By Tim Henderson
Energy solutions aren’t “one size fits all.” Homes and businesses are unique, and so are their power needs. In other words, your choice should suit you. Do you know whether the good features of solar energy outweigh the negatives?
No technology is perfect, but home solar panels have some cool advantages. These facts should clear up any misconceptions.
There are potential downsides to everything. Solar technology is so versatile, however, that its cons usually aren’t deal breakers. You may be wondering about questions such as:
Installing home solar panels does requires an upfront investment. Having to pay for installation is an unavoidable expense, but experienced installers can help you keep your options open by offering financing options, such as a PACE loan.
One of the good things about solar energy is that it’s subsidized. Whether you are able take advantage of federal tax credits or have access to state rebates, there are monetary incentives available to help pay for your new system.
One thing to keep in mind is that the average solar system costs less than a car and lasts 25 years. Also, unlike a car, you see an immediate savings on your electric bill.
Solar energy installations can be complex jobs. This doesn’t mean they have to take forever or disrupt your life though. Typically, an average installation can take 1-2 days to complete, after the design and permitting.
Experienced solar installers perform quick, painless work. You can even install ground-mounted panels if you’re worried about modifying your roof.
One of the negatives of solar energy is that you never know when new breakthroughs might happen. Of course, this is a problem with anything you buy. From computers, cars and smartphones to solar panels, consumer goods are always evolving.
Because of how solar installations work, this so-called negative isn’t so bad. Solar systems aren’t just panels. They also include inverters, control devices, batteries and more. As next-generation panels hit the market, so do new support hardware and circuitry. Installing a system now might still let you take advantage of part upgrades later.
Also, remember that solar panel systems pay for themselves at fast rates. The money you save in power bills could make it easier to afford expansions or other home improvements down the line.
Like any modern manufacturing process, creating solar panels has a carbon footprint. Even still, their environmental benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
Building fossil fuel power plants also releases carbon dioxide. The difference is that solar panels don’t release carbon while they work. Instead, they make up for the small amount of carbon emitted during their creation. This doesn’t work with fossil fuels because they’re always making greenhouse gasses. Traditional power plants also use more of resources such as water.
How long does it take to offset your system’s manufacturing carbon footprint? In California, you may only need about three years. Since panels can last for more than 25 years, they have plenty of time to make up for greenhouse emissions.
Solar panels need the sun to create electricity. However, modern solar systems can do more than generate power. They can also store it in advanced energy storage systems allow you to use electricity interruption-free.
Today’s home storage batteries are the ultimate in flexible, renewable power. They let you avoid using the utility grid when electricity is expensive. You can also use the backup power in the night. Most systems have no problem keeping houses or even businesses running. They’re also smart enough to manage their own charging and tell you when they need service.
Solar energy’s pros and cons are important to think about. Being an informed shopper helps you make smart buying choices and lowers your upkeep costs. Although there are some negatives to solar energy, the positives far outweigh the benefits.
Sandbar Solar has helped homeowners discover the rewards of renewable power for over 13 years. We’re all about giving you the perspective to make an educated decision. To learn more about why we’re the leading source of solar panels for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Jose homeowners, visit our portfolio online.
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Tim has worked in the solar industry since 2008. He has a Master's Degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University. His years of experience include working on solar energy projects for both homes and commercial properties. Tim enjoys sharing his knowledge of this evolving industry and making a difference in his community.
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