Solar energy systems reduce reliance on utility-provided electricity and help save on monthly electric bills. They can even earn homeowners money when they produce excess electricity and sell it to their local utilities.
Solar power is a renewable energy source that creates no harmful greenhouse gas emissions and avoids the environmental damage associated with mining and drilling for fossil fuels. It’s also safe and reliable.
The most obvious benefits of solar electricity are money savings. Utility bills have been rising steadily for the past ten years and are unlikely to drop soon, but homeowners with their energy systems can offset those costs by producing their power. Plus, the savings from using solar power can be even more significant for consumers with a home solar energy system who can take advantage of local and state incentives like rebates and net metering profits that offset a portion of upfront installation costs.
Solar panel systems can be purchased outright for a minimal upfront cost, with financing options available through banks and other financial institutions. Or, a homeowner can opt for a solar lease or PPA, which allows the solar company or installer to own and operate the system, with the consumer purchasing the electricity it produces at a fixed rate significantly cheaper than their current utility rates.
Solar is also an excellent option for many people living in New York, where a solar energy company can install a rooftop solar system at no upfront cost, and the homeowner then pays for the electricity it produces at a fixed rate much cheaper than their current utility rates.
Solar energy is a renewable, environmentally friendly source of power. Unlike fossil fuels, it doesn’t produce greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. Solar energy is also a local source of power. Homeowners can sell their excess electricity back to the electric grid or save it for a rainy day, giving them more control over their energy consumption.
It’s also a reliable energy source. Depending on the location, solar energy can be a cost-effective alternative to utility electricity for homeowners in states with high electricity rates and abundant sunshine.
It can also help reduce dependence on foreign energy sources, as the sun is not affected by political unrest in the Middle East or natural disasters that can wreak havoc on the global oil supply. In addition, the savings from electricity bills and net metering can make it possible to pay off your solar energy system in as little as 20 years, depending on your state’s incentives and electricity usage. In turn, solar panels can increase the value of your home. A Berkeley National Laboratory study found that buyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with an average-sized solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
Solar energy is an endless source of energy that isn’t subject to depletion like fossil fuels. This is important because non-renewables create harmful greenhouse gases in their power production processes, causing climate change that may lead to complex issues for the world and its inhabitants.
Solar is an energy resource that can be harnessed on a hyperlocal level, including for individual homes and businesses. This is done using solar panels that transform sunlight into electricity or through larger-scale solar farms utilizing mirrors to concentrate sunlight over acres of solar cells.
The wind is another excellent energy resource that can be used to produce electricity. However, while it can be produced much faster than solar and has the advantage of being available day and night, it also requires a lot of space which isn’t always suitable for densely populated areas. This is where solar comes in, as it can be used on a much smaller scale and fit well with urban energy consumption.
The sun is a powerful source of energy. It doesn’t produce harmful greenhouse gases, nor does it use dangerous materials like arsenic and mercury. It is also a reliable, long-term power source that can help create more energy independence locally.
Solar panels use electricity, and like all electrical systems, there are some safety issues to consider. Electrical surges can happen whenever higher-than-normal voltages flow through electrical wires, and they can damage your appliances depending on the strength of the surge and its duration. This is a common problem in states where lightning strikes are more frequent, and it can be prevented by having whole-house surge protective devices (SPDs) installed in your home’s electrical box.
The only requirement for solar electricity is sunlight, so it works even in Alaska, where the winter is more prolonged, and there are fewer hours of sunshine. However, you want to ensure that your solar system can produce power at night and in case of a grid outage. In that case, you can pair it with an energy storage device that will allow you to sell excess electricity back to the grid for credits on your utility bill.
When you see solar panels on rooftops, you may wonder how that hi-tech expanse of shimmering glass produces electricity. The answer is simple: sunlight activates the panels and turns them into power-generating machines.
Solar energy is versatile, unlike wind and hydroelectric power, which need wide open spaces and abundant water sources. It works in almost every environment, although its output may be lower on cloudy days or in climates that don’t receive as much sun exposure.
Solar panels are also easy to use. Grid-tied systems (the most recommended type for consumers) save money on electric bills and, in states with net metering, even allow you to send excess energy back to the grid in exchange for bill credits.
Energy storage devices—like lithium-ion batteries—allow you to store the energy your solar panels generate at night and use it during non-daylight hours. This extra feature adds cost to a system, provides added peace of mind, and can help you maximize your solar energy investment.