We've all seen the white or pale grey turbines on the top of buildings and in farms. They generate energy that is sent to the national electric grid and used by homes and businesses.
Home solar systems are a great investment that can help you save money, protect against rising power prices and qualify for federal tax incentives. There are several options to purchase or lease home solar systems.
1. Reduced Electricity Bills
A solar power system is a long-term investment that saves money on electricity bills and provides peace of mind. Solar systems can be paid for in full, which qualifies homeowners for incentives, or leased through a solar financing plan that allows homeowners to pay little upfront cost.
Solar energy helps to reduce the use of fossil fuels, which is good for the environment. It also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are produced, which is good for the climate.
Homeowners who install solar panels can produce more energy than they need and can sell unused electricity back to their utility supplier, known as net metering. This can turn rising electricity prices to your advantage and provide energy self-reliance. This energy can also be stored in batteries for consumption at night or on cloudy days.
2. Increased Home Value
A solar power system adds value to your home, similar to how granite kitchen counters or a finished basement increase property values. According to research conducted by Zillow, homes with a solar energy system sell for about 4% more than homes without a solar power system.
Moreover, solar is an attractive option for homeowners in states with high electricity rates, such as Hawaii. In addition, solar can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.
It can also reduce nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions, which cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, solar is a stable source of electricity, providing stability in the face of fluctuating coal and natural gas prices. This is especially important for hospitals, which depend on consistent pricing for essential operations.
3. Reduced Carbon Dioxide Emissions
The sun shines on the Earth every day, and it can be used to generate electricity. Solar energy produces no greenhouse gases and does not pollute the water, unlike fossil fuel power plants.
Fossil fuels are finite resources, and a solar power system helps to reduce the demand for them by reducing home electricity consumption. Moreover, the energy produced by a solar power system is channeled to the grid from many points rather than from one point; this makes it less vulnerable to blackouts and other supply disruptions.
The SunShot Vision Study found that meeting its low-cost target would result in solar generating 14% of electricity demand by 2030 and 27% by 2050, lowering GHGs by 17 million metric tons per year, worth $259 billion in reduced climate damages using central estimates (or 2.2 cents/kWh). This reduction also cuts conventional air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, with the benefits from these reductions being most pronounced in the Eastern United States.
4. Improved Health
Solar energy systems produce electricity with zero harmful emissions, which is great for the health of homeowners and their family. Traditional fossil fuel power plants emit nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter, which can contribute to bronchitis, asthma, and heart problems. Replacing them with renewable energy like solar reduces the amount of pollution entering our atmosphere and can improve overall health.
Solar also doesn’t require water to operate, which can alleviate some of the stress on global water resources. Additionally, solar power doesn’t pollute our air with mercury or other toxic elements.
Solar power is becoming more popular in the healthcare industry, providing a cost-effective solution for energy-intensive facilities. Many medical organizations are able to save money on their energy bills and benefit from government incentives for going solar.
5. Reduced Home Maintenance
While a solar system requires an initial investment, most homeowners save money on energy costs for 25 years or more. That long-term savings translates into a higher home value.
Additionally, a quality solar system will produce more electricity than your household needs. This excess can be sold back to the utility grid in exchange for credits on future utility bills or annual payouts. These “net metering” programs vary by state. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) to see what options are available in your area.
The solar resource in the United States is vast, with one hour of summer sunlight being equal to the country’s total electricity demand. Additionally, solar systems are non-polluting, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dangerous air pollutants.