The Pros and Cons of Harnessing Solar Power;
The Sustainable, Renewable Energy Choice
Solar panels are popping up all over the country—and with good reason. Solar energy systems provide a source of endless energy, converting the sun’s rays into electricity for your home. Thanks to advances in technology, homeowners have a wide variety of choices for price per watt, efficiency ratings, and design. And solar options are at their lowest cost in history.
Benefits today. Benefits tomorrow.
It’s no wonder more American homeowners are choosing solar.
Solar energy systems are an energy—and cost—efficient investment that yields recurring benefits, from tax credits and lower utility bills to increased home values. Americans are making the smart move away from fossil-fuel grids and choosing solar.
If you are deciding if solar power is right for your home, consider these six reasons why you should.
1) Proven, reliable tech that works in various climates
Solar power’s history goes back to scientific experiments in the late 1800s. The technology has come a long way since then. Over the centuries, solar tech quality and design have been improved to become the reliable energy source it is today. Currently, there are 58.3 gigawatts of total solar capacity installed nationwide—and this number is growing. More people are choosing solar, debunking the myth that it’s a trend or fad. Americans’ adoption of clean energy is predicted to continue long into the future.
Another myth that plagues the solar energy industry is that solar panels aren’t effective in all climates. Some people think solar won’t work in colder or snowy weather. This is not true. During periods of higher temps, excess heat can reduce output voltage. Solar panel systems actually work more efficiently in colder temperatures.
And yes, direct sun exposure will help your solar system generate more electricity, but modern panels are designed to generate energy even in low-light situations. Proper installation by a professional ensures correct placement, tilt, and number of panels to accommodate whatever weather patterns are prevalent in your climate region.
2) Reduce your energy and utility bills with solar power
Solar panels allow you to reduce your energy bills—and perhaps eliminate them entirely. Your savings will depend on how much energy your system produces and how much you consume, but many households have dramatically reduced the cost of utility bills in their budget thanks to solar power. Further, because electricity rates will continue to rise, your savings will continue to grow every year over the 25+ year lifespan of your solar panel system.
The U.S. Department of Energy found solar energy systems
added an average of $15,000 in value to a home.
added an average of $15,000 in value to a home.
Installing solar panels in your home has a high return on investment over the long term. When can you expect to “break even” on the installation costs compared to what you pay to your local utility company? The break-even point varies from region to region (and even home to home), but the average homeowner can expect to break even on their system cost around 7.5 years.
3) Special tax benefits save you even more money
If you opt to go solar, do you get any tax breaks? Yes! The federal government offers tax credits, and, depending on where you live, you may qualify for local tax credits, as well.
The major federal tax credit for residential solar panels is the investment tax credit, or ITC. You may have heard of it referred to as the Solar Tax Credit. The ITC offers a tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system, as long as you buy the system. Most people are eligible to claim the ITC. This federal tax credit provides a sizable incentive to choose solar, but it is currently scheduled to phase out by 2022. If you’re thinking about investing in solar, be mindful of applicable tax credit timelines.
Your state may also offer special tax credits for installing a solar energy system, too. Indiana, for example, offers a sales tax exemption for solar electrical generating equipment as well as a property tax exemption. Check with your state and municipality for additional rebate programs and utility incentives for solar systems.
4) Solar energy systems are more affordable than ever
As solar technology and production have improved, the costs of a total home solar system have declined. Between 2016 and 2017, the cost of solar systems dropped 9%. Purchasing and installing solar panel systems is at the lowest price point in 30 years. Solar energy is now more affordable than ever for homeowners.
When you choose solar, your residential solar system cost includes the panels, wiring, racking, inverter, and monitor. Installation is usually a separate cost, including labor and materials calculated based on your system’s size.
The easiest way to calculate the cost of solar electricity across different system sizes is in dollars per watt ($/W). The $/W calculation indicates how many dollars solar will cost per watt of available electricity production. You simply calculate the price of your panel divided by the wattage of the panel. In 2018, the average installation cost for homeowners was between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt.
The total cost of an average-sized residential solar system is usually between $15,000 to $29,000 but we have financing options to offset the upfront costs of purchasing and installing a solar energy system. Modern Mill Solar offers systems for every budget and energy need. We have solar specific loans that are fixed interest rate term loans. The goal is for your loan payment for solar to be less than what you are currently paying to your utility company per month which will ultimately help you save money each month.
Keep in mind that solar energy systems are an investment. The upfront costs are offset by tax credits and energy savings that build year over year. It’s a home upgrade that pays you back in several ways—all while providing sustainable energy.
5) Trust licensed professionals for easy installation
Once you’ve selected and purchased your solar energy system, the next step is installation. Site visits are required throughout the selection and installation process, but the actual installation process usually takes only a few days of work.
Relying on professional, licensed installers ensures the installation of all solar equipment is done correctly, safely, and up to code. The installation crew will obtain the proper permits to complete work. They will make sure your solar energy system is oriented and tilted in such a way to maximize the daily and seasonal solar energy received and produced by your system. They will also answer any questions you have regarding using your solar monitor and other equipment.
6) Solar energy systems can increase your home’s value
Investing in a solar energy system for your home offers immediate and long-term benefits. Not only will you see short-term savings via tax credits and utility bill reduction, you may also increase the value of your home.
Solar panels are viewed as a residential upgrade similar to a renovated kitchen or finished basement. Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for a house with an average-sized solar system. The U.S. Department of Energy found solar energy systems added an average of $15,000 in value to a home. Having a solar system may also decrease the time it takes to sell your home when you list it on the market.
Benefits today. Benefits tomorrow. It’s no wonder more American homeowners are choosing solar.
Ready to get started? Browse the U.S. Department of Energy’s planning guide or, better yet, call us. We will answer all of your questions and help guide you through the solar energy system buying and installation process.
If you're ready to harness the benefits of solar power immediately, fill out this form and a solar technician will get back with you for a free solar installation estimate.