Have you been thinking about investing in solar panels for your home? Solar energy is a prime example of clean energy. It relies only on the power of the sun to produce electricity. “Clean energy” is a term that describes energy produced without pollution. On average, a single home solar panel provides roughly 3,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, all without producing pollution.
Homes with solar panels are valued higher on the real estate market, and homeowners can significantly reduce their utility bills by installing solar panels. Still not convinced? Learn more about the benefits of having solar panels for your home.
Understanding the Benefits of Installing Solar Panels for Your Home
The primary barrier to the widespread adoption of residential solar energy is the cost, which can be in the tens of thousands of dollars per home. But according to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the price of solar installation is dropping fast. The median price of an installed solar power system fell by 60 percent over a span of 15 years, from $12 per watt in 1998 to $4.70 per watt in 2013. This price adjustment is before any incentives, such as government rebates or tax breaks, are factored into the cost. The declining price of solar energy is due to increases in the efficiency of production as well as the amount of power a solar cell can produce. In addition, many homeowners who install solar energy systems will be eligible for government tax credits and rebates that will lower the cost even more.
Solar panels require very little maintenance and can last between 25 and 45 years because they have no moving parts. The benefits of switching to solar power are numerous, and they include reducing current levels of pollution, lowering electric bills, gaining a higher home resale value, and, in some cases, benefiting from a self-sufficient home power grid.
A home that relies to some degree on solar power is inherently reducing its pollution footprint. Solar panels for your home do not burn any fossil fuel, as they rely only on sunlight to produce electricity. Solar power does not produce any harmful emissions, such as greenhouse gasses, and does not contribute to global warming or acid rain. Replacing the traditional system of power plants with solar panels would reduce the cases of respiratory and even cardiovascular illnesses that occur due to air pollution. In addition, solar panels lack the moving parts found in wind energy systems, which means that solar power also does not present any threats to birds.
As a homeowner, you can significantly reduce your utility bills by installing solar panels for your home. Depending on the area, homeowners may also be able to sell some power back to the utility grid if their solar panels produce more than their household uses. Home energy prices have risen an average of 3 percent per year since 2002, while solar panels have dropped in price, making solar power an increasingly competitive option compared to relying on utility companies.
And solar panels for your home can reduce the cost of energy for everyone, including neighbors who do not have solar energy. Using solar power drives down the demand for electricity from the grid, especially during the summer, when the cost per kilowatt-hour and demand for electricity are the highest.
Furthermore, in areas where solar-powered homes contribute electricity to the grid, it enables utility companies to draw power from these cheap sources rather than turning to more expensive power plants. According to a Boston University study by professor Robert Kaufmann, solar-powered homes currently deliver a price drop of one cent per kilowatt-hour in Massachusetts, where the average cost per kilowatt-hour is 15 cents.
A home with solar panels will sell for a higher price than other homes that do not have them. According to a study done in January 2015 by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the sale price of a home with a solar array goes up by an average of $15,000. That figure comes out to an additional $4 of resale value per watt of power produced by the installed solar energy system. This resale value pertains primarily to homes with panels that have already been fully paid for.
Homes with solar panels installed enjoy a varying level of energy independence. Inherently, these homes will enjoy strong protection from utility cost increases. Depending on the utility, a home with solar panels may also become a generator of electricity by selling power back to the grid. Homeowners will often also install batteries that can store electricity for use when it’s cloudy or during power outages. Although this option is more expensive, a sufficiently powerful system of batteries and solar panels can enable a home to run without relying on the grid at all.
Are you ready to invest in solar panels for your home? Contact your local California solar power provider.
Protecting the Environment
- Energy, Economic, and Environmental Benefits of the Solar America Initiative (PDF)
- Renewable and Alternative Energy
- Energy From the Sun
Reducing Energy Bills
Increasing Property Value
Solar Panel Installation Costs
- Tracking the Sun (PDF)
- Going Solar in America (PDF)
- Solar Power for Your Home: A Consumer’s Guide (PDF)
- Should You Put Solar Panels on Your House?