Solar power collects sunlight and turns it into electrical energy. Most people associate solar power with giant mirrored panels on rooftops and eco-friendly lifestyles. As electricity bills rise and the realities of climate change worsen, more homeowners are considering home solar panels.
Here are the pros and cons to be aware of before you invest the time, money, and energy into converting your home into an eco-friendly utopia.
Source: Green Energy Futures/Youtube
Pros of Solar Power
1. Eco Friendly
Arguably the biggest reason for converting to solar energy is how eco-friendly it is. Fossil fuels like coal and oil are pollutants and release harmful substances like carbon dioxide into the air and water supplies. Solar energy, on the other hand, does not release pollutants. It is the most environmentally friendly solution out there. According to The Energy Saving Trust, a home solar power system in the United Kingdom could save up to 1.6 tons of carbon annually per household.
2. Increase Home Value
Adding a solar energy system to your home could increase its value by around 4.1 percent. That’s an average additional $9,274 for the median-valued home in the United States. Some states value solar energy more than others, like New Jersey, which values solar-powered homes the most. Adding solar panels to a New Jersey home will increase the value by 9.9%, or around $32,281 for the average home.
3. Lower Electricity Costs
In the United States, the average utility bill increases by around 3 percent every year. Meanwhile, households that power their home with solar energy save from 10 percent to 40 percent on utilities. Customers sign solar contracts with a fixed kilowatt/hour price that is usually lower than standard utility rates in the country.
4. Solar Incentives
Households using solar energy can collect solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) and use net metering. These incentives can further decrease your utility bill every month or even be paid back to you in cash. The states that offer these incentives give solar-powered households immediate and long-term financial returns on solar investments. This means how much electricity the panels generate. So, you have to use the panels to receive compensation!
Cons of Solar Power
It’s never nice being negative, but being prepared for the potential cons of an eco-conscious decision is just as important as knowing about the pros!
1. Initially Expensive
The cost of purchasing and installing solar panels is the lowest it’s been in 30 years, but it’s still a significant financial investment. The average upfront cost is $16,200 to $21,400, depending on how large your house is, the area you live in, and what your energy requirements are.
2. Saving Vary
Solar energy savings are proportional to how much energy the household uses. Therefore, low energy costs mean low savings.
3. Can’t Be Installed on Every Roof
Roofing materials used in older homes may not be easy or possible to mount solar panels onto. Slate and cedar tiles are two examples of materials that will not work for rooftop solar panels. Skylights will also make installing solar panels difficult.
4. Can’t Be Moved
It is difficult and expensive to relocate solar panels. Families may not want to spend the money installing them if they might move. They can also damage your roof and cause problems for the next homeowner when removed.
Knowing the Facts
According to the United Nations, the energy supply sector accounts for 35% of the Earth’s total greenhouse gas emissions. While the cons of solar energy may be deal breakers for some homeowners, it’s objectively a far more sustainable choice.
Consider what’s best for your lifestyle and living situation before deciding to leap from conventional electricity to solar. The environmental and potential financial benefits might outweigh the cons of installing this eco-friendly electricity alternative for your household.
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