As the world faces an economic and environmental crisis, more and more people are looking for ways to save their money and reduce their carbon footprint. The good news is that converting to solar power fulfills two of these pressing needs – solar roof companies have the solution to reducing your utility bills and lowering your impact on the environment.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Let’s look at the main pros and cons of installing a solar energy system in your home or business.
The Pros of Solar Energy
If you are considering running your household on solar energy, you should know that there are many advantages – like lower electricity bills, a reduced carbon footprint, energy independence, an increase in your home’s value, and less time and money spent on maintenance.
Reduced Electricity Bills
It’s no secret that using solar panels instead of pulling power from the grid is the best way to reduce the amount on your utility bills. Depending on where you live, the size of your home, and your electricity usage, you can save between $10,000 and $30,000 in 20 years.
Unlike paying for traditional energy sources in the form of utility bills, installing a solar energy system will give you returns on your investment – and it gets even better: you can also sell your surplus solar energy back to the grid, which will enable you to earn money, too.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
In the U.S., an average home generates around 14,920 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. Installing solar panels can reduce the carbon footprint amount to approximately 3,000 pounds per year.
While manufacturing solar panel systems is not carbon neutral, the energy they generate is clean, devoid of pollutants, and does not contribute to greenhouse gases. Unlike fossil fuels, solar systems do not generate power by burning fuel, so they do not give off any harmful emissions.
Unlike fossil fuels (coal and natural gas), solar energy is sustainable because the sun’s energy is infinite. Solar panels rely on exposure to direct sunlight to convert it into clean energy – they don’t rely on energy supplied by the electricity grid.
By installing solar panels, you can reduce your dependence on the electricity grid and avoid the high cost of foreign oil. By having an independent energy source, you’ll also reduce your utility bills, especially when fuel prices become unstable.
Solar power systems can easily last for 20 years or more – and a bonus is that they need very little maintenance.
If you’re considering installing solar panels, discuss what maintenance they will require with your provider. Some solar panels come with self-cleaning systems to reduce the amount of dirt they accumulate to ensure they perform optimally.
Increase Your Home’s Value
Studies have shown that buyers are happy to pay more for a home with a solar power system already installed.
Many people are already aware of the financial benefits of being energy independent and know that the extra money on a home’s value will pay itself off in a few years.
Installing solar panels on your business or home is an investment – not just because it saves you money on energy bills – but because it increases the value of your home when you decide to sell.
The Cons of Solar Energy
While installing a solar energy system has many advantages, there are downsides too. The cons of solar energy are the initial cost, unpredictable weather, how easily transported it is, and the space required for it to run effectively.
The Initial Cost Is High
While the reduced electricity bills resulting from installing solar panels will eventually offset their cost, the initial outlay can be more than $20,000 – which is a sizable investment that not everybody can afford.
Additionally, if you have devices that run off a direct current hooked up to alternating current sources, you’ll also need a transformer – however, transformers aren’t 100% efficient, so the cost to operate an A.C. source will be higher than a D.C. source.
It’s Dependent on the Weather
For solar panels to generate energy, they are entirely reliant on the sun. However, if you live in a place where clouds are common, and the sunlight is scarce, it can affect how efficient your solar panels are.
Solar-generated energy may also be less reliable in the cold winter months.
You Can’t Take It with You
Once you’ve committed to installing a solar energy system on your business or home, you can’t take it with you if you move to a new property.
In theory, it might be possible to transport P.V. solar panels to your new home, but moving them is not recommended. To move the panels, the entire system would have to be taken apart and then retrofitted onto your new house – which could damage the solar panels and your roof.
However, the value of your home will increase when you install solar panels, so the extra cash you make on your home’s sale will probably offset the cost of installing new ones.
It Requires Space
In cities and other areas with a limited amount of space, installing solar panels may be impractical. A solar energy system requires a moderate amount of space for the installation and optimal function of the solar panels.
You need around 100 square feet of space on your roof for every 1 kilowatt generated by solar panels – so if you have a small roof or live in an apartment block, you may not have enough space for the solar energy system to power your entire home.
Although you should be aware that converting your home to solar power has advantages and disadvantages, the pros outweigh the cons. Having solar panels installed on your home’s roof is an excellent financial investment, and it’s the better choice for the environment, too.
Because installing a solar power system increases the value of your home and reduces your energy bills, the high cost of installation will be worth it after just a few years.