In this class, I’ll talk a bit about solar energy. Let’s start, shall we?
So, have you seen those solar panels on people’s houses and wondered how much they’re saving in energy costs? The answer could be: Quite a bit. When you live in a climate that gets quite a bit of sunlight, you might as well take advantage of solar power to reduce your energy bill.
Benefits of Solar Power
You can do the equivalent of renting solar panels. The high up-front cost of solar power might scare away some people. However, if you don’t want to buy them outright, you can see if companies like SolarCity operate in your area. What these companies do is install solar panels on your rooftop and sell you the power at a cheaper rate than the electric company can.
You might get tax credits for installing solar panels. The federal government or your state might offer tax credits for qualifying solar panel installations. California, for instance, offers the California Solar Initiative to provide rebates for the installation of solar panels. Be sure to check with your local tax preparer for details.
Some states and municipalities require solar panels for a certain percentage of new homes. Lancaster, California became one of the first cities to require that all new single-family homes have solar panels as part of a drive to make the city the solar capital of the world. So if the contractor you hire insists that solar power is a requirement in the city where you’re building a new home, don’t promptly dismiss it as a non-issue even though it might mean additional cost. Look it up if you don’t believe him.
Solar power conserves natural resources. Solar power is regarded as a renewable resource because the sun is constantly shining on some part of the planet. When you install solar power on your home, you are reducing your dependence on fossil fuels and taking advantage of the sun as a cost-effective energy source.
Solar power can save you money in the long run. Solar panels have increased in efficiency and reduced in price since they were first invented. That means they’re not very expensive to install on the roof of your house and they can more efficiently harvest the sun’s power.
Solar panels can increase the value of your home. Many home buyers look for ways that they can keep their utility costs down. Solar panels are an obvious way to impress these buyers because it says that its owner cared about maintaining the home in a way that’s eco-friendly and keeps energy costs down.
Solar power can reduce or eliminate your reliance on power companies. Many solar panels installations work by sending power out to the power grid, thus causing your power meter to “spin backward” and register the power being added to the grid as a credit to your account. However, they can also be set up so that you can have your connection to the grid deactivated and send the power to batteries instead. This is good for you when your neighbors have to haul out their gas-powered generators during a blackout and you’re still generating solar power.
There’s a way to receive financial incentives for producing solar power. This might surprise some people, but a cryptocurrency called Solarcoin was created specifically to hand out rewards for creating solar power. Besides that, if you produce surplus power that you don’t use but provide to the power grid, you may be eligible to receive payment from the local electric company.
Negatives of Solar Power
City and state building codes might restrict solar panel installations. Florida might seem like an obvious state to install solar panels on every home, but state regulations make it difficult, if not impossible, to use solar power for residential buildings.
Solar power does have an up-front cost. Most solar power rentals will absorb the cost of purchasing and installing solar panels as an investment in exchange for the benefit of selling you solar power. However, if you buy your panels, you’ll also need to hire a contractor to install them.
Solar panels can lose their efficiency if they aren’t kept clean. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the solar panels, reducing their efficiency. That means getting up on the roof on a regular basis to clean them off. While you’re doing that, be sure to inspect them for any signs of damage that might effect their performance.
Is solar power right for you? It can be if you own a home, you’ve already done everything you can to make your house energy-efficient, and you want to further reduce your utility bills. Solar power is a popular way to take advantage of inexpensive “green” energy and reduce your environmental footprint.
Thanks for attending this class on my blog. The next one will be about energy-efficient homes and I am in the process of making final edits before it gets published in few days or so. Stay tuned!
ps. If you’ve missed my first class, here it is.