4 Reasons You Should Go Solar on Your Property
Over the last couple of decades, solar power has received a lot of attention from environmentalists. Not until fairly recently, however, have the mainstream media and average homeowners taken notice.
Have you thought about whether it might be time for you to switch to solar in your home?
The Four Big Benefits of Solar
Since its passage in 2006, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has propelled the industry forward and provided at least some stability for future growth. Over the past decade or so, solar power has experienced an impressive annual growth rate of 50 percent — with residential solar installations currently comprising a significant chunk of this growth.
In Q1 2019, the U.S. installed 2.7 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity to reach a total of 67 GW capacity … enough to power roughly 12.7 million homes. This represents the largest Q1 in U.S. history.
In total, estimates project that 12 GW of new solar capacity will be installed throughout 2019 – a 25 percent year-over-year increase from 2018. These numbers are impressive, but is there a compelling reason why you should install solar power on your property?
Whether your motivations are more likely to be environmental, financial, or personal, here are four of the greatest benefits.
1. Energy Efficiency
First and foremost, solar power is energy-efficient. This matters on a macro scale, of course, but it’s also worthwhile on the micro scale.
In other words, the energy efficiency derived from solar power has a direct impact on your home’s ability to operate at peak performance and reduce its expenses along the way. Most solar power systems are expected to last for at least 20 to 25 years without any need for significant improvements or tweaks.
Many will last much longer. There aren’t many investments you can make in a house that promise to supply that level of value for such a substantial period of time … particularly in terms of energy efficiency.
2. Environmental Impact
In the U.S., fossil fuels are consumed to generate more than two-thirds of all the electricity we use. The emissions that result from the combustion of these fuels is highly problematic.
They include carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), mercury, and a variety of other heavy metals that are hazardous to both human and animal health. Unlike conventional power sources, solar doesn’t produce any harmful emissions or dangerous byproducts that threaten to harm humans, animals, or the general environment.
“Solar power is the cleanest, most abundant renewable energy source available,” GoingSolar.com explains. “And, in the U.S., solar resources are among some of the richest available in the world. This energy can be harnessed by solar technologies, and be used for a variety of things, including providing light, generating electricity, heating water and more.”
Detractors point out that energy is consumed in the production of solar panels and cells. This is technically true, but the energy payback time is estimated between 6 and 17 months. After that point, the entire investment becomes 100 percent renewable.
The average American homeowner will pay off his or her solar panel system in less than eight years, and generate an ROI of 20 percent or more. So though it poses an undeniable and substantial cost in the short term, purchase and installation of solar panels is a powerful investment for the long term. This makes solar a cost-friendly endeavor regardless of your individual circumstances.
4. Increased Resale Value
There’s ample evidence to suggest that the installation of solar panels on a property increases the resale value of the residence or office. Although you shouldn’t install solar panels with the sole intention of recouping a positive ROI at the closing table, it’s a fine added benefit.
As homebuyers become more educated on the subject, we can expect to see an increased demand for properties that are fully equipped with solar panel systems. Getting ahead of this adoption curve should prove to be a benefit if you take advantage of it now.
Get Educated Before Going Solar
It’s become steadily easier and sensible to go solar, but it’s still not a move you should make without conducting a little research first and teaching yourself the basics. The industry is still in the process of maturing so it’s worthwhile to have a plan before you proceed.
By speaking with the right people and gathering a variety of opinions, you can make an informed decision that yields environmental, financial, and personal gains for years to come.