Researching about solar power can be overwhelming. Not only is it a big investment, but it is important to decide whether or not it is right for you. Knowing the costs and benefits of solar power may help you make that decision. Whether you are just in the information gathering stage or ready for an installation, here are some pros and cons to take into consideration:
- Saving Money in the Long Run: Solar projects are investments. Since solar energy is free, over time you will see a return in the initial investment of the installation when you begin to notice your energy bills being cut down. Your solar photovoltaic panels will help supply part of your electric needs for free; therefore it will eventually be paying for itself. To see if your investments are worthwhile, you can use a solar calculator figure it out.
- Having a Smaller Economic Footprint: Solar energy is clean, renewable, and sustainable and it does not create any pollution.
- The Possibility of Making Money by Net-Metering: As a part of your installation, you will receive a net-meter that will keep track of your usage. When the net-meter goes forward, you are using energy from your utility company. When it goes backwards, it means your solar system is producing energy. If the outcome of your net-meter shows that you have offset your usage, your solar panels may have produced extra energy that could become credit. For more information on energy credit, contact your local utility company.
- Low Maintenance: Solar panels require very minimal maintenance. There are no moving parts and they are completely free of noise. It is recommended to do standard check-ins frequently for any debris that might block the absorption by the panels. To clean it, you can easily wipe it clean with a cloth, warm water, and soap. Additionally, majority of installers offer warranties.
- It’s Becoming More and More Affordable: As solar energy is becoming more well-known, it allows for more competition within the US solar energy industry. This has motivated for an improvement of technology and lower production costs. Thus, solar panel prices have dropped overall. Also, depending on the installers, sometimes there are grants and incentives available.
- The Initial Investment: Many people are drawn away by the expensive initial investment of a solar project. However, many installers have acknowledged the unattractive upfront cost and now offer leasing and financing options.
- Aesthetics: Not only does your home need to be suitable for a solar project (size of home, condition and size of roof, your energy usage) but many people don’t like the look of solar panels on their roof.
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels are not 24 hours: Solar panels absorb the most energy when the sun is shining. Contrary to the popular belief, solar panels do work on cloudy days. However, since the intensity of light is lessened on cloudy days, the amount of light absorbed is reduced.
Many people believe that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to converting to solar power. Each individual will find solar power to be more or less important depending on their personal situation. Whether you are looking to save money or help sustain our earth, solar power is an option that should not be overlooked. Remember, as long as the sun is shining, we have solar power. And scientists expect the sun to last for at least another 4 billion years.