Solar panels can be an excellent way to save money on powering your home while benefiting the environment at the same time. However, they’re not necessarily the right option for everyone. It’s important to learn about the pros and cons of installing solar panels on your home before making a decision.
Pros of Installing solar panels
The pros of installing solar panels on your home range from their environmental friendliness to the fact that if you produce extra power, you can sell it to utility companies. You can also lower your own electricity bills while improving the value of your home.
Reduce your electricity bill
The sun provides free energy you can use to power your home. By transforming light from the sun into electricity to run your home, solar panels can radically reduce your electricity bill, if not eliminate it altogether. If you have enough solar panels installed on your house, you can power your home entirely from solar energy and not have to pay an electricity bill to a utility company again.
If you don’t have enough solar panels to cover your home’s entire energy needs, you can still reduce your electricity bill by only taking energy from the grid to supplement your solar power.
Positively impact the environment
Solar energy is both clean and renewable energy. You can still use all of the electricity you need to run your home, but know that while doing so you’re not contributing to environmental problems by using fossil fuels. Solar panels don’t pollute the air or water and because of this, they are a much more environmentally friendly source of energy.
May come with tax breaks or other monetary benefits
Because solar panels are environmentally friendly, there are often government tax benefits that you can get from purchasing them. Look for government subsidies, tax breaks, rebates, and other benefits that your local or state government may offer.
Increase your home’s value
Because of all of the benefits that come with installing solar panels, they also increase the value of your home. Prospective buyers may be interested in solar panels but might not have done the research or gone through the process of installing the panels themselves. This means that if you wanted to sell your home, the solar panels could be a major selling point that not only draws potential buyers to your home but also increases the amount you could net for your home.
Control rising utility costs
The cost of utilities, including electricity, is going up in many places. By installing solar panels on your home, you can avoid needing to worry about these increased costs. Once you’ve paid for your solar panels, the energy coming in from them doesn’t cost you anything and certainly won’t increase.
Profit from excess solar energy
If you have enough solar panels, you may end up producing more solar energy than you actually need to run your home. If this is the case, you can actually sell the excess solar energy to utility companies. Solar panels can therefore pay for themselves more quickly because not only can you reduce or eliminate your electricity bills, but you may also be able to make a profit on particularly sunny days.
Cons of installing solar panels
Despite their benefits, solar panels also have their drawbacks. These cons may not be a dealbreaker for you when it comes to installing solar panels, but it’s still a good idea to be aware of them so you can make an informed decision about what is best for your home.
High initial costs
Despite the potential to save you money in the long run, the high initial cost of installing solar panels may be prohibitive for some homeowners. There may be solar financing options available, however, that can help to either reduce or spread out the initial installation costs so they’re more affordable.
The lower your utility bills, the lower your savings
One of the major benefits of solar panels is that they can help you to save money on your utility bills. But if your energy bills are already low, then the degree to which they help you save is also less. Solar panels get a much better ROI in locations that have higher energy costs.
Weather can reduce solar panel effectiveness
Another disadvantage of solar panels is that how well they work depends on the weather. If you live somewhere that is consistently very sunny, then you’ll get much more energy from them than if you live somewhere that has cloudier weather.
Solar panels don’t move with you
If you know that you’re planning to move, then solar panels may not be the best investment. They are installed your roof and aren’t something that can easily be moved with you. Therefore, installing solar panels right before moving would benefit the next homeowner more than you.
Not every roof is compatible with solar panels
Depending on your roof, you may not be able to install solar panels. Some roofing materials aren’t compatible, especially if you have an older or historic home. Additionally, roofing features like skylights may interfere with solar panel installation.
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