If you are considering having a solar-powered home, you must have been exposed to extensive solar marketing, either through ads about free solar panels or ads convincing you why you should go solar.
But, is going solar really the right decision?
Most ads and marketers will only highlight the benefits of solar power, and hardly anyone will mention the cons. Also, you should beware of the myths associated with the solar energy to make sure you make an informed decision.
What’s solar energy?
Let’s answer the most important question first – what’s solar energy?
Well, it is exactly what the name suggests – energy that is derived from the sun’s radiation. The sun is a powerful, natural source of energy, which can be harnessed using solar panels. But, is it really enough?
We are blessed with solar energy in abundance. The energy Earth receives in one hour from the sun, during the day, is enough to meet the energy needs around the world for one entire year. However, since we are still far from installing solar power globally, we are only able to harness 0.001% of the available solar energy.
With time, the change in technology to make solar energy extremely beneficial has become significant. Initially, harnessing solar energy through panels was not only very expensive but also lacked efficiency. With the increase in demand, however, more improvements were made to turn solar energy into a significantly efficient source of clean, safe energy.
The pros and cons of having a solar-powered home
If you are prepared to invest in a solar-powered home but still not sure if it is the right decision, we can help you. Here are the most important pros and cons that will help you weigh your options and let you decide if going solar is the best decision for your home.
- It can drastically reduce your electricity bills
This is quite a straightforward benefit of implementing solar power in your home. Since the electricity is generated through the sun, you are less reliant on the electric utility and thus, can reduce your electricity bills.
This is also a long-term benefit as a typical lifespan of a solar panel system can last up to 30 years. Simply put, it becomes a one-off expense that could cut your electricity cost for decades.
So, when you decide to have a solar-powered home, you can ask the company to give you estimates on how much you can save on your electric bill.
- Boosts home value
Millions of homeowners in the U.S. show interest in solar panels but never really try to install them. As far as consumer reality is concerned, having a solar-powered home can boost your property’s value.
If you have solar panels installed in your home but are also planning to move shortly, you can still get your investment back. The increase in the resale value of your solar-powered home makes sure you get back the amount you invested in the solar panel system.
So, before you put a price tag on your property, make sure you find out the market value of your property post implementing solar panels to get a fair value.
- Renewable energy source
Another great benefit of a solar panel system is that it is a renewable energy source. It’s natural, and there’s no way we can run out of it. This is often the problem with non-renewable energy sources like nuclear, coal, fossil fuel, etc.
We can access this renewable energy as long as we have access to the sun – which according to NASA will be for another 6.5 billion years.
Till then, solar energy can be harnessed around the world, every single day.
- Diverse applications
The use of solar energy is not limited. It can be utilized for various diverse purposes. You can generate both heat (solar thermal) and electricity (photovoltaic) from it. In short, it can resolve various serious issues around the world without additional effort.
If your home is in a remote place with little or no access to electricity, a solar panel system ensures you generate electricity without the presence of an energy grid.
- Added sustainability
A renewable energy source, which is abundantly available, is also sustainable. Having a solar-powered home ensures access to sustainable energy sources, which meets your current needs as well as ensures your future generations do not remain deprived of it.
In simple words, the sustainability of solar energy guarantees you are never able to over-consume it.
- Safe and environmentally friendly for your home
This energy generating method is pollution-free. However, transporting, manufacturing, and installing solar power systems may be associated with emissions. But if you compare these emissions to the conventional energy sources, solar energy is more environmentally friendly.
Moreover, when we are more reliant on solar energy, it reduces our dependence on non-renewable energy sources. This can be a great contribution towards fighting against the climatic crisis.
- Solar energy is weather dependent
While it isn’t impossible to collect solar energy during rainy and cloudy days, the efficiency of the system usually drops. The total dependence is on the availability of sunlight to gather solar energy with efficiency. Thus, if the weather is not sunny, it can have a noticeable effect on the energy system.
- Installing solar panel systems can be very costly
The initial cost of buying and installing a solar power system is significantly high. While the increase in demand and improvement in technology is trying to bring down the price, you still have to bear the upfront cost.
Initial cost includes paying for solar panels, batteries, inverter, wiring, and the solar installation process. Nevertheless, it is still prudent to expect the prices will go down in the future.
- It may take a lot of space on your roof
To have a solar-powered home, you are required to install solar panels on the rooftop of your house. The more energy you require, the more panels you need. This could use up a lot of space and can even disturb the overall appearance of the exterior of your home.
The key is to place panels where it receives maximum sunlight. An alternative is to install panels in your yard instead if you have one.
So, are you ready to go solar?
If you weigh the pros and cons, it is likely to spark your interest towards solar energy. The next step is to find out the best deal to ensure you gain maximum benefits of going solar.