When it comes to making our homes more energy efficient we all want to do our part. After all, the prudent use of energy is good for the environment, and it doesn’t hurt our pocketbooks either. And so we stay on the lookout for new and better ways to reduce home energy consumption, when right above our heads lies the potential to literally produce the energy we need, and then some, through rooftop solar technology.
If you’ve been thinking of going solar – a major decision for any homeowner – here’s a list of 5 reasons to seriously consider a solar energy system for your home.
1. Home Solar is not as expensive as you think
According to industry averages, the purchase and installation of a typical home solar system runs around $25,000.00. That’s a serious chunk of change. However, when you factor in State and Federal rebates, your out-of–pocket costs could be reduced by up to 40%.
If your panels produce extra energy, which goes back into the grid, you’ll save even more. In addition, if you finance the cost through a home equity loan, the interest on that loan is tax deductible.
Another alternative to purchasing your system is to lease it. Many solar companies offer attractive leasing options requiring little or no money up front. Leasing helps homeowners see energy savings sooner, but you’ll typically need above average credit to qualify.
Another very cost-effective option is to enter into a Power Purchasing Agreement or PPA with the solar company. Some companies currently offering PPA’s will install their solar system on your home for free. You then pay the company a set fee for the power their panels generate. As a result, you’ll realize immediate home-energy savings at a rate that can be locked in for up to 20 years.
2. Home solar isn’t the eyesore it used to be
In the earlier days of home solar, rooftop arrays looked more industrial than residential and consequentially were not very attractive. Although the neighbors knew that you were trying to do your part to conserve energy by harnessing power from the sun, from an aesthetic point of view they were probably grateful when the sun went down.Fortunately, times have changed.
Advances in technology have made rooftop solar panels much more attractive. While the more common silicon panels are both more efficient and eye-appealing than they used to be, “panels” utilizing thin-film technology blend in even better, and could easily be mistaken for shingles.
3. Home solar increases the value of your home
Aside from being more attractive to look at, adding a solar energy system is the kind of home-improvement that can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
For one thing, home solar makes a positive statement about being environmentally proactive – the kind of statement that more people are seeking to make these days. And being that most people picture solar installation to be a more complicated process than it actually is, the idea of moving into a home already equipped with solar is very appealing – not to mention the savings in energy costs.
As a seller with solar, the reality is that your home value can actually increase by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility costs. No wonder real estate statistics are showing more and more that homes with solar energy systems often sell twice as fast as homes without.
4. Home solar can save you in an emergency situation
Storms and over usage of power are the most common reasons for brownouts or blackouts to occur. Homes run by solar generated electricity are not affected by power outages. The whole city could be out of power and your home and appliances would still be up and running.
With some of these power outages lasting for hours, days, or even weeks, the benefits of being in a self-sustaining, solar powered home are of no small consequence.
5. Home solar systems help the environment
Aside from being more attractive, today’s solar panels are also much more efficient and environmentally friendly than they used to be. Those living in solar powered homes have good reason to feel positive about the efforts they’ve made to reduce their carbon footprint.
On a more positive note, studies show that over a time span of about 15 years, solar panels on an average sized 3-bedroom home will eliminate over 80,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s quite an impact, especially when you consider that an ever increasing number of homeowners are turning to solar each year.