Solar panels provide non-emitting power, reducing your carbon footprint. Their popularity soared in 2020, with gigawatts up 43% from 2019. With countries taking clean energy actions to slow the increasing risks of climate change, it’s a good time to consider adding solar panels to your home.
Our guide discusses the pros and cons of using solar panels to allow you to make the best possible decision.
Advantages of solar panels
Solar panels come with many advantages. The list is as follows:
You gain a certain energetic independence:
Solar panels use photovoltaic cells to take advantage of sunlight. Once converted from DC to AC, the panels allow your home to use power. In return, you get a source of energy independent of the utility company, which allows you to save money compared to using traditional energy sources for all your electricity needs.
You can earn extra on your investment by selling compensation. Some jurisdictions allow you to sell your excess energy back to utilities, which have to buy some of their electricity from renewable energy sources.
Also, if your utility goes down, you can use the energy stored in the solar panels to keep your home energized during the storm. All in all, solar panels give you an energy stability level and financial flexibility not found in traditional sources.
It’s a cleaner source of electricity:
When you put solar panels on your house, you have a green energy source that does not contaminate the environment with pollutants. Considering the alternative, where the electricity industry contributes up to 28% of all emissions nationally, having solar energy leads to a much lower carbon footprint.
Solar panels add value to your house:
The USDA estimates that solar panels add $15,000 in value to your home. It also notes that solar homes can be sold faster than traditional energy homes.
Disadvantages of solar panels
There are also disadvantages to solar panels.
Solar panels cost a lot of money:
There are significant costs for installing solar panels on your house, with the average price ranging from $15,000 to $25,000. While those costs go down every year, you still have to budget for the contractors, the permits, and the price of the system. But there are ways to mitigate the initial spending.
Consider financing or leasing your solar arrays. This allows you to split the costs into easier-to-manage monthly payments. If you rent solar panels, there are no tax incentives. They go to the company that delivers the lease.
As well, federal and state tax incentives exist to lower costs. The investment tax credit provides homeowners with a one-time 26 per cent tax credit on the cost of solar panels. Many countries also offer smaller bonuses to install solar panels. Using all of these things can help offset some of these important expenses in the first place.
Solar panels require a good environment:
Your roof is a critical consideration when it comes to solar panels. If there is too much shade from trees or neighboring buildings, it will not receive the sunlight needed to harness the energy.
You also want to take into consideration the possible regulations in your neighbourhood. If you live in an area with a landlord association, you must apply for approval prior to installing a system. And it’s not a guarantee that you’re going to get one. If you do not have HOA, you should still check with your city, as many of them require permits before starting the work.
Solar panels offer many benefits, but they may not be practical at all times with the high costs and paperwork associated with their installation. Thankfully, there are other ways to benefit from solar energy without spending it.
You can use hand-held solar chargers to power your mobile phone and other electronic devices. They are inexpensive to buy, and you are not tied to a wall as you wait for your device to load.
Furthermore, certain regions use community solar energy. With community solar, multiple units share the same solar array and divide up the costs, saving you money on your energy bills without having to pay the entire price of solar panels.
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