If “going green” is important to you, you have probably considered installing a solar panel system to your home. While solar is certainly a smart long-term investment that can reduce your environmental footprint, it is important to understand the pros and cons of solar power so you can make the right decision for your home. Making your home more energy efficient is always a good thing, but there are a lot of solar power myths that are communicated via the media. Take time to do your research and educate yourself before purchasing a solar panel system! Solar Energy Myths
PROS OF SOLAR ENERGY
- Lower electric bills. This is the top benefit of using solar panels. With solar power, you are generating your own electricity, thus becoming less reliant on your electric utility company. This, in turn, reduces your electric bill. Because solar panel systems generally last 25-30 years, you can save money on your electric bill for decades!
- Improves the value of your home. Studies have shown that property values often increase after solar is installed. So, even if you do not plan on staying in your current home long term, you can still reap the financial benefits of your solar panel investment when you sell.
- You can actually earn money using solar! Due to many Solar Incentives in the United States, solar panels not only generate bill savings, but also pay off in other ways. Utilizing these incentives will allow you to be compensated for the electricity that your solar panels generate.
- Some control over rising energy costs. The cost of electricity has risen by about 5% over the past decade and that trend of rising electric costs is expected to continue. However, the cost of solar has decreased more than 70% over the same ten years. By installing solar panels now, you will avoid rising energy costs!
- Reduces your carbon footprint and moves our country toward energy independence. This is what it is all about, right? Saving money is a wonderful thing, but saving our planet…that is priceless! Using solar power benefits our environment and at the same time, moves our country toward transitioning away from fossil fuels and being heavily reliant on fossil fuel producers abroad.
CONS OF SOLAR ENERGY
- Solar panels do not work on every type of roof. Because of the way solar panels are installed, not every type of roof will support them. If you have an older or historic home that has a roof made from slate or cedar tiles, it can be challenging for solar to be installed. Skylights and rooftop decks can also make solar installation difficult and costly. There are other options, such as ground mounted solar panels or buying a share in a Community Solar Garden. So, even if you cannot have panels installed on your roof, you can still take advantage of solar energy.
- You may not get a return on your investment if you are about to move. While solar is a great financial investment, it does take a while to break even on it. If you are planning to move within a few years, you may feel like they are an unworthy investment. However, as stated in the pros above, solar does increase the value of your home. So, if you buy your system with cash or a loan, you can still earn your money back when you sell your home.
- If you already have low electric costs, your solar savings will be low as well. Some people live in areas with low electric costs to begin with and in those cases a solar panel system will not be nearly as attractive as it is to someone who pays a high electric rate.
- Upfront costs can be intimidating. The total out-of-pocket price for a solar panel system depends on many things, including tax credits, rebates, and the financing you use. But the upfront cost can seem overwhelming, especially if you don’t qualify for a Zero-Down Solar Loan. Many people will not even consider solar panels because they feel they just cannot afford the cost. That is why it is important to do research and find out about solar financing options.
While rooftop solar panels are not the right choice for everyone, they clearly do provide many benefits to homeowners. Going green and decreasing your carbon footprint can be done in many ways. With our country moving toward clean energy, solar is one of the most consumer- friendly options.
Are you thinking of buying a home or selling your current home in New River Valley, VA? Then it is time to contact Desi Sowers, your New River Valley, VA real estate resource! Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!
Photo Credits: Cnn, classicmetalroofingsystems, greenlight-solar, nerdwallet