If the idea of solar energy is appealing to you, but you don’t know much about it, then listen up. Would you like to save a huge chunk of money on your utility bills while also doing your part to reduce the effects of global warming? If so, then having a solar energy system installed in your home is for you. This innovative system is full of benefits with absolutely no drawbacks.
Here is everything you need to know about solar energy for homeowners:
• How Solar Energy Works
Think of the sun as a giant power plant; instead of coal being burned to produce electricity that runs through utility poles, the sun’s natural energy is collected to power electrical devices. There is solar thermal that is used to heat water and there is solar electric that is used to provide power. Most of these electric systems are connected to a power grid which allows them to save power derived from the sun’s energy for future use. When you require power, energy will be drawn from this grid. This is an especially important feature since you cannot create any solar energy after the sun is down, on very cloudy days and when they are snow covered.
The power grid is connected to the utility company’s meter. As your system banks power, it will cause the meter to spin backwards. As it uses power, the meter will spin forward. At the end of the month, if you didn’t bank enough solar power for what was needed, you will owe money to the utility company for those overages. However, a good installation will ensure that you have enough coverage to either completely cover all your power needs or at least come very close to it. You can find many great companies like SunBugSolar.
• How Weather Impacts System
Although solar energy requires the sunshine to create energy, snowstorms and thunderstorms will not prevent a home from using solar energy. This is particularly good to know if you live in the Northeast and experience several inches of snow each winter. While solar panels will not produce energy while covered in snow, you can draw from your stored energy. Furthermore, their tempered glass and dark design encourages quick melting to get your system fully functional, and the precipitation will not damage your panels.
• How Long They Will Last
When you see those shiny panels on the roof, you make think they are fragile glass that can crack with any force applied. However, the panels are very rugged and built to withstand the elements. They can handle lightning strikes, hail storms, pressure of snow pileup and even hurricane force winds. Furthermore, most systems come with a standard 25 year warranty which will cover any unlikely damage to the panels.
• How It Will Affect Your Home’s Value
Having a solar energy system installed in your home can have a tremendous effect on your home’s value. If you ever decide to sell your home, your home’s value can be increased upwards of $20,000 because of the utility savings a new homeowner would experience. This is a great incentive for potential homeowners since they would reap all the benefits of a solar energy system without ever having to pay for the installation. In essence, they will be buying a house that will actually save them money right off the bat which means they can afford a larger monthly mortgage.
Image by The Open University
• How Many Solar Panels are Required
How many solar panels are needed to power your home are based upon how much electricity you currently require. Using utility bills for reference, a solar installation company will determine how many kilowatts you use on average, and will create a panel design based on your specific needs.
• What Your Home Needs In Order to Install Panels
Your roof needs to have about 300-600 square feet available in order to install enough solar panels to provide adequate power. While it is preferable for the roof to face the south, you can still use solar energy if your house faces east or west.
• How Much Installation Costs
There are many variables that will determine how much installation of a solar energy system will cost a homeowner. Factors such as geographic location, household size, household needs and amount of panels installed will all decide the customized price. However, you can receive rebates for installing a renewable energy system and can receive a tax break of 30% of the system cost which can be used to recoup upfront costs.
• How Much Money Will be Saved
The average homeowner can save around $20,000 on their energy bill over the course of 20 years, simply by installing a solar power system. More populous states and those that have extremely high costs of living will experience even greater savings of $30,000 plus. Therefore, the longer you live in your home, the larger the savings. To determine how much money you can save, look at your most recent electric bills and see how much money you spend on average. Remember that over the years, rates per kilowatt for supply and delivery will increase, causing even larger electric bills in the future.
• How to Start the Process
First, find a local company who specializes in solar energy home installations. A reputable company should come to your home and offer a free, thorough consultation. They will look at your house and tell you what benefits you can expect from installing a solar system. They will then design the system and send you a proposal which will list the cost and schedule. Once an agreement is made, the company will schedule the work and handle all necessary permits. Once installation is complete, you can begin collecting solar power immediately.
Now that you have everything you need to know about solar energy for homeowners, you can decide if a home solar energy installation is for you. If you plan on living in your home on a long-term basis, want to save money on your electric bill and want to use renewable energy, then solar energy is for you.