Why Solar Is Even Better Than You Thought
If you’re considering going solar, then you’re certainly not alone. As you’ve probably noticed, solar installations have risen dramatically in recent years, and there’s a whole host of reasons that installing rooftop solar panels is one of the smartest moves you can make.
Let’s take a look at some solar benefits that may surprise you — even if you’re super savvy and ready to make the switch very soon. Read on for details…
Going Solar Doesn’t (Have to) Cost a Thing
If you’re skeptical about that last statement, keep reading. While it’s true that nobody is going to give you free solar panels, if you live in one of the many states that allow solar leases and power purchase agreements, then you may be able to put solar panels on your roof for no money down.
And don’t worry about the monthly payment; your discounted utility bill should more than make up for the lease payment on your PV system.
Boost Your Home Value (But Not Your Property Taxes)
Did you know that going solar could actually increase your home’s value? It’s true. On average, customer-owned solar installations add nearly $6,000 per kilowatt of installed capacity. Given an average size of 5 kW, that could add up to around $30k. Even better, many states exempt those gains from property tax assessments.
The Environmental Benefits Are Awesome
Yes, you probably know many people go solar for environmental reasons. But you might not know just how compelling those benefits are. It’s estimated that by the time the warranty runs out on your solar panels, you’ll have prevented 100,000 lbs. of carbon monoxide from being released into the atmosphere. Way to do your part for the environment!
You’ll Save a Ton of Money
How much can you save by going solar? On average, solar adopters can expect to save approximately $20k over the course of 20 years, but certain variables can change the equation. If you live in a solar-friendly state like California, you might save nearly $35k.
In Hawaii, where electricity rates are sky-high, you could save more than $60k. Even in states where lawmakers haven’t come around to the real value of solar energy, you’ll likely save more than $10k. Not too shabby!
Solar Power for Energy Independence
Our supply of fossil fuels may be extensive, but it’s still finite. Why should we make unwise compromises to get our hands on crude oil when we can go solar? Did you know that the energy the earth receives from 18 days of sunshine is equal to the total amount of energy stored in all of the coal, oil, and natural gas deposits on the planet?
Wasting that much free energy isn’t just foolish. It’s downright unpatriotic.
You Can Sell Your Power Back to the Utility
Off-grid living isn’t a reality for most solar users (at least not yet), but it won’t be long before battery technology is ready for prime time. For now, most solar customers have to draw energy from the grid when solar production slows down.
On the flip side, many states have net metering laws that allow solar customers to sell their excess sunny-day electricity back to the utilities at full retail rates. That way, you only pay for the energy you use.
However, you should be aware that net metering is one of the most contentious issues in energy policy today. Utilities are actively trying to eliminate it in many states. The moral of the story: you might want to go solar now so you can be grandfathered in, just in case the utilities get their way.
Solar Energy: More than Meets the Eye
If you’ve been wondering why everyone’s going solar, now you know. It’s one of the best investments you can make — and not just for the environment, but for your personal finances, as well.
[Photo via: Geograph]