The U.S. solar market continues to grow year to year. But one of the most frequently asked questions we get at Green Street Solar comes down to why homeowners should convert from traditional on-the-grid electric systems to solar.
Well, we've done some thinking and here are our top 10 reasons to convert to solar power.
1. Save Thousands of Dollars
According to One Block Off the Grid, adding solar panels to your home can bring in monthly savings of well above $100 in many states. Extend this to two decades, less than the length of a typical solar panel warranty, and this translates to over $30,000. In Hawaii, residents save on average $64,000 the first 20 years! Are you wondering how much you can save by going solar? Click here to find out.
2. Start Saving from Day 1
Solar purchase power agreements (PPAs) and solar leasing has made it possible for homeowners to go solar for little or no money down. Many homeowners choose to finance their solar panels with one of the “pay-as-you-go” financing options. This means that a third-party company – the solar provider – owns the solar system and takes care of installation, maintenance, monitoring and repairs. You simply pay the solar provider for electricity – less than you would`ve paid the utility company.
3. Low Payback Period
If you choose to pay in cash, the payback period is in many cases less than ten years. In Hawaii, it takes homeowners on average 5 years before the monthly savings (in terms of lower electricity costs) meets the total costs of the solar system.
4. Increase Your Home Value
Buying a home with solar panels translates into lower electricity costs. Solar panels will increase a home`s attractiveness on the market, similarly to homes with low property taxes, homes in school districts and homes with good Home Energy Ratings (a measurement of a energy efficiency). A study conducted by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more money.
5. Take Advantage of Tax Incentives
As of 2009, the $2,000 cap on the Federal Solar Tax Credit is lifted. You will get 30% of total system costs back (equipment and installation). This means you would save $7,500 on a solar system worth $25,000. Combine this with state and local rebates, Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), and total costs can be cut in half. Take advantage of incentives while they last.
6. Solar is a Secure Investment
The utility companies are notorious for their fluctuating and unreliable electricity prices. There is clearly an upward trend. With solar panels and simple math, we can calculate how much electricity will be generated, and most importantly, at what price, for at least the next 20 years (fixed energy costs).
7. Guaranteed Performance
Most solar panel manufacturers include a 20- to 25-year warranty (also known as a performance guarantee) with their solar panels. The industry standard guarantees 80% performance after 25 years. The real lifespan of solar panels is much longer – your solar panels will likely generate a good amount of electricity 30-40 years down the line.
8. Save the Environment
Now, this might sound a little silly, but the majority of homeowners choose to go solar because it makes good sense from a financial point of view. That being said, the environmental benefits are also clearly worth mentioning. The U.S. places second in the world in annual carbon dioxide emissions at 17.9%, right behind China.
9. Energy Independence
The U.S. relied on net imports for about 40% of the petroleum (crude oil and petroleum products) that we consumed in 2012. This is one easy way that you can contribute to our own economic and energy independence.
10. Solar is Easy
Shopping for solar used to be a long and complicated process but with many local providers like Green Street Solar, solar panel installation in Delaware and Maryland can be incredibly simple. With experts to help answer all of your questions and experienced solar technicians, converting to solar power is easier and faster than ever.