In a time when energy costs & usage around the country are increasing, many Americans are looking for ways to reduce their costs. Furthermore, they also want to bring added value to their lives and homes through the process. The good news is that going solar can help you accomplish these goals & more.
When making the decision to use conventional or solar energy to power your home, there are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to consider. On one hand, there are significant benefits to gaining access to the world’s cleanest, most abundant renewable energy source. On the other hand, there also are important requirements that can impact your decision.
These solar energy pros and cons are influenced by a number of factors, including:
Below, we’ve put together some solar power information that highlights the pros and cons of switching to solar.
The opportunities for you to enjoy the benefits of solar energy can vary depending on your state. In some states, you have the choice of buying (purchasing it outright or using financing) or leasing a PV solar system. Learn more about buying and leasing a PV solar system.
Another advantage of investing in a solar system for your home is that your purchase contributes to the local economy. You’re helping friends, neighbors, or other members of your local community that work for growing solar companies get jobs and start careers. Furthermore, it benefits the national economy as well by reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign or imported oil, keeping more money in the U.S.
Even if your reason for switching to solar is simply to achieve financial goals, you’re still helping the environment without having to make any additional efforts. Unlike conventional energy resources like fossil fuels, coal, and nuclear energy, solar energy production does not produce any sort of air, water, or greenhouse gas emissions or pollutions. Learn more about the environmental impact of using solar power.
There are several financial reasons to convert your home to solar energy. Regardless of your whether you’re looking to buy or lease a photovoltaic (PV) solar system, you can enjoy significant savings on your monthly electric bills. However, you can enjoy greater financial benefits by purchasing a system than by leasing one.
Another win for solar homeowners that invest in solar panels and systems for their homes is that their purchase adds value to their property. Homes that are equipped with a photovoltaic system can increase in value by tens of thousands ($15,000 for a 3.6 KWh system; more for larger systems). Furthermore, homes with functioning PV solar systems installed tend to sell faster than homes using conventional energy.
Through 2019, homeowners who purchase and install a solar system will be able to enjoy a 30% federal solar investment tax (ITC) credit. If you choose to finance your system, the financial savings you will receive from your tax credit can then be paid on your loan to help you pay it off faster without penalty. After that, the tax credit will drop to 26% by the end of 2020 and 22% by the end of 2021.
In addition to the federal tax credit, states around the U.S. offer a variety of solar energy credits, rebates, or incentives.
New Jersey is one of the most pro-solar states, offering a number of financial advantages for solar homeowners ranging from net metering, solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), and sales tax and property tax exemptions. Net metering enables you to earn credits for selling the excess solar energy your system produces to your utility company.
Florida homeowners also enjoy financial advantages for owning a solar system, including sales tax and property tax exemptions, as well as net metering.
To discover some of the incentives in your individual state, check out the online Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
There are many other advantages to investing in solar power as well. Most modern solar panels are low-maintenance, requiring little to no maintenance in their lifetimes. Additionally, solar provides a great source of power for homes that are located in remote areas. Your PV system also can be used to charge your hybrid or electric car.
A disadvantage of going solar is that your PV system can only produce power while the sun is out. This means that during inclement weather, such as a blizzard or thunderstorm, your system will not be producing energy for your home and your home will pull power from the power grid. However, these electricity costs can be offset through the use of any net metering credits that your system earns through excess energy production.
Although the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, a potential disadvantage of installing a solar system is that it takes up a lot of roof space. However, a new solar system can give your home a modern, sleek look that adds — rather than detracts — from your home’s aesthetics. And, realistically, what else are you going to use your roof to store? Why waste valuable space when you can instead put that space to use and produce electricity to power your home?
Many of the solar batteries available on the market are expensive to produce as well as replace and properly dispose of. The sun is available for around half of the day (depending on your location) to help your system produce electricity. So, why spend money buying batteries that will need to be replaced when you can simply use net metering to offset your system’s off-hours energy costs?
Buying a PV solar system is a big financial commitment. Homeowners have the option of buying a system outright or financing one with a solar loan. However, the actual size and cost of a solar energy system will depend on your home’s individual needs and power use.
Although this may sound concerning, there is good news. Because more homeowners are investing in solar and more solar companies are joining the market, increasing competition for your business, the costs associated with installing a new system are decreasing. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the solar industry “has experienced an average annual growth rate of 68%” since 2006. Furthermore, “the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% since 2010.”
CODE Green Solar serves solar energy clients in several states, including New Jersey, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. To learn more about how solar energy can benefit you, the environment, and your wallet, fill out the contact form on this page today to speak with a CODE Green Solar energy consultant.