Guest contribution by Agostina Chemello
If you are looking for a better, cheaper way to power your home, consider switching to solar energy. Solar panels for private households convert sunlight into electricity for your home. Solar panels can help you cut or even eliminate your electricity bill.
While solar panels require an upfront investment, you can get back the initial cost and more over time. Remember, the more electricity you typically use, the sooner you can get your investment backed up with solar energy
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), around 600,000 US homeowners are currently enjoying solar energy and its usage is increasing worldwide. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular.
Solar panels are also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Switching to solar energy is helping our planet earth move into a more sustainable future. Traditional energy is polluting while solar energy is clean and renewable.
As solar panels become more popular and have made great technological advances, prices have come down. Solar energy can really be affordable.
To know if solar power is right for you, consider the location of your home, how long you will be staying in your home, your current utility bill, and whether any financial incentives are available.
How solar panels work
Solar panels are made of hardened glass. They are installed on a rack system on your roof and an inverter system is generated Power for your home.
Your system may contain a bi-directional meter that measures the power generated and the amount you are using. The system’s monitoring system allows you to see how much energy your panels are producing on a daily basis, and you can also notify you if there is a problem with a panel.
Remember, solar energy can eliminate your electricity bill. In addition, you may be able to sell any excess electricity you produce back to your electricity company if they participate in such a plan.
Benefits of solar panels
There are many reasons to choose solar including reducing your carbon footprint and saving money.
Solar saves money
When you’re scared of paying yours monthly electricity billSolar power is definitely an option that you should consider. If you switch to solar power, you can drastically reduce, and even eliminate, your payments to your current electricity supplier.
You may even be able to make some cash from your solar panels. You could be paid for the extra electricity your panels produce.
Check with your electricity company to see if they have a buyback energy metering program and offer credits for renewable solar energy. With such plans, you can make money by sharing the excess electricity your solar system generates. Imagine if you had the electricity company Pay you instead of the other way around!
Solar has low maintenance costs
Solar roof panels require little maintenance, especially if they are tilted. Occasionally, during the warmer months, they will need to be lightly cleaned with a leaf blower or garden hose. In winter, the panels may need to be cleared after heavy snowfall.
Panels installed on the floor may require regular maintenance, but are even easier to keep clean because they are on your level.
Solar reduces your carbon footprint
Solar energy is clean and renewable. This is the perfect way to reduce carbon emissions from your property. The generation of solar power does not produce any pollutants and is even more environmentally friendly than nuclear energy.
There are a few things to consider before going solar. For example, how long do you plan to stay in your house? How long do the panels last? And how much should you plan for buying or leasing your solar modules?
Remember that solar energy is a Long term investmentSo think about how long you will live in your home. It can take seven or more years to get back cost of ownership through energy savings.
Look for a professional company to install your panels. The cost of panels and installation varies by region and the type of system being installed.
As with any major home improvement investment, take the time to research. Find reputable companies that are licensed and insured, then compare the cost of their services.
How long do panels last?
Solar panels have a lifespan of 25 to 35 years. Rest assured that you can enjoy its energy saving benefits for a long time before you need to replace them.
Can your roof accommodate solar panels?
Do some homework about the age and materials of your own roof before opting for solar. The installation of solar panels consists of mounting an attached shelving system directly on your roof. Not all roofs are suitable.
If your roof is not a candidate for panels but you have the space in your yard, you can install panels on the floor.
Again, it is important to work with a reputable, licensed solar energy company to ensure you are getting the best system for your situation and needs.
Climate and Weather
The amount of sun that hits your roof and its orientation towards the sun can affect how much energy your solar panel system generates on a daily basis. The more sun and less shade your roof has, the more power these panels can produce.
This, of course, is great news for homeowners in sunny regions. But even if you don’t live in the sunniest area, you can still take advantage of solar energy by using a little ingenuity with the placement of your panels. A reputable solar company can definitely help you maximize your system.
Solar panel costs
The cost of installing solar panels depends on a number of factors including the area you live in, the number of modules you need, the size of the system, and the type of installation (roof or floor).
Pay for your solar panel system
There are several ways to use this environmentally friendly energy source: You can buy or lease your solar panel system immediately. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of leasing your solar panel system
Some homeowners choose to rent their solar power systems. With leasing you can operate solar systems without incurring high up-front costs. With leasing, you can install solar panels and start saving right away.
You may have numerous financing options with leasing. For example, you can pay the leasing company for the equipment and use as much energy as you want, or you can pay the solar company based on the monthly kilowatt-hours used.
Some leasing companies also offer the option to purchase the panel system at the end of your lease. The financing and leasing options vary depending on where you live.
Talk to your solar company representative to find out what leasing options, if any, are available.
Disadvantages of leasing
Leasing your solar system has certain advantages, but also some disadvantages.
Solar leasing contracts can usually have a term of up to 20 years or longer and are therefore definitely a long-term investment. Make sure your long-term plans match the terms of your rental agreement. Read your contract carefully so you know what to expect if you unexpectedly have to move before the rental period expires.
If you lease your solar system, you may not be eligible for tax breaks or discounts either. Since these benefits are widespread, do your homework to make sure you don’t get disappointed that you don’t qualify for them because you are leasing your solar system.
Despite these drawbacks, leasing can be a great way to save money on your solar system while doing your bit for the planet.
Benefits of Owning Your Solar Panel System
Owning your solar panel system definitely has advantages. One of the biggest advantages is that many governments or electricity companies have incentives to install this green energy source. Tax breaks and / or discounts can help lower the initial investment costs for solar operation.
Owning your solar system also means that you are not bound by a year-long rental agreement or its terms.
Owning your system also gives you more options. If you decide to sell your home, your solar system can be a great selling point and add value to the home. Or you can bring the solar system to your new home because it is yours.
Cons of owning
Buying your own solar panel system has some disadvantages. The most obvious downside is the upfront investment required. Unless you typically have a heavy utility bill, it will take longer to pay for itself.
If you own your solar panels and your monitoring system, you are also solely responsible for maintaining and repairing (or replacing) the system if parts fail or need to be repaired.
Solar is the future
Installing solar panels is an environmentally friendly option, but it is wise to consider all factors before switching to solar energy. It’s definitely an investment, but it’s well worth adding value to your home as you are helping to make this planet greener.
Guest author Agostina Chemello works for Porch.com, a home services platform that connects homeowners with local home improvement. It is the leading destination for professional installation, assembly, repair, maintenance, relocation and other services from quality professionals.
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