Top 5 benefits of solar energy

Updated

top 5 benefits of solar
Solar panels save you money, increase your home value, and reduce pollution.

There are many advantages to installing solar panels that range from monetary to environmental benefits.  The best part is that you can save money every month on your electric bill while helping reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

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    Reason #1 to go solar: You can save and earn money with solar

    One of the most popular reasons to install solar panels is the amount of money saved from low or nonexistent electric bills. The cost of electricity in your local area will have a huge impact on how much you save with solar - the higher your electricity costs, the more money you will save. 

    The solar company you work with will custom-design your solar panel system so that it covers your home's average electricity usage. This means that you can expect to have no electricity bill most months. 

    Solar also shields you from rising utility rates. Traditionally, the cost of electricity increases over the years due to the need for utilities to pay for grid repairs and power plant construction. These rising costs are baked into energy bills. But with solar panels, you will not need to pay the rising energy costs because you are generating your own electricity. 

    Although in many places you might need to pay a customer fee or other utility charges since you are technically still connected to the grid and using your utilities' services. However, these costs are minimal. 

    Additionally, if you live in a location with good net metering policies, you will be paid for the extra energy that your solar panels produce. This is an important note; not only will you not have an electric bill if you produce excess energy, but you will be compensated for your energy either through yearly payouts or a credit on your bill to cover future electric overages

    Currently, there are excellent tax incentives, rebates, and local utility incentives that can significantly reduce the cost of installing solar power. For example, the federal tax credit takes 26% off of the total cost of your solar system meaning that the average 7 kW system would cost you $15,540 instead of $21,000.

    Find out how much you can save monthly with solar panels

    Find out how much a solar system would cost for your specific home

    Reason #2 to go solar: Solar panels increase your home value

    We should begin this with a caveat - solar panels that are fully owned and paid off, not leased, will increase the value of your home. Fully-owned solar panels produce electricity for free. Panels that are financed with a solar loan are also considered to be “fully owned”.

    Learn more: Solar loan vs. solar lease: which is right for you?

    The issue with leased solar panels is that when you are transferring ownership of a home, you need to transfer ownership of the solar panel lease. This can lead to a legal headache that might end in the panels needing to be removed due to the contract with the original owner. 

    But if you own your panels, they can increase the value of your home by 4.1%. That means if you expect to sell your home for $350,000, solar panels can increase the property value to $364,000. 

    A home with solar panels already attached is attractive to a prospective buyer because they do not need to pay for the panels themselves and can immediately reap the benefits of green energy - a convenience many bidders will pay higher for. 

    Reason # 3 to go solar: Solar + storage lead to energy independence

    When you add solar panels to your house, you are becoming more energy independent by relying less on the grid for your electricity. With a grid-tied system, you still use traditional grid energy to power your home when the sun isn’t shining or if you use more electricity than your panels produce. 

    You can install solar battery storage while remaining connected to the grid, which will give you more independence. To go a step further, you can build your house to be completely off-grid, however, this is much more challenging for most people to commit to. 

    That said, a grid-tied system with solar battery storage serves as a happy medium

    A solar battery allows you to store excess energy that your solar panels produce for backup use on a typical day or during power outages. Grid-connected solar panels do not work when the power is out, but a backup battery will help to keep your appliances running until the power is fixed. 

    Newer battery systems are coming out that can act independently from the grid, meaning they will keep your solar system running; generating electricity for days even if the power lines are out. They are more expensive but can help get you to true energy independence. 

    Check out the below video featuring solar expert Will White breaking down what you need to know about solar battery storage.

    Reason # 4 to go solar: Solar reduces air pollution

    A unique benefit of solar panels is the fact that once they are installed, the electricity that they produce is not creating any air pollution. Currently throughout the U.S., the majority of the electricity that runs through the grid and powers most homes is produced by fossil fuels

    When fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil are burned, the fumes that are released into the air are pollutants. These pollutants range from carbon dioxide which is a main driver of climate change, to particulate matter that is dangerous to breathe in. Using solar panels to generate clean energy greatly reduces these emissions

    Based on 2020 levels, only 12% of the energy produced in the U.S. came from renewable sources, and of that, only 11% was generated from solar. By adding rooftop solar panels, you can increase that percentage while reducing air pollution at the same time. 

    Reason #5 to go solar: Lower your dependence on non-renewable energy

    In line with reducing air pollution, solar panels reduce your dependence on non-renewable energy. If you are interested in reducing your environmental impact, curbing your reliance on fossil fuels is a big step forward. Solar panels are a great renewable energy source to help you make that step.

    This is especially the case if you invest in an electric vehicle, since you can charge your EV with the solar panels on your roof. Doing this will lower your carbon footprint and make your energy consumption completely emissions-free with your car charged by solar and your electricity generated by the same panels. 

    Knowing all of the benefits, why not install solar?

    The top 5 benefits that come with the use of solar panels can help you be a more conscious electricity consumer. Solar gives you the power to have energy independence and shields you from rising electricity costs, while a battery can provide backup power for your energy needs. 

    Solar also allows you to live a little greener - reducing air pollution and your non-renewable energy reliance. Most importantly for homeowners, solar panels save you money every month by reducing or completely eliminating your electricity bill, while adding value to your home. 

    Start your solar savings today - get in touch with a local installer for a free quote to see if a solar power system is right for your specific home.  

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     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Ana Almerini

    Web Content Specialist

    Ana is a content specialist at SolarReviews. She uses her experience in marketing and knowledge from her master's in climate communications to research and review the solar industry.

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