Environmentally-conscious homeowners are beginning to discover the plethora of ways to reduce their home’s carbon footprint. Simple tasks like turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, and unplugging electronic devices when not in use can undoubtedly keep your energy and water usage low. However, suppose the goal is to make your home as environmentally-friendly as possible. In that case, an overhaul of your home’s HVAC system may be necessary, or you might consider investing in renewable wind or solar energy for your home.
Solar energy is more popular, accessible, and affordable in the United States than ever before due to its low maintenance and production costs for panel installation. Once installed, homeowners enjoy significantly cheaper energy bills, tax credits, and a higher resale value should they decide to relocate.
Despite the benefits of investing in renewable energy for your home, there is still controversy surrounding going solar. Critics of solar energy argue it requires large stretches of land and rare materials. Additionally, the panels only produce power when the sun is shining, making solar energy inefficient in some areas.
If you are beginning to weigh the pros and cons of investing in solar panels for your home, be sure to consider the benefits listed below before making your decision.
Reduce (or get rid of) your energy bills
Perhaps the most direct benefit of installing solar panels is becoming less reliant on energy companies. Switching to solar energy can lead to a sharp decrease in your monthly energy cost, eliminating bills in some cases. Additionally, utility companies must offer net metering in some states, allowing homeowners to “sell” excess solar energy back to the company. The money can then be added as a credit to future energy bills to offset months when costs are steeper, offering an incentive to make your home more energy-efficient.
Qualify for tax credits and rebates
When you first install new solar panels, you are instantly eligible for a federal income tax credit. This credit will give back 30% of the original system cost to you once you file taxes for that year. Additionally, generating solar energy makes you eligible for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SERC’s) throughout the year. Homeowners hand over SERCs to their utility companies for money, which can put cash in your pocket every month if your home produces excess energy.
Increase the resale value of your home
Many potential homebuyers view solar panels as an upgrade, similar to refinished bathrooms or an updated basement, which ultimately adds value to your property. However, a big hang-up for many potential users is the uncertainty, time commitment, and up-front cost associated with solar energy. So if the solar panels come pre-installed with a home, it could be the feature that persuades a buyer to put in an offer.
Protection from rising energy costs
The cost of energy in the United States has been steadily rising for the past decade, with the average increase being approx. $0.02 every year. Installing solar panels will provide you with insurance against rising energy costs because you’ll forgo utility companies increasing prices. Worrying about the fluctuations in energy cost will no longer apply, allowing you to dodge anxiety and save money in the future.
Achieve energy independence
Homeowners who install solar panels don’t continually depend on the city’s energy grid since they create their own. Being in control of the home’s power production gives the homeowner the ability to manage their house and power sources for optimal functionality. Similarly, the United States has been working towards energy independence to create jobs and stimulate its economy instead of relying on imported energy resources.
Make a positive impact on the environment
Perhaps one of the most appealing advantages of going solar is allowing homeowners to use primarily renewable energy where they live. A renewable resource is one that never depletes and can be reused, making it a great alternative to the non-renewable energy sources we are used to, such as coal and fossil fuels. Solar energy also does not release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, resulting in clean, pure power that individuals can use without fear of negatively impacting the environment.
Although swapping out your utility company for solar panels may seem intimidating at first, the benefits are worth the learning curve. From lower energy costs to qualifiable tax credits to positive environmental impacts, the advantages of switching to alternative energy sources are undeniable.
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