Powering your home with solar energy is a great way to reduce or eliminate your electric bill. However, getting multiple quotes and choosing a reputable installer is essential to avoid inflated costs.
When homeowners install a home solar system outright, they can make money by producing more electricity than their house uses. Watching their meter spin backward is pretty cool.
Save Money on Your Electric Bills
The amount of money you save each month from solar will vary depending on your energy usage, local electricity rates, the size of your solar system, and how you finance it (via a loan, lease, or PPA). Even if you only offset some of your utility costs, you will still see significant savings.
If you own your solar power system, you will receive federal and state tax credits that will significantly reduce the initial cost of your investment. Plus, you will benefit from a low, fixed electricity bill for years once your system is paid off.
To determine how much you can save, calculate your average monthly electricity usage by adding up the total from previous bills or using your utility’s online billing portal. Ensure to account for seasonal changes in usage and any guests staying or leaving your home during certain times of the year. You will also want to ensure your solar panels are facing south and not obstructed by any trees or bushes that could shade the system and limit its production.
Depending on where you live, the price of electricity, and the available solar incentives, it could be possible to get your solar system paid off in less than a couple of years and begin saving immediately. This assumes you can also take advantage of all available tax credits and rebates.
Increase Your Home’s Value
Solars like the New Jersey solar panel program can increase your home’s value, and if you decide to sell your house in the future, you could profit. Potential buyers will be more interested in your home with an environmentally friendly energy system. A recent study by Zillow showed that homes with solar panels sell at 4.1% more than similar houses without solar.
Another reason to go solar is that many states offer tax credits and rebates for new solar customers. For example, in California, homeowners can claim an investment tax credit. Moreover, many states have net-metering programs that allow solar customers to accrue credits for selling the excess electricity their systems produce back to their utility company. These credits can then lower electricity costs on cloudy days or during blackouts.
In addition, a growing number of companies install and maintain solar energy systems. These companies can help you to find the best option for your needs and location. Furthermore, many solar installers have financing options to help you pay for your installation.
Remember that resale value depends on several variables, such as the location of your home, its energy efficiency, and the age of the solar panel system. Therefore, if you plan to buy a house with installed solar panels, get all the documentation from the previous owners, including utility bills, warranties, and installation paperwork.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Using solar energy to power your home is one of the greenest and most environmentally responsible choices. Since fossil fuels produce a lot of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases when burned to generate electricity, switching to solar power helps combat climate change by reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.
A solar PV system is also considered a “renewable energy technology,” meaning it can be used repeatedly without producing additional emissions. Solar panels can also be combined with batteries to store excess energy during the night or in case of a power outage.
Most residential electricity is sourced from fossil fuels, which harm the environment and lead to climate change. By installing solar panels in your home, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and helping to combat global warming by removing a large percentage of America’s dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels.
Even on cloudy days, your solar panel system will still generate energy to help power your home. Although the energy generated is lower on cloudy days (since they only produce about 10-20% of the power produced on sunny days), it’s still enough to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. In addition, most homeowners will not notice a difference in their electricity supply when they switch to solar.
Reduce Your Dependence on Foreign Oil and Fossil Fuels
The most significant benefit of solar energy is that it allows homeowners to become more independent regarding their electricity needs. By generating their power with a solar panel system, homeowners become less reliant on their local electric utility, which helps them gain control over rising electricity prices.
In addition, solar panels produce electricity without emitting harmful greenhouse gases, which can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This can significantly impact climate change, as fossil fuels such as coal emit many greenhouse gases during production and transportation.
One of the benefits of installing a solar energy system is that it can also help to increase a home’s value. Studies have shown that homes with solar panels sell four percent more than those without. Buyers see solar panels as an upgrade, like a renovated kitchen or finished basement.
In addition, solar panel systems require very little maintenance over their lifespan, which can last for up to 25 years. The only thing that needs to be done is regular dusting to remove dirt and debris from the surface of the panels. This is important as it can significantly improve the efficiency of a solar energy system.