From Engineering on December 11, 2013 in
Solar power use in homes is growing in popularity. Homeowners are discovering that there are many benefits to going solar, both practical and personal. With the value of solar increasing and the cost of installation becoming more affordable, now may be a good time to consider adding solar to your home.
The Benefits of Solar Power
Who doesn’t like the idea of harnessing free energy, saving money and helping the planet? It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. Whether you just want to use the sun to heat your water or if you are thinking of powering your entire home, solar offers many benefits:
Save Money On Your Electric Bill. Most solar homes generate a portion of the power they use from the sun, and the rest is received in the traditional way from a utility company. The more solar power that is generated, the less that must be purchased.
Extra Power Might Earn You Money. Net-metering is a term describing an agreement made by a utility company to credit a homeowner for unused power generated by the home’s solar system. You might actually get paid for power that you produce. Check for availability in your area.
Add to Your Home’s Value. Studies have shown than an average 3.1kW system can add as much as $17,000 to the value of an existing home. Also, solar powered homes sell about 15% faster than traditional homes.
Help the Planet. Solar power is cleaner than energy produced by coal and hydroelectric plants. It is also more efficient to capture power right at your own home than to have it generated, stored and delivered over the grid.
Are There Different Types of Solar Systems?
There are three main types of solar systems for home use. The grid-tie system generates power for your home, but it is also tied to the utility company grid. This allows you to use solar power as it is available and to use grid electricity during those times when the sun is not shining or your power needs exceed what your system can generate.
Some grid-tie systems also have a battery back-up. The batteries store energy for use when the sun is not shining, giving you the option of staying off of the grid if you have enough power in your batteries.
Some solar systems operate completely off of the grid, using just panels and batteries to power the home. This is a very self-sufficient system, but it requires a careful evaluation of power use to ensure that the system has the capacity to operate all of the home’s functions solely on its own.
Determining the type of system that is right for you will require that you consult an experienced solar installation contractor. A professional installer can help you determine your energy needs and the best way to achieve them.
Is Solar Expensive?
In the early days of solar energy for home use, the only real downside was the cost. However, as solar has become more common, prices have come down. The cost is really determined by the type of system you purchase, and is made more affordable by applying federal tax credits and possible state or utility rebates. An average unit costing $10,000 not including installation may only cost half that much after all taxes and rebates are applied. You can make that back in saved electricity costs in just a couple of years, and your rates will never go up.
Solar is the way to go. Contact a reputable contractor for a personalized evaluation and price quote today.