Over the past few years, solar power has become one of the leading alternative sources of energy. As a matter of fact, according to estimates, at least 4% of US households have solar panels. However, there is still a lot of confusion about solar energy, especially when there is so much conflicting information on the internet. Fortunately, we are here to take a closer look and explain what you need to know if you are considering going solar.
Solar Is Becoming More Affordable
It’s no mystery that installing solar panels can be quite expensive. In fact, that’s one of the most common reasons people avoid switching to solar. Yet, thanks to technological advancements, the price of solar panels has been dropping considerably. More specifically, the cost of installing solar panels fell by more than 70% in the last decade. And while the price of solar installations varies depending on the size of your home, the average cost of a residential system can now be as low as $15,000.
Not only that, but there are also a plethora of savings opportunities! For instance, there is a federal tax credit of a whopping 26% for 2020 to 2022 that you can use to help fund your solar installation. Furthermore, most states and cities offer rebates and tax credit programs that can reduce the cost of solar panels even more. So, it’s safe to say that solar energy is more affordable than ever!
You Will Have to Check Your Roof
However, before you even consider going solar, you’ll have to check your roof. Why? Because not every roof is ready to withstand the weight of solar panels. Actually, if your roof has not been repaired or replaced recently, it might not be suitable for them. As a result, you should contact a local roofing company and request a professional inspection. You should also check your roof’s warranty, since some have special clauses that prevent the installation of solar panels.
Additionally, some roofs are going to provide a better return than others. To put it simply, the ideal roof should face north or northwest to catch as much sunlight as possible. Similarly, you should avoid placing solar panels on a roof that is blocked by trees or shade from nearby buildings. But even if your roof is not angled directly towards the sun, you can still install a solar energy system and take advantage of its benefits.
Knowing Your Energy Use Is Essential
Generally speaking, residential solar systems generate electricity when sunlight hits the panels during the daytime. When it comes to the nighttime, you’ll have to rely on battery storage and use the energy collected throughout the day. However, you’ll have to carefully consider the size of your solar system in order to generate enough power for both day and night.
For instance, if you use up a lot of the electricity generated by the panels during the day, you might not have enough stored for the night. So, if you know that you are a daytime energy user, it’s extremely important to calculate your average energy consumption. That way, you can estimate the necessary size of your solar system and get an idea of how much money you will save by going solar.
But what happens if I generate more energy than I actually use? If that happens, you can take advantage of billing mechanisms like Net Metering. The purpose of these mechanisms is to credit homeowners for the electricity they add to the grid. In other words, you can save even more money by generating electricity for the nearby grid.
Overall, it’s clear that solar energy is here to stay, with more and more households making the switch every day. And, with so many advantages, it’s not hard to see why solar power has become so popular. So, if you are considering going solar, now is the time to embrace this eco-friendly and reliable energy source.