The ability to harness the sun’s energy to power our homes is a relatively new development in human history. While the use of clean solar energy to power our homes is relatively new in America, it is already providing enormous benefits for those who are willing to invest in their future.
In fact, there are already more than 1 million homeowners in America utilizing residential solar panels to generate their own clean solar power and taking advantage of the amazing benefits that come with it.
At EcoGen America, we are committed to helping homeowners and business owners make the switch to solar. You can learn more about all of the advantages of residential solar panels below.
What Are The Advantages Of Solar Energy?
Solar energy is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of alternative energy in America due to the incredible benefits that come with generating clean solar energy.
Homeowners who invest in rooftop solar panels can benefit by saving thousands of dollars on their energy bills, increasing the value of their homes and stabilizing their energy costs – all while combating global climate change.
The Financial Benefits Of Solar Energy
The financial benefits of solar panels are the main reason that so many individuals and families are turning to solar technology to power their homes. In the short-term, homeowners can save money on their monthly electricity bills while stabilizing residential electricity costs and increasing the value of their homes over the long-term.
Start Saving On Your Energy Bills
The exact amount of money that you can save by installing solar panels on your home will depend on many factors. Your specific energy usage, your current electricity costs, the total cost of your system and how you choose to finance the system will all impact your solar savings.
A study by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center found that solar customers in America’s 50 largest cities who invest in a 5 kW solar PV system save an average of between $44 to $187 per month (before a loan, lease, or PPA payment) during the first year that they own their system.
Other research shows that individuals who invest in a solar power system for their home can save anywhere between $10,000 to $40,000 over 20 years.
Depending on the total cost of your solar PV system and how you choose finance the system, it is often possible to start saving big from day one.
How Much Does Solar Cost?
Residential solar energy is more affordable now than it has ever been before. Thanks to increased efficiency, lower labor costs and more financing options in the solar industry, the cost to install residential solar panels has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade.
In other words, there has never been a better time to invest in a solar PV system to power your home!
While the total cost of a new solar PV system can range anywhere between $10,000 – $30,000, recent data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) shows that the average price of a new solar PV system in the US is much closer to the lower end of that range.
In fact, the average cost of a residential solar PV system today is about $3/kW or about $15,000 for a 5kW system that would be sufficient to power most homes in America. In many states, you can go solar for less than $10,000!
Additionally, major financial incentives are currently available for most homeowners in the US who want to make the switch to solar. These solar incentives, which are discussed in more detail below, can help subsidize the cost of a new residential solar PV system by more than 50% in many cases.
For a more detailed look at the costs involved in residential solar energy you can visit our “Solar Panel Installation Cost” page.
Stabilize Your Electricity Costs
Saving money on your energy bills is obviously great, but that is not the only financial benefit that you will enjoy by installing solar panels on your roof. Solar energy also provides homeowners with long-term stability and reliability with regard to residential electricity prices.
Fossil fuels are a finite natural resource that have had a history of extremely volatile prices. When these resources become scarce, or even appear to become scarce, their prices can skyrocket without warning.
On the other hand, the sun provides us with an infinite amount of energy that can be harnessed to power our homes. As a result, homeowners who install solar panels can stabilize their energy costs while those relying on the traditional sources of electricity will continue to be subject to volatile and unpredictable energy prices.
Increase The Value Of Your Home
Investing in a residential solar PV system can also increase the value of your home significantly.
Multiple studies have found that installing solar panels on a home can increase the value of the home.
A comprehensive study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looked at data on sales of over a 10 year period across found that
The study examined a total of 22,822 homes (3,951 of which had solar PV systems) in 8 different states sold between the years 2002 and 2013. Researchers found that home buyers were consistently willing to pay a premium for homes equipped with PV solar panels.
The average premium paid for a home with solar panels equated to approximately $4/Watt of solar generation capability or about $15,000 for a home with a 3.6-kW solar PV system.
To view the full data set and read the entire research report, click here.
Take Advantage Of Solar Incentives
It is well-known how important solar energy is to the effort in reducing our carbon footprint America and becoming a more energy-independent nation.
As a result, the US government has created many financial incentives for individuals and families considering solar panels for their homes in America.
Some of the solar incentives that you may qualify for include:
- Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
- Federal Solar Tax Credit
- State & Local Rebates
In some areas, as much as 90% of the cost of a residential solar power system can be offset with these rebates and tax credits.
You can learn more about the financial incentives available in the solar industry and your eligibility for these programs by visiting our “Solar Tax Credits & Rebates” page.
Environmental Benefits Of Solar Energy
In addition to the financial benefits of residential solar energy, homeowners who install solar panels on their roof can play a major role in saving our environment.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The majority of residential electricity in America is currently being sourced from fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas. These fossil fuels have been shown to be very harmful to the environment when burned to generate electricity and are widely considered to be the leading cause of global climate change.
By installing solar panels on the roof of your home you can help to combat greenhouse gases while reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels.
In fact, the average residential solar PV system reduces about 100,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide over a period of 20 years.
How Solar Energy Works
In order to understand the benefits of solar energy it is helpful to know exactly how solar energy works.
The process of harnessing the sun’s energy to generate solar electricity starts when the sun’s rays make contact with the photovoltaic solar panel on your roof. When sunlight hits a solar panel, the photons contained in the sun’s rays are absorbed and converted into direct current (DC) electricity.
That DC electricity created by your solar panel then flows to a solar inverter where it is converted into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power your home.
With a grid-tied solar PV system the excess energy is redirected to the grid, while a stand-alone solar power system or off-grid system may store excess energy locally.
To learn more about how residential solar energy works, visit our “How Does Solar Energy Work?” page.