Why Should You Build Solar PV Panels?
If you’re considering building solar pv panels onto your home, you probably have a ton of questions. Is solar right for me? Is it really worth the investment? Will solar really make a difference in the fight against global warming?
In this article we’ll explore these questions, and explain why you should consider building solar pv panels onto your home.
Benefits of Solar PV Panels
The great news about solar panels is that they come with a lot of benefits.
- Free Energy- After you’ve made the initial investment to buy and install solar pv panels, you have the ability to capture all that free energy that’s constantly streaming down the sky from the sun. And as the cost of fossil fuels continue to rise, this adds up to some significant savings over time.
- Security- Having solar pv panels supplementing, or even entirely powering, your home’s energy use means that you’re depending less on others for your power. Whether your local power plant is coal fired or nuclear, using solar means that you’re better able to stand on your own two feet. Which, as you can imagine, is a very empowering feeling, especially during a blackout.
- Peace of Mind- The energy you get from your solar pv panels is completely clean. This means that you’re not putting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere when you turn on a light switch. Energy Star estimates that every household in the U.S puts out over 17,000 pounds of CO2 each year just with their electricity use. Solar pv panels put a huge dent, or completely eliminate, your home’s CO2 emissions.
- Stronger Economy- The United States is fifth in the world production of solar panels, and with the growth in the domestic green sector this number will surely get better. This means when you invest in solar, especially domestically produced pv panels, you help strengthen the economy and provide stable jobs for thousands. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that if current growth continues, solar pv will account for over 150,000 direct jobs in this country by 2020.
- Ease of Use- Solar pv panels are incredibly easy to maintain. They have no moving parts, and require very little maintenance (other than occasional cleaning).
- Flexibility- Solar pv panels are very flexible in terms of growth. As you and your family grows and your energy needs change, it’s easy to add panels.
- Identity- Some people think that solar pv panels look bulky and conspicuous on buildings. But investing in these panels tells your friends and neighbors that you care about the environment. And, panels are becoming much more attuned to a building’s natural form. Take a look at the skyscraper below, which is located in downtown New York. This building has seven stories of solar panels, and they’re very hard to see.
Image courtesy USDE
Cost of Solar PV Panels
When it comes to the cost of solar pv panels, the good news is that prices keep going down thanks to better technology and increased production.
The problem with quoting a specific price, however, is that you can’t take a “one size fits all” approach with solar.
Think about this: does your area get as much sunshine as, say, Phoenix? Are you looking for solar to completely power your home, or just supplement it?
And if you don’t use air conditioning and keep your thermostat low in the winter, don’t you think you use less energy than your neighbor, who’s house is kept like a fridge in summer and an oven in the winter?
Everyone’s energy needs are different, and where you live plays a huge role in how much your solar system is going to cost. People living in sunny Phoenix will need fewer panels to produce electricity than someone living in Maine, which gets far less sunshine.
If you’d like to get a close estimate of how much you would have to spend on a system, accounting for your energy needs and specific location, you can head over to FindSolar.org. They’ve got a great solar calculator that will give you a good idea on how much you’d have to spend to meet your needs.
Tax Incentives For Solar PV Panels
So, if you went over to FindSolar.org and are currently in state of shock from the $20,000 price tag that might have come up, don’t worry. Our state and federal governments are offering some pretty amazing tax incentives for solar investment.
Want to know how much you qualify for? Then head over to the Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). This great site has tax incentives broken down state-by-state, so you can easily see how much you’d get back at tax time.
There has never been a better time to invest in solar pv panels. The prices continue to fall, and our government is offering some amazing tax credits to lower the costs even further. If you’re ready to have control of your own power and would like the security of knowing that you’re relying on completely clean energy, then solar pv panels might be for you.