Why More Homeowners Are Going with Solar

Real Benefits of Residential Solar Power for Homeowners and CommunitiesThe majority of homeowners will face increasing energy bills from traditional utility companies in the years to come. The additional costs may not be offset by steps to improve a home's envelope, address drafts or reduce energy consumption. Rather, many have made the decision to find alternative sources of clean energy to supplement and even replace traditional sources, with more than 1.4 million homeowners who have decided to lease or buy residential solar panels.

With the growing interest in this alternative and information available from homeowners who have made the switch, many of those curious about solar energy have more resources available to understand the benefits of solar energy, making it easier to understand whether or not it is in their best interest to lease or buy residential solar panels. Solar power has become a truly viable option for the average homeowner.

Improved Storage Capabilities

When residential solar panels originally came out, clean energy could be produced from solar panels but could not be easily stored. This made it hard to entirely rely upon solar panels for residential energy usage and those who had solar panels would have supplemented this option with a traditional energy source.

During the intervening years after the initial introduction of solar panels, storage options have been developed that provide the ability for homeowners to generate energy for later use, boosting overall energy efficiency of the home. This means that homeowners can break entirely from the grid if they have purchased solar panels outright.

Homeowners who want to live off-grid or reduce their reliance on utility companies and the potential for outages appreciate this option made possible with storage batteries for solar energy. Individuals looking to include storage batteries should be aware that they will need to pay for storage batteries, not included in the initial purchase and set up of a solar panel system.

Clean Energy for Communities

Communities with significant population growth place more demand on traditional utility companies. Homeowners adding solar panels can actually help utility companies meet their growing demand, resulting in less load on the grid itself. In addition, homes in a community can be used to generate clean energy for the utility company, buying needed energy back at a reduced rate. This is generally done for those who choose to lease their solar panels, an affordable option which has less maintenance requirements for homeowners.

There are cases where homes with storage batteries have been networked together to act as a grid. Such options are useful for areas where energy requirements exceed the supply generated from older utility companies. Pilot programs may show the potential of solar home batteries to be used together when natural gas plants and nuclear generating stations are decommissioned. Residential solar panel with the addition of storage batteries can actually reduce the carbon footprint created from energy generation, transportation and consumption over the long-term.

Better Financing Options

When solar panels originally came out, they required an initial outlay from a homeowner that was not insignificant. As the technology advanced and more companies offered residential solar panels, purchasing and installation costs decreased. In addition, state and government agencies stepped in with incentives to make the purchase of a solar panel system more affordable.

Homeowners who are looking to buy a residential solar panel system may also want to investigate payment schemes. It is now possible to take out a loan or pay cash for a system. Federal tax credits may also reduce costs on a system by approximately 30 percent in some situations. Those who choose to buy a solar panel system can benefit from the state and government incentives available. The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy provides more information on applicable incentives for homeowners.

Realize that buying a solar panel system is not the only option for homeowners interested in meeting energy demands in a home with a clean energy source. Leasing is a popular option for homeowners who do not have the budget to buy a system. Leasing comes with fewer maintenance requirements as the leasing company is obligated to make necessary repairs and address potential issues. That being said, Pflugerville homeowners, for the most part, cannot take advantage of tax credits, incentives and special programs available to those who buy a residential solar panel system. Such factors should be considered when deciding whether to buy or lease a solar panel system.

How to Find Out If Your Home is a Good Candidate For Solar

In order to produce enough energy for the household, solar panels need to have a chance to absorb the sun’s rays for the majority of the day. Homeowners can check how many hours of sun their home gets per year using the Project Sunroof tool by Google.

Not all addresses show up in the tool, however. In that case, homeowners can check the daily sunlight hours themselves, and then multiply that figure by the average number of sunny days in their area. They can also work with an installer to see if solar panels would get enough sun each day to produce the desired amount of electricity.

When they come by to offer their assistance, solar panel installers can look at the specific characteristics of the property to weigh other placement options. If trees are blocking sunlight to the roof, for example, then placing the panels elsewhere in the yard may be a better bet. With their support, homeowners can figure out if they can go solar, where to put the panels, and what size system to get for their needs.

What Is Not to Like?

Residential solar panels make energy costs cheaper for homeowners when owning and living in a home. Solar panels may not be a useful option for those who plan on moving in a few years or who want to flip a home as they would not have enough time to recoup the costs of the initial investment. Although special programs and solar cooperatives may be available, some areas may have fewer options. Online resources and educational programs can serve to provide additional information to homeowners considering the practicality of residential solar panels for their specific situation. Speak with a residential solar panel provider to have a home assessed and learn more about any restrictions that may apply to installing solar panel systems in a specific location.

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