Considering solar panel installation for your home? You’re not alone. More and more homeowners are making the decision to capitalize on this sound investment and are quickly reaping the benefits. Here is a brief exploration into the numerous pros of investing in solar panels and all that this sustainable energy solution has to offer.
Times Are Changing
Not too long ago, residential solar panels were reserved for the richest among us. Nowadays, however, they are more affordable, efficient and eco-friendly than ever before. In fact, as the technology has developed, the cost has dropped significantly (approximately 22%) since 2015, with prices projected to decline even further. There are also federal tax credits, state policies and local incentives available, all of which are designed to make financing more economical for all. As such, the opportunity — and incentives — to invest has expanded to households across income classes.
Improved affordability of installation isn’t the only factor spurring interest. The prices of natural gas and other energy sources have risen across most of the country, driving consumers to alternative power. Worldwide, many markets are seeing solar power become more cost-effective than conventional energy. Moreover, a variety of financing options have arisen to make solar more attainable for everyone. These include home-improvement loans, no-money-down leasing and beyond.
Of course, there’s also the state of the environment to consider. Climate change is rapidly progressing, and as the Earth continues to warm, global temperatures are accelerating to increasingly dangerous levels. Although significantly slowing this acceleration requires deep and immediate emission-reducing policies to be enacted by our leaders, individuals can do their part as well. Certain steps — such as making the change to clean, renewable energy such as solar — work to reduce a person’s carbon emissions and lower the overall impact on climate change.
While shifting completely to solar and other renewable forms of energy isn’t yet feasible, the more people who switch from fossil fuels now, the better it is for the environment later. How so? First and foremost, it could drastically cut the amount of carbon, the leading greenhouse gas, in the air. Additionally, it helps to alleviate the pollution-related stress on plants and animals, lessen the effects of acid rain and reduce the number of pollution-related illnesses, such as asthma, emphysema and lung cancer.
Granted, even though renewables are a healthier alternative to traditional forms of energy like oil, coal and natural gas, they aren't completely clean. The production of solar panels has environmental downsides, since the processes of acquiring materials and manufacturing generate a substantial amount of greenhouse gases. On the bright side, studies from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy have found that, in terms of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, solar panels can recoup these costs within one to four years of use.
Further Advantages of Solar Power
In addition to being an affordable means of minimizing the use of fossil fuels, solar power has a wide range of benefits to offer the Earth’s inhabitants. After installation, it creates no greenhouse gases while providing pollution-free energy every day of the year — even in cloudy weather. It has the capability to produce excess power which, under certain circumstances, could then be sold back to the power company and redistributed. Additionally, solar panels require virtually no maintenance for over 30 years, can be installed almost anywhere and provide a generous return on investment when it comes time to sell the home.
On a larger scale, solar power can also make great strides in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels in tandem with establishing jobs here at home. As efficiency, versatility and aesthetics improve further, the demand for solar panels will increase and, therefore, more manufacturers, installers, etc., will be needed. These factors and others like them, in turn, help fuel the economy.
As one of the major means of scaling back pollution while also increasing the value of a home, solar panels have become an option homeowners can’t afford to overlook. Before coming to a decision, homeowners should get in contact with home solar power experts to discuss the best way to make the switch to renewable energy.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Dave Dugdale