What is solar power?
At one time, solar power was new and experimental. As you might expect, things are very different today – and today, solar power is more common than ever. The Solar Energy Industries Association estimates that there are currently 16,200 utility-scale solar electric generating facilities in the United States, with 9,500 more under construction.
Solar is one of the most reliable and widely-used sources of alternative, renewable electricity. It ranks on 5th the list compared to other sources of electricity, as seen on the Energy Information Administration‘s website!
How does solar power work?
The most common type of solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) systems. PV panels capture sunlight directly and convert it into electricity. Depending on how much sunlight the panel catches, the energy output of PV solar panels can vary from a couple of watts to several kilowatts. PV panels are the only type of solar panel that can be placed on a roof to capture the sun. Most solar panel systems are made of an elaborate glass or plastic structure. These panels are mounted on a rack that is attached to the top of a building.
What are the pros and cons of solar power installations on property value?
The benefits of solar panels include reducing the electric bills of your home. Solar panels offset fossil fuels by producing their own electricity, and reduce the amount of carbon pollution that is emitted from consuming traditional, grid energy. Having residential solar helps contribute to a diversified energy grid!
There are a few cons of solar panels, including the initial investment of the solar panels. A PV installation can visibly change the appearance of the home – however, for many, this sends a positive message to the neighbors, and often, entire communities convert to solar energy! While solar panels degrade over time, there are new technologies that increase the life span of the PV and emerging businesses that support solar panel recycling!
Does Solar Power Increase Property Value?
Various studies have shown that installing solar panels can increase a home’s value and provide tax benefits to the homeowner. One study, conducted by Smart Electric Power Alliance, indicates that rooftop solar is generally economically feasible for mid- to large-size residential structures. While installing solar panels on a home can seem like a great investment, there are so many benefits over time! Another study from ENERGY STAR indicates that installation costs and property tax benefits are some things to consider when it comes to the effectiveness of installing solar panels.
Is Solar Power the Future?
When thinking about the future, many people are drawn to the idea of distributed solar energy production. Research by Neste Energy and Wepower found that the cost of solar panels are decreasing, along with installation prices! As the values of new homes continue to rise, solar panels can lower utility bills for most homeowners, and further increase home value. New homes in California are becoming more like the rest of the country. A solar home in northern California has the potential to increase its home value by up to $30,000 when it is remodeled, according to the Department of Energy.
As we look toward a future of decarbonization, solarizing your home is a good choice for the planet, and your investments!
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