Eco-Living Magazine

The Benefits of Residential Solar Panels

Posted on the 13 June 2011 by Alison_wood @midnight_eden

More and more people are considering their options when it comes to meeting their homes’ energy needs. As oil prices rise and we become more aware of the environmental costs of tradition energy sources, people are creating the technology to respond to the growing need for clean energy.

Are you considering using home solar power systems? Perhaps you are interested in solar products or solar energy systems but aren’t sure if the benefits will outweigh the costs of installation. Here is some information to help you in your decision-making process.

Free Energy: One major advantage of solar power is that you don’t have to pay anyone to use the sun’s energy. Once you have set up your system, it will start making energy for you without you having to pay anyone. In fact, the utility company may end up paying you!

Drawbacks: The initial start-up cost for installing a solar system can be high, between $15,000 and $20,000. Solar panels can add up to $75,000. You can find incentives and tax rebates that will help to lower these initial expenses, however.

Payback on your Investment: The initial purchase of solar panels is obviously a substantial expense. They do, however, generate energy immediately, resulting in immediate savings on electrical costs. Even better, after a few years, the initial investment will be paid off, leaving nothing but the pure profit of continued solar power. For the average house, it will take between ten and fifteen years to reach the break-even point.

Note: You will need to make sure that you live in an area that gets enough sunlight each year to cover your home’s energy requirements.

Environmentally Friendly: Probably the number one reason to use solar power is that it is an entirely clean and sustainable energy source. Solar energy protects our environment by not releasing pollutants into the air, and solar power does not damage the ozone.

Low Maintenance Costs: When properly installed, solar energy systems will last a long time with minimum maintenance. More solar panels can also be added to any system as needed.

Cloudy Day? That’s OK!: One of the newest developments in solar power technology are grid-connected power systems. Having a grid installed is like having your own power system. Excess electricity created on super-sunny days converts back to the grid and leaves surplus energy for cloudy days or nights. A battery back-up will even allow the system to generate electricity during a blackout.

Hopefully the next time you enjoy a sunny day you’ll also be making electricity for your home!

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