Have you ever wondered what the benefits might be of converting your home to solar energy? In this article, we explore this topic, taking a look at the top 10 benefits of using solar energy at home.
Whether you’re looking at powering your home with solar energy or using it to heat your water, we hope this article is of help along your journey.
1. Reduce Energy Costs
One of the key benefits of using solar energy at home is that you will be able to reduce your energy costs. Imagine a world where you don’t have to pay your utility company for the energy you use. Whilst this may be beyond your imagination, many homeowners around the world have achieved just that.
Installing solar panels to generate electricity can help you reduce your electricity costs. In many parts of the world, electricity bills are climbing at an alarming rate. By sourcing all or part of your home’s power requirements from solar energy, you can either avoid or reduce the effects of such increases.
You can even use the sun to help heat your home. We refer to this technology as solar thermal and it can be either active or passive. Active thermal technologies involve the use of a solar thermal collector that helps improve the effectiveness of a system. Passive technologies concern the design/architecture of your home. When using solar thermal technologies, you can reduce the cost of purchasing other forms of energy from your utility company. Depending on where you live, these may include natural gas or oil.
Still unsure of the difference between solar PV and solar thermal technologies? If so, we have an article covering that topic here.
2. Make Money From The Sun
Yes, that’s right, the sun can even help you make money! Many homeowners have benefited from installing high capacity solar PV systems that generate more electricity than they need. The idea behind this is that any excess electricity can be sold back to the grid, providing you an income for the solar power you have not used.
This option is dependent on where you live. For example, the United Kingdom had a scheme called Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) which was run by the government and designed to promote the uptake of residential installations of renewable and low-carbon technologies. The scheme allowed qualifying participants the chance the sell excess electricity back to the national grid but was closed to new applications from the 1st April 2019. You should always check with your local government for information on any available schemes within your area.
The United States has an alternative system known as ‘net metering’. This scheme allows owners of small solar and wind installations the ability to connect their systems to the electrical grid. Once connected, any unused electricity you generate enters the grid, giving you a power credit that you can use later on – for example, at nighttime when your solar panels cannot produce electricity. You can learn more about net metering from The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
3. Solar Can Provide Return on Investment (ROI)
Whilst the initial cost of installing a home solar energy system may be quite high, such systems can offer a return on investment (ROI) over a period of time. They can do this as a result of a combination of points one and two.
The average payback period for a home solar panel installation is around 20 years. This period will vary depending on a number of factors such as:
- The capacity of your solar panels.
- How many solar cells you install.
- The average annual sunlight for your location.
- Other environmental factors such as heat, humidity, and pollution.
You should always consult the expertise of a reputable solar energy company to determine a target ROI for your system.
4. Benefit From Federal Tax Credits
Depending on where you live, you might be able to benefit from federal tax credits. Many countries worldwide offer grants and/or tax credits for renewable energy installations.
If you live in the US, you should look into the availability of both state and local government schemes for solar panel installations. No matter where you live, we always recommend you contact your local authority to learn about any available schemes.
If you manage to secure a grant, tax credit, or other financial incentive, this will help to accelerate the ROI of your system.
5. Home Solar Energy Has Multiple Uses
You can use solar energy at home in multiple ways. We’ve already touched on most of these, but here’s a quick overview of the different options:
- To generate electricity (solar photovoltaics).
- For heating water (solar thermal).
- In passive building techniques.
The fact that solar energy is flexible allows homeowners in many parts of the world to be able to benefit from it.
6. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Using solar energy at home also helps you to reduce your carbon footprint. By using solar energy, you are directly reducing the level of carbon you consume as a result of your lifestyle.
Using traditional energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas results in greenhouse gas emissions. Power stations release these gases into the atmosphere and they can have significant effects on the planet. Greenhouse gases contribute to global warming and climate change. They also have a profound effect on the quality of the air we breathe.
By using solar energy at home, you will benefit from the satisfaction that you are playing your part in the global fight against climate change.
7. Conserve Natural Resources
By generating your own electricity from solar energy, you are also helping to conserve the earth’s natural resources. Fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas are finite resources. This means they will one day run out. Solar, along with all other renewable energy sources can help to preserve remaining supplies of fossil fuels. By doing this, we help to ensure that natural resources are left for future generations.
8. Solar Increases Your Energy Security
Generating your own electricity from solar panels helps to increase your energy security. This benefit of home solar energy usage might not be an obvious one to point out. Nethertheless, it still applies and can offer peace of mind to some homeowners.
By having the capacity to generate your own power, you reduce your reliance on external energy supplies. Those living in conflict areas or those who are generally concerned with global energy demands may take some comfort knowing they can generate their own power.
9. Add Value To Your Home
It’s a well-known fact that rooftop solar panels can add value to a home. If your property is capable of generating any form of renewable electricity, it will be more appealing to buyers who are looking to secure a reduction in their future energy bills.
10. Set An Example
Lastly, and arguably most important factor in our list of benefits is that by investing in a solar home you are setting an example. Your children will understand the benefits and importance of solar energy usage in the home. This will help set an example for future generations until renewable energy technologies like solar power systems become the norm.