After the unexpected storm in March known as Stella, the weather in the Northeast has been gradually transitioning into spring. The arrival of summer will sneak up on us before we realize it, and with it will come higher energy costs because of the increasing temperatures.
Solar panels are a great way to reduce the cost of your monthly energy bill, make your home less harmful to the environment, and get many other benefits, like helping make the country more energy independent and giving back to local businesses.
- Reduce or eliminate energy bills
This one is quite incredible in its own right. We are able to achieve net zero energy usage in our home despite having three children and two adults living in it, and despite the fact that we reside in Washington, District of Columbia, which receives an average amount of sun. During the warmer days of spring, we produce far more than we need, and we then sell the excess to the utility company. We use power from the grid on gloomy days and hot summer days, when we operate the air conditioner, and on days when the sun isn't shining.
Even if you live in an often overcast area, you should still get more than two hours of sunshine every day. On the other hand, areas that are frequently exposed to the sun get an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day.
Even though overcast days will result in less solar energy production, solar panels can still extract energy from the sun even when the sun is not shining. Indirect sunlight, also known as diffused sunlight, will nevertheless contribute to the electricity supply of your house. On cloudy days, the amount of electricity produced is typically between 10% and 20% of the amount produced on sunny days.
- Earn tax credits and rebates
It didn't seem to me how significant of an advantage this one would be, but the solar panels on our roof are really generating a profit for us. When you submit your taxes for the year, you will be eligible for a federal income tax credit equal to thirty percent of the entire system expenses, including the equipment and installation price. This would result in a savings of $7,500 on a solar system that is valued at $25,000.
When this is added to subsidies offered at the state and municipal levels and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), the whole cost may be slashed in half. You may sell the SRECs that you create throughout the year to utility companies, which results in a very excellent return on the original investment. SRECs are generated continuously throughout the year.
In the summer of 2016, our current Mayor of the District of Columbia, Muriel Bowser, put her signature to the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act of 2016. As a result of this Act, B21-0560, the renewable portfolio requirement will increase to 50 percent, and the solar requirement will increase to 5 percent, by the year 2032. Also, the law sets up a program under the Department of Energy and the Environment to help low-income homeowners who want to put solar energy systems on their homes get the money they need.
The goal of the law is to encourage the growth of the solar business in the District of Columbia, which has grown by 170 percent in the past year.
The payback time for the investment is just 3.5 years, while the solar panels have a guarantee of 10 years and a usable life of 25 years. This means that you will produce free power and additional credits for more than 20 years after making the investment. It's going to be tough to top that. It is both commercially lucrative and socially responsible at the same time.
The majority of providers also provide an option for free installation, in which they pay for the solar panels and the installation themselves and then charge customers a lower rate for their power. They are "renting" the space on your roof in exchange for which they are providing you with a reduction in the cost of your power bill. Homeowners who do not want to make the initial investment or would like a no-money-down option may find this a nice alternative. In this scenario, the installer is the one to receive all of the revenue from the SRECs.
It doesn't matter where you reside; the installation of solar panels almost always qualifies you for favorable tax incentives. Make the most of them while you still have the chance.
- Start saving from day one
The expense of electricity on an annual basis might go into the thousands. In point of fact, a single individual's yearly spending on energy amounts to $3,052 on average. This figure takes into account both residential and transportation energy costs. Installing solar panels immediately lowers or eliminates the need for many of these additional expenses. They may also provide long-term cost savings due to the fact that it is almost costless to harvest the energy from the sun.
Solar panels greatly boost your resale value. The majority of prospective buyers are aware of what it implies when a property has solar panels, which is particularly beneficial when the system is already installed and they do not have to make the initial investment or install the panels themselves. According to the study's findings, most households see a rise in resale value of $5,911 per installed kilowatt. That means that if you install a system with 3.1 kilowatts of capacity, the value of your property could go up by more than $18,000.
Solar panels may help extend a roof's life since they protect from the elements, including precipitation, snow, and debris. They make the home more energy efficient in the summer since the hot sun is not directly pounding down on the roof; rather, it is absorbed by the panels, which lowers the house temperature. This is because they are placed on the roof.
- Help the environment and help us all
Solar power systems are able to extract energy that is uncontaminated and unpolluted from the sun. The installation of solar panels on residential roofs contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases and lessens our overall reliance on fossil fuels. The combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, is the primary source of conventional power. When fossil fuels are used to create electricity, they release toxic gases that are the principal source of air pollution and global climate change. These gases contribute to the accumulation of smog and other forms of air pollution. In addition to being detrimental to the health of the planet, fossil fuels are also a resource that will eventually run out. As a consequence of this, the price is in a state of perpetual flux and has the potential to go up in a very short amount of time.
In addition, the use of renewable energy is beneficial to public health. Pollution that is hazardous to human health is released into the air and water by power plants that burn coal and natural gas. However, switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources like solar power may save total health care expenditures and lower the risk of death in younger people.
While manufacturing fossil fuels consumes large amounts of water resources and contributes to water pollution, the operation of solar energy systems requires very little to almost no water. Therefore, solar power does not only not contribute to the pollution of water resources, but it also does not place a burden on the available water on the planet.
Solar electricity may still be used even when there is a severe drought or heat wave. Coal, natural gas, and nuclear power need significant volumes of water for cooling purposes. The production of power is vulnerable during extreme heat waves and severe droughts, both of which we've seen in recent years. Solar power systems, on the other hand, do not need water in order to create energy.
In addition to this, solar power contributes to the growth of the clean energy employment market. The United States of America has been at the forefront of the global renewable energy movement. As inventive and forward-thinking enterprises continue to embrace the changing landscape of energy production and the transition to renewables, we can only hope that this trend will continue, despite the fact that the federal government is cutting the budgets of the EPA and the DOE.
Last but not least, if you are interested in designing a green house, you should look into the many LEED credits that are associated with solar energy. These credits include solar orientation; building orientation for passive solar; and renewable energy.
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