actually make money by selling your excess electricity back to the electric companies. At the end of the day, your own electricity will be free and you will also be making extra cash!
You do not need to worry about your solar panels breaking, as they are proven to be highly reliable. High quality solar panels have 20-25 year warranties and will last at least 30-40 years. If you choose to lease solar panels instead of buying them, you solar provider will take care of any repairs or maintenance that need to be done in a timely fashion and typically free of charge.
Initial premium cost
Historically and to this day, the biggest deterrent for homeowners who want to switch to solar power is high cost of solar panels and installation. Even with all the federal and state government incentives such as tax breaks and rebates that encourage homeowners to install solar panels, making the switch can cost thousands of dollars upfront. It is also important to know, that the ROI on your investment will be slow, ranging from 15-25 years.
If you are not able to afford purchasing a solar panel array for your home, there are other options available to you, such as a solar lease. Numerous companies such as CD Electrical based in Leicester UK, allow you to lease solar panels, which gives you access to clean energy, reduces your monthly electric bill, without the premium cost. It is important to read all the terms and conditions of solar lease contracts and explore offers from different providers to find the best deal.
Location and climate
For the solar panel array to produce energy at its maximum potential, there needs to be a lot of sun on a daily basis. Therefore, to take the most advantage of solar energy, you home needs to be located in a region that gets many sunny days, where as rainy and cloudy days will reduce the amount of energy your panels will produce. Contrary to popular misconceptions, solar panels still produce energy on cloudy days, just at a slower rate. Also, you need to make sure that your home is located in an areas where your roof and the solar panels will not be obstructed from the sun rays by trees or other buildings.
Therefore, you need to take your climate and location into account, and potentially invest into a solar battery that will store the excess solar energy, which you can then use whenever it is needed. Another option that many homeowners choose is to still remain connected to the grid, which means that if for some reason your solar panels cannot produce enough electricity to power your home on any given day, you will still have access to electricity generated from the grid.
For solar panels to work successfully, your roof must be able to accommodate them. A solar installer will come and evaluate the size, framing strenght, and orientation of your roof, to determine if it will be suitable for solar panels. Your solar installer will also help you navigate local building codes and community regulations to making the process smoother for you.