At some point, most of us have opened our electric bills and received an unpleasant surprise. During Kansas City’s sub-zero winters and sizzling summers, our electric bills often reflect our home heating and cooling systems working overtime. In moments like these, you may have asked yourself: what are the benefits of solar energy?
While you may already be aware of basic facts about solar energy, the amount of information available can sometimes feel overwhelming. Not to mention that tax credits and other government policies regarding renewable energy sources can vary across state and county lines.
Although it can seem confusing, going solar can pay huge dividends in a variety of ways. No matter your main motivation – whether it’s environmental, financial, economic or something else – here are five easy-to-understand benefits of solar energy.
1. Environmental Impact
When you think of solar power, there’s a good chance you think about its relation to the environment. Unlike fossil fuels, which generated 65% of America’s electricity in 2018, solar energy is a renewable resource. Consider the following statistics about solar energy and the environment from Energy.gov:
- Compared to fossil fuels, solar-powered energy produces far lower lifecycle levels of greenhouse gas emissions and harmful pollutants.
- Solar power could produce $167 billion in savings from lower future health and environmental damages while also preventing 25,000–59,000 premature deaths.
- Putting solar panels on 0.6% of the United States’ total land area could supply enough electricity to power the entire country.
2. Save Money On Your Electric Bill
Remember the reason you started thinking about switching to solar power in the first place? Even if the environment wasn’t your primary reason, that’s okay. The truth is that going solar can have a huge impact when it comes to your electric bill.
The average American family spent $1,408 on electricity in 2019. But with solar power, you’re generating your very own electricity. This can mean lower electric bills or even eliminating your electric bills entirely.
According to data by EnergySage, in Kansas City, the average customer can expect to save an average of $1,535 per year by making the switch to solar power. Although it requires an upfront investment for purchase and installation, those savings translate to an average of $30,718 over 20 years.
3. Return On Investment
It’s true that solar energy is an investment. But aren’t most good things in life?
After making the initial payments, your electricity costs are locked in for good. No more surprises when you open your monthly electric bill. With this fixed-cost system, the idea is to entirely replace your electric bill so that it never increases… and eventually goes away.
For solar panel systems, the typical Return On Investment (ROI) is about 8-10 years. That means that after these 8 or 10 years pass, you will have totally paid off your initial startup costs for solar. From then on, you’re only making money.
Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty. However, EnergyInformative reports that many new solar systems installed today can be expected to continuously produce electricity for 30-40 years into the future. How’s that for an ROI?
4. Energy Independence
Another benefit of solar panels is the ability to become energy independent. Since you’re not depending on your utility company for electricity production, you won’t be subject to their price increases. Electricity prices have risen by an average of 3% per year over the past decade, and there are no signs this trend is changing any time soon.
Not only are you becoming energy independent, but if more Americans shift to solar energy systems, our country can become energy independent as well.
Currently, the majority of energy in America is sourced from oil, natural gas and coal – and in many cases, we rely on foreign countries to supply these resources. This can lead to complicated relationships with these foreign powers, which can have unintended consequences.
5. Increase Your Home’s Value
Here’s another benefit of going solar that you may not have thought of: the potential to increase your home’s value. According to Energy.gov, solar panels are seen as home upgrades, similar to a renovated kitchen or finished basement.
Additionally, home buyers are willing to pay a $15,000 premium on a home that has solar panels – and solar-powered homes are more likely to sell quickly, as well. Having an independent source of energy is an attractive feature to home buyers
Although you may feel hesitant about making the switch to solar if you aren’t planning to stay in the same home forever, realize that you can still get a return on your investment. If you move out before your solar panels have finished paying for themselves, you will likely be able to make that money back during the selling process.
Learn All Benefits of Solar Energy. Ready?
Are you ready to free yourself from the rising costs of electricity with a custom-designed solar installation system? It’s time to lock in your savings with the power of solar energy. Even if you don’t have the money to purchase the system outright, we offer a variety of payment options – including $0 loans.