Are you buying your first house, or are you already an owner looking for ways to make improvements? Any improvements you do make will increase the value of the house. One option that’s on the table is solar power. But there’s an up-front cost at stake. From guest contributor, Nico Morgan, here’s why that cost is worth it:
After many years of environmental campaigns against the burning of fossil fuels and utilizing nuclear energy to power our homes, the consensus is finally coming through that alternative energy is the way of the future. Of all the available methods for home and business owners alike, solar energy has come out on top of being the most resourceful, effective, and financially advantageous.
While at least 20 states still burn fossil fuels for their electrical grid, solar energy is on the rise across the country. This is not only because of the newer understanding of why alternative energy is so important for the environment, but because ease of installation and overall cost has become more user-friendly; installing panels on your rooftop is no longer reserved for the wealthy or the corporate franchises.
To be more specific, according to the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy: “Since 2008, U.S. [solar] installations have grown seventeen-fold from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) to an estimated 30 GW today. This is enough capacity to power the equivalent of 5.7 million average American homes. Since 2010, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than 60% and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by about 50%.”
Solar energy works in many ways exactly like the burning of fossil fuels — though with some important, and obvious, differences. While fossil fuels and nuclear energy plants are used to turn massive turbines that create electricity that then travels through cables across the country, solar energy works by absorbing sunlight on panels, and cutting out the middle-man of running long cables from energy-production plants to nearby suburbs. Through the use of advanced photovoltaic panels (photo = light, voltaic = electricity), energy is converted on the spot and fed into a net meter, which reads how much energy you’re consuming from the grid vs. your personal solar panels.
With the rise in popularity over recent years, solar panels have become more accessible to the common energy-user more than ever. While the initial installation and utility costs may seem high, they are the only large investment you’ll have to put into installing solar panels. According to Investopedia.com, the life of a PV solar panel can range from anywhere between 25-40 years, meaning it’s a lifelong investment. And, with the savings and government tax breaks offered through installing solar panels, you can expect to recoup for the initial cost within a few years of implementation. After that you’ll see regular savings on power bills.
Not only is solar energy the best environmental choice for energy in your home, it can be, and actively is, being put towards other uses. For example, using solar panels for heating an outdoor pool saves money in the colder seasons, when you want to take a dip in the late fall and not emerge with hypothermia.
Because of its long lifespan and positive effects on the surrounding environment, including smog reduction and overall air clarity, solar energy is an environmentally clean, and financially wise course to take. Whether you’re eager to reduce your monthly energy utility bills, or perhaps just want to leave a smaller footprint on the environment, putting solar powered-panels on your rooftop is the first step to take.
Featured image / Flickr