Solar power is not only good for the planet but puts big savings in your pocket. With electrical costs rising more than 15% during the last decade and outages due to extreme weather and system overloads increasing annually, having the renewable energy source at home can cut costs and offers a more reliable way to deliver power to your home. The best part is that panels are available wherever you live, from New York to California, Florida to Alaska.
Home solar is a clean, emissions-free renewable that doesn’t pollute the air or water and can increase a home’s value by an average of 4%, depending on the market. Thanks to recent federal legislation, numerous new tax credits and rebates make installing panels more affordable, if not free, depending on the state where the home is located. Additionally, the cost of installing a system has dropped by 70% over the last 10 years.
The U.S. now has the highest number of outages per capita of any developed country, which continues to climb as climate change creates more extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. Home solar systems mean your house does not lose power in these situations and is actually a part of preventing further climate change by decreasing air and water pollution caused by traditional energy utilities.
A switch to solar is a part of a potential $167 billion in health and environmental damages savings, a shift that could save more than 25,000 lives lost due to pollution-trigger diseases.
A household that changes to renewable energy sources eliminates an average of burning 5,000 pounds of coal.
Installing panels can also significantly reduce your heating, cooling, and overall home power costs. In fact, the energy source may add up to no bill at all. Depending on the system’s size, whether you purchase or lease, how much electricity you use, and how many hours of direct sunlight your location receives, your bill could be almost zero at certain times of the year. You could even have a surplus to sell back to the utility provider.
The benefits are underscored after the recent hurricanes in Florida. Many who had solar installed never lost power. Cindy Lewis, whose older home in the Keys was destroyed during Hurricane Irma, rebuilt a new one with panels.
“I have not had a power bill in two and a half years,” she said. “I have produced enough energy here in my 15 solar panels on this little roof to completely power the house every month and sell back to the grid.”
To learn about tax incentives for installing solar and whether or not your roof material can accommodate it, visit the Solar Energy Technologies Office page on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website. It offers tools and resources to make it easier to purchase and install a system or to buy or sell a home already equipped with panels.