Does solar power make sense for you, and how could it save you money?

The rising costs of home heating and power have sparked an interest in solar power. Understanding the pros and cons can be valuable in helping a homeowner unpack the option of using solar power. There are variable pros and cons when determining if solar power is right for you.

How do I know if solar power is an option for me?

Solar power may not be an option for you through no fault of your own. Solar panels are built to work in all climates, but in some cases, rooftops may not be suitable for solar systems due to age or tree cover. If trees near your home create excessive shade on your roof, rooftop panels may not be the ideal option. The size, shape, and slope of your roof are also important factors to consider. Typically, solar panels perform best on south-facing roofs with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees, though other roofs may be suitable too. You should also consider the age of your roof and how long until it will need replacement.

What do I need to use solar power?

First things first. To reap the benefits, you should be committed to staying in your home for a while. People who relocate frequently are not good candidates because they will not enjoy the reduced electricity bills offset by the solar power installation cost.

Now, take a look around your house and your roof. Is the roof old and in disrepair?  Is your home sheltered by trees or landscapes that prohibit exposure to the sun?

These two items will need to be addressed before contracting with a solar power provider.

Can you save money using solar power?

In short, yes, solar power saves money. Your home will be powered predominantly through solar power, saving significantly now that electricity and home heating costs have skyrocketed.  The savings ramp up considerably once the reduction of your electricity bills offsets the installation cost.




Pros vs. cons of solar power

Pros of solar power

  • Decreasing your carbon footprint. Environmental benefit tops the list of pros for solar power. “While there is some carbon footprint from producing and distributing solar panel infrastructure, the energy produced from solar panels is clean and free of pollutants, and it emits no greenhouse gases. The average American home produces 14,920 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. By installing solar panels, you can reduce your carbon footprint by more than 3,000 pounds annually.”
  • Government solar tax credits. Like so many environmental initiatives, homeowners can claim a percentage of installation costs, and some states offer installation with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Reducing electricity bills. As we stated earlier, home energy costs are rising, and solar power provides significant savings. “Over a 20-year period, you could save anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on your state, home size, and electricity usage. Unlike paying utility bills, paying off a solar panel system gets a return on investment. You can offset your consumption. Solar energy can also be sold back to the grid, so you have the potential to earn while you save.”
  • Low maintenance and upkeep. Your solar power provider and installer can review with you the requirements for maintenance.  Solar panels require less maintenance than the standard home heating and electrical systems.

Cons of solar power

Well, there is always a flip side. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about solar power.

  • Mother Nature. Solar power is generated by the sun. Therefore, inclement weather or regions with reduced sun exposure will negatively affect your efficiency. Winter months may yield less than bright sunny summer months.
  • Installation depends on your home and surroundings. A solar power system takes up space on your roof and requires about 100 square feet of roof space is required for every 1 kW of conventional solar panels. If you have limited space or a small roof, you might not have the space for all the solar panels needed to power your entire house. Solar companies are also determined by region and can only provide services within specific territories.
  • Initial costs. The reduction in your electricity bills will be apparent, but beware there is an upfront cost to installing a solar power system. As stated in the “pro-solar” list, there are tax benefits and reductions in home electrical costs. Pricing varies by state and installation company. Always use a professional licensed solar energy company.

So, what does this mean?

It is time to take out a piece of paper and make a pros/cons list based on your location, needs, and budget. Do your research. Visit https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/ to calculate kWh/year and its value for your address. The website asks for your address and sends results using a resource map and retail electricity rates. It is eye-opening.

Hire and professional and licensed solar power installation company. Contact us for help calculating the costs and savings associated with solar power. It will change the way you look at the sun!


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