Producing energy can be dirty work. Nuclear waste, carbon emissions, and other pollutants not only destroy the environment, they also cause many health problems. Most of these sources are in short supply, and have contributed to many political conflicts around the world. While you probably don’t want to go off the grid (yet), you want to make a contribution towards saving the environment, save money and help the country become less dependent on foreign energy sources. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Superman (or Wonder Woman) to do all of these. A simple shift to solar power will go a long way. Here are the benefits you will reap if you install solar panel in your home.
Lower Energy Bills
A decade ago, solar power was the most expensive energy option. Solar panel installation was a major investment. But people slowly realized the power of the sun and how much money they can save in the long run, thus, more and more people are investing in it. While you have to make an initial capital outlay, you will recoup your investment over time with the savings that you make in your energy bill. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where the local government offers subsidies or tax breaks for solar panel installation, you might not have to open your wallet.
At the same time, technological advancements now make it possible to maximize your savings. For example, if you live in Australia, you can install a solar battery power backup system that will let you store power that you can use at peak time. This means that unlike a majority of the population, you do not pay for peak rates which brings more savings. And for those who are hesitant to switch to solar power, you can still use this to save money, even if you do not have the panels. In case of blackout, it can provide juice to your home to power some appliances.
Appreciation of Home Value
According to the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers, your home appreciates in value if you go solar. For every dollar you save in energy costs, the value of your home increases by as much as 20%! That’s because more home buyers are willing to pay for a green home and the promise of future savings. So when you decide to sell, your house can fetch a higher price. In some communities, it can even sell faster than conventional homes. This can become important if you need to move quickly.
Less Carbon Footprint
Your carbon dioxide footprint is a measure of how much carbon dioxide you are releasing to the environment because of your energy-consuming habits. A typical Australian has an annual carbon footprint of about 24 tonnes. Considering that there are only about 5 countries with a higher carbon footprint, that’s a lot! Solar, however, has no carbon footprint, except for the energy it takes to manufacture the panels. At the same time, you save the same amount of kilowatt-hour of energy-generating capacity when you install solar panels from electrical power grid. All in all you become a contributor to a cleaner planet.
There are many benefits to installing solar panels. In fact, the only disadvantage to going solar is the initial outlay that you have to make. You will be spending thousands of dollars at the outset, which you can only recoup a few years down the road, and in trickles. The good news however, is that there are now a wide range of government and industry programs that can help you finance your solar investments.
There are also utility companies that offer rebates or low-interest loans for those who want to take advantage of solar power. If you consider all of these, you will find that the bottom line becomes more attractive. With solar investment, the most important thing to consider is the net cost. If you have the money and the patience to invest in solar power, now is the best time to do so. On any given day, 35,000 times the total amount of energy consumed by humans falls on the Earth. If everyone will tap into just a fraction of this energy, the world will be set for now and the next generation.
***Photo thanks to A Siegel***