If interested in switching to solar energy, it is integral that you understand the scope of your investment before you begin. It is clear that solar energy is noble for the environment. You should therefore invest some time in getting acquainted with its pros and some natural cons that it could present when you begin to use it.
Solar Energy Pros
The advantages of solar energy are as follows:-
- It is suitable for different climates.
- Gives control over electricity usage and cuts cost.
- Solar energy is friendly to the environment.
- Has low runnign or maintenane costs.
- The use of solar energy qualify you for worthwile tax incentives.
- Solar energy increases the value of your home.
1. It is Suitable for Different Climates
Many people assume that solar energy is not applicable for cold climates, which is not the case. On the contrary, solar panels tend to be efficient for colder temperatures. Too much heat could alter the solar panel voltage. This phenomenon makes them less efficient.
Although direct exposure to the sun for a long time accelerates electricity generation from the solar system, modern solar panels are competent because they can still generate energy even in low light situations.
Thus, to enjoy the benefits of solar energy in homes, you don’t have to be worried about the climate where you live. You need a more extensive solar system to enjoy the same results as you would in a hot or colder climate.
2. It Gives Control Over Electricity Usage and Cuts Cost
Installing a solar panel at home and getting a battery offers much-needed freedom from electricity bills and utility companies. That helps you be on the safe side when electricity rates peak and provides a reliable backup for power when the grid is low.
As electricity rates are on the rise mainly, which is a trend not expected to change any soon, installing a solar system for your home is a beneficial choice. You are assured to pay less for power when you choose solar because solar service agreements offer lower and more predictable rates cheaper than electricity companies’ rates.
Solar-powered batteries also assist in buffering you when electricity rates peak. The local electric companies usually set these rates for specific areas, and they mainly vary by the time of the day. During periods of peak demand, electricity is more costly than periods of low demand. Having a rechargeable home battery and a solar system helps you evade the peak demand periods implying that you optimize your savings on energy.
On the other hand, enjoying the benefits of solar systems in homes implies that you are safe from unexpected blackouts, giving you reliable power even for your business. Consequently, with solar power, you are free from the uncertainty, expense, and inconvenience of refueling diesel or gas-powered generators when they run out without notice.
3. Solar Energy is Friendly to the Environment
As many people in the world are looking forward to environmentally-friendly energy sources, solar energy is a great path to follow. It is a renewable and clean source of energy. And since solar panels are powered by sunlight, powering your home implies reducing the emissions released into the environment. Burning fossil fuels used to generate electricity contaminate water and air use.
A case in point is coal power stations which release significant volumes of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide plus harmful toxins like sulfur dioxide, mercury, and lead. Ingesting elements like these causes health problems which could be fatal and dangerous in some cases.
Fossil fuels are thus unhealthy for use. Unhealthy since they emit greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants, which could result in cardiac and respiratory health issues. Therefore, solar as a renewable energy source is essential in reducing the prevalence of the pollutants produced by fossil fuel resulting in a healthier environment.
4. Low Cost in Terms of Maintenance
Energy obtained from solar systems generally requires little maintenance. They do not require to be kept relatively clean. So, this means that cleaning them a few times a year is enough. If you are not confident enough about the cleaning part, you can rely on the services of specialized cleaning companies who offer the service at a not so expensive cost.
Another point is that solar energy systems do not have moving parts, implying that wear and tear are foreign. The only part that requires changing after 5 to 10 years is the inverter. This is because it works continuously, converting solar energy into heat and electricity to run your home. To ensure that the power system is efficient, the cables also require to be checked from time to time.
Solar panels are also very efficient as they withstand harsh weather conditions, making them very durable. Consequently, even though the installation costs for solar energy may be high, the low maintenance cost makes it sensible to install them.
5. You’ll Qualify for tax Incentives With Solar Energy
The most outstanding benefits of solar energy in homes are the tax incentives. Some countries have tax incentives that allow homeowners to acquire solar panels. This provides a certain percentage of the total initial cost back in a federal tax credit.
A case in point is New York State. The state provides a $5,000 tax credit for homeowners who acquire the solar energy system. These incentives are beneficial as they give homeowners a faster return on investment on their solar power expenditure. Also, they have created jobs as solar energy grows dramatically due to more homeowners who want to acquire the systems for their homes due to the incentives’ attraction.
Some municipalities or states could also offer tax exemptions on sales or property. Here, homeowners who understand property tax exemption value know it provides considerable savings. Purchasing solar systems increases the value of your home. Implying that you get more property tax exemptions if you decide on making the call to buy a solar system.
6. Solar Energy Increases the Value of Your Home
Another benefit of solar energy in homes is that it increases the home’s value. For example, in the United States, installing a solar system in your home increases its value by 4.1% on average. An online real estate marketplace in 2019 discovered that U.S. homes with solar panels sell more than other homes.
Thus, installing a solar system for your home helps it sell 20% faster than residences without solar panels. Therefore, installing a solar panel for your home is a very sound investment to make it your home forever or upgrade it for a future sale.
READ MORE: What is a Solar Power System?
Cons of Solar Energy
Here are some of the disadvantages of solar energy:-
- The upfron costs are very high.
- Solar energy is dependent on weather.
- Solar power is not 100% free of carbon.
- Some solar panels are low quality.
- Not all roofs can support the added weight of solar panels.
- May lead to roof damage.
1. The Upfront Costs of Solar Power are Very High
Although there has been a significant reduction in cost for renewable energy sources over the past decade, installing a solar system from scratch is not a walk in the park. The initial cost of buying a solar system is an investment for almost 40 years of electricity. This implies that the cost is reasonably high.
Due to such high installation costs, homeowners have provisions for financing packages. These provisions enable payments to be made on the go from the first month. To have a fully installed solar system, you require solar panels, wiring, inverters, and installation, which must be paid upfront. To combat the high installation cost, seeking financial incentives like tax credits is very helpful.
2. Solar Energy is Dependent on Weather
Despite the possibility of collecting solar energy during rainy and cloudy days, its efficiency falls during such periods. To effectively gather enough solar energy, solar panels depend on sunlight. Thus, during the few cloudy and rainy days, a noticeable effect is felt on the energy system. Therefore, it is essential to understand that solar energy cannot be collected at night. This simply means that going entirely off the grid is unrealistic.
Despite having the home battery solution that many solar companies offer, the batteries have only become accessible recently to homeowners. Therefore, to access energy at night, you need to have a battery or a conventional utility grid when the sunlight is limited. Without a way to store the energy, it can only be used in real-time when there is sunlight.
3. Solar Power is not 100% Free of Carbon
While renewable forms of energy significantly reduce carbon emissions, they are not always clean. Some carbon is created in manufacturing, transporting, and installing renewable energy, just like wind turbines.
That is because fossil fuels power the factories where the products are manufactured. And during transportation, carbon is released from gasoline and diesel fueling the transportation trucks. However, with time as many homes switch to solar systems, fewer and fewer solar panels will be required. Also, fewer trucks will be used to transport them, thus reducing carbon emissions from solar energy.
4. Some Solar Panels are low Quality
Like with all products in the market, there are various panels with different levels of output, efficiency, design, reliability, and durability. That is why homeowners are provided with a lot of information to learn about products and manufacturers before settling on a solar panel for their homes.
Before purchasing a panel, looking into the right factors is crucial. This will go a long way to maximize its service-time and enjoyment of the solar system. Although expensive, it is advisable to invest in a superior solar panel for your home to enjoy the durability and excellent service.
5. Not all Roofs can Hold a Solar Panel
To determine if your home is suitable for solar, you must consider some factors. These include roof orientation, shading, roof space available, and roof material. If you have a wide roof facing south without obstructions, you are excellently positioned to install a solar energy system.
On the other hand, if your roof is facing west and small, surrounded by huge, tall trees, your solar may not generate a lot of energy for use. It’s a great idea to power the whole world with renewable energy, but you need to be sincere with yourself and confirm if your home is rightly placed for the use of solar energy.
As solar panels use a lot of space, you also need to be cautious of the amount of energy you need to fuel your home sufficiently. If you want to produce a lot of energy, you might require more solar panels. The panels will also need open space for their installation since you’ll also require to collect a lot of sunlight. There is thus an increase in the cost of the solar panels and a drawback of seeking enough space since not all roofs are big enough for many solar panels.
The use of solar panels to generate electricity for your home is a cheap and efficient method, But remember, it could cause damages to your roof in the process. Poor installation of solar panels could drill holes in the roof that lead to water leakage. These leakages will most definitely damage your home.
6. Roof Damage From the Extra Weight of Solar Panels
It is essential to ensure you have enough information about solar installation from the best companies. This you can easily recognize by checking their customers’ reviews and ratings to evade such catastrophic situations.
Some solar panels are so weighty that they require additional support to be safely mounted on your roof. Having a semi-permanent roof or a roof with weak spots could mean that the solar panel will destroy your roof.
Therefore, you should ensure that a proper assessment is performed to determine the integrity of your roof. This will help to determine if it can hold the weight of the panels. Also, installing the panels at a steep angle could cause them to falter with time, consequently damaging your roof.
7. Complications While Vacating
Solar panels reveal a lot of challenges when one is seeking to vacate from one area to another home. If a company installed your solar energy system, they mostly switch the lease agreement with the new home user when you decide to vacate.
That is done to avoid the cost of bringing down the solar panels. However, if you decide to vacate with the system, you must cater to the costs of de-installation and re-installation. Remember, this will be a significant cost for you as the user.
If you plan on installing a solar energy in your home, you might want to consider a smart electric water heater such as the one below.