Solar power has been around for a long time, but it’s only in the last several years that switching to this renewable energy source became a real possibility for many American homeowners. With lower prices and government incentives, solar energy is a realistic option for thousands of families across the country.
From reduced energy bills to maintaining power during blackouts, read on to learn why switching to solar power is a great investment.
Understanding How Solar Power Works
Most people who switch to solar power will stay connected to the grid. While this choice is entirely up to you, keeping your connection allows you to sell back excess power and maybe even turn a profit! Let’s break down how this works.
As with many other of life’s mysteries, we begin with the sun. That big mass of incandescent gas emits photons that come down to earth in sunlight. Solar panels take those photons and convert them into direct currents. Those currents move into an inverter, which can turn the direct current into an alternating current (the type of energy you need to power your home).
Believe it or not, that’s it. If you were wondering how solar power makes you far more energy independent, now you know! However, let’s not forget what we said about “the grid.” When choosing whether to stay connected or to break ties, remember that you may not always produce quite enough energy to power your home.
If your area is prone to streaks of cloudy skies, you’ll need a little help to keep your lights on. Staying connected to the grid gives you options. When you have excess power, you can sell it back to the grid and make some money. On the other hand, when your panels can’t produce enough energy to fulfill your needs, you can always count on the power grid.
Some people still want to become totally independent, and there’s a way to make that work! Grid-connected solar systems don’t need batteries and a backup generator, but off-grid systems do. These extra components run your bill up significantly but allow you to enjoy complete energy independence.
Power During Blackouts
For anyone who works from home, a blackout can mean a loss of income. You don’t have to worry about this with solar power. Even if you’re connected to the grid, your panels can keep your lights on in the event of a power outage.
Reduced Energy Bills
Whether you stay on the grid or not, you’ll immediately notice a drastic reduction in your energy bills. Depending on your system and energy needs, it’s entirely possible to make money instead of spend it. If you keep an eye on your energy usage and work to cut down on excess, you can save thousands of dollars within a few years.
Avoid Rising Energy Costs
You’ve probably noticed your electric bills steadily increasing over the last few years. Unfortunately, that’s not stopping any time soon. Power companies will continue to increase their rates, but you can head them off at the pass. Solar energy provides you the incredible opportunity to lock in your power rates and protect yourself from future spikes in costs.
Higher Property Value
Simply put, a home with a solar panel system will sell for more than one without. Think about it: wouldn’t you rather purchase a home that comes with next-to-free energy bills? The value increase will depend entirely on the size of your system as well as your results with it. If you can provide documentation that shows months of minuscule energy bills, expect people to flock to your home.
Solar Is Incentivized
Look into your local solar incentives. The U.S. government has programs in place to reduce the cost of your installation to make solar power even more accessible! The federal residential solar energy credit can drastically reduce your income taxes with a dollar-for-dollar reduction. Owners of systems installed from 2020 to 2022 can enjoy a 26 percent tax credit!
Minimal Maintenance Costs
With a product as high-tech as solar panels, you may worry that you’ll need to host maintenance guys every other week for as long as you have the system. This is false. Most solar systems have a warranty of 25 years and will require minimal maintenance during that time.
In fact, most homeowners can simply keep an eye on their panels for debris and clean them off every few months to keep them producing energy optimally!
When most people hear “investment,” they think of their wallets. However, don’t forget the environmental investment you make when you install a solar system. While recycling and donating used clothes are helpful, very few actions offset your carbon footprint like switching to solar.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a home in Connecticut uses over 8,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. If that home switched to solar energy, the environmental benefit would be equivalent to planting approximately 150 trees each year for as long as they have the solar panel system.
If you’re interested in learning more about environmental benefits and potential savings, reach out to us to discuss solar energy in Albuquerque, NM.
Finally, let’s discuss the most important question: how long will it take to make back your investment? The average household earns back the initial investment of solar power (through savings) within less than a decade. If your system runs for the average 25-year warranty, you may enjoy over 15 years of practically free energy.
As utility costs increase, your return on investment (ROI) gets better as well. Your system’s value only increases while you have it because your energy rates won’t increase for around 25 years. Additionally, remember that savings aren’t taxed. If you were to instead invest your money in a bond fund, any dividends you receive are subject to taxes—not so with solar power!
Now that you understand why switching to solar power is a great investment, do a little math and determine how much money you could save if your energy bills dropped to practically zero.