This is an exciting time for solar power. As technology improves, it's more accessible than ever and every day, more homeowners are looking to get off the grid and convert. But, is solar right for you? There is a lot to consider before installing solar panels on your home. Solar panels are a significant investment and it is important that you have all the information you need to make this important decision.
At Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar, we are passionate about solar and we have seen its benefits, firsthand. However, we also know that it is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Our goal is to ensure that our customers can make these important decisions with confidence. Below, we've provided some helpful information about the benefits and potential drawbacks of going solar.
Pro #1: Reduces Your Electricity Bill
As energy costs continue to rise, many people are looking for ways to save money. Switching to solar power not only lowers your energy costs, but you also have the potential to sell unused solar energy back to your city's energy grid. For people looking to increase their independence from municipal power grids, solar offers a cost-effective way to power your home.
Once you’ve installed your solar panels, you can use them to power your heating and cooling systems. Your HVAC system is the largest user of electricity and gas in your home. When utilizing solar to power your HVAC system, you will notice a dramatic decrease in your monthly utility bills.
Pro #2: Improves the Value of Your Home
Many homebuyers are looking for homes with energy-saving features, such as installed solar panels. If you plan on selling your home at some point, installing solar panels may be a good way to increase your home's overall value and appeal to potential buyers. Additionally, because we are still in the early days of residential solar power adoption, not that many homes on the market have solar panels, which can set your home apart.
Pro #3: Be Prepared in an Emergency
We have all experienced the frustration of a power outage. Whether it is because of rotating outages or bad weather, power outages are extremely disruptive to your life. Installing solar panels can help release you from being at the mercy of the local power company. Depending on the type of solar panels you install, your power will stay on in the event of a power outage or other emergency.
To learn more about how solar power can help you during an emergency, read our blog post here.
Pro #4: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Solar power is one of the most environmentally-friendly power sources available. Not only is the sunshine that powers them free, but solar panels generate power without dangerous emissions. By utilizing solar energy, you can reduce your carbon footprint by more than 3,000 pounds each year. This is a reduction of nearly 20% based on the average carbon footprint of 14,920 pounds per year.
While there are many advantages to going solar, it is not the right choice for everyone. Below we’ve provided some potential drawbacks you should consider before making your decision. It is also a good idea to speak with our solar experts at Valley. We are passionate about what we do and we love helping our customers find the solutions that are right for them.
Con #1: Solar Cannot Be Installed on All Types of Roofs
Solar panels must be mounted on your roof. Depending on the type of roofing materials you have, installation may be tricky, if not impossible. Additionally, depending on the type of solar installation you select, you will likely need a relatively large area in which to install the solar panels. If your home has skylights or a roof construction that does not have equitable space, you may not be able to install them.
We can - and will- help! We will inspect your roof and help you determine if you are a good candidate for solar panel installation. We will also let you know if you have any other installation options. Customer satisfaction is our ultimate goal and we will never pressure you to buy products that aren't right for you.
Con #2: Installation Can Be Expensive
Though it is well-known that solar can save you money on your energy costs, the initial cost to purchase and install solar panels may be a consideration. Depending on your setup and the panels you choose to install, the initial installation cost can be in the thousands. Despite the initial cost of installing solar panels, most people will reach their break-even point in less than ten years. However, this does mean that, if you are planning to move in the near future, you might want to wait and install solar panels for your new home.
However, you can still take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. This tax credit is set at 22% for systems installed in 2021. Review the US Department of Energy fact sheet for more information.
Con #3: Energy Output Is Dependent on Weather and Your Surroundings
Because generating solar power depends on the sun, your solar panels need to be configured in a way that gives them unfettered access to sunlight. Generally speaking, solar panels need around four hours of peak sunlight per day to be effective. Here in the South Bay, we are lucky to receive our fair share of sunshine. But, if your home is surrounded by trees or your roof's construction blocks the sun from reaching your panels, solar may not be right for you. We are standing by to answer all your questions, determine your options and help you make this important decision.