More and more Americans are beginning to ask themselves "What is solar energy?" Solar energy is a rapidly growing industry. In fact, by 2019 over 2 million solar energy systems had been installed in the U.S.
That's enough solar energy to power over 12 million American homes! And it won't stop there. Predictions estimate that by 2024, 2.5% of all American homes will be powered by solar energy.
But why are so many Americans choosing to go solar? What are the benefits of this seemingly major change? And why is it now more important than ever to make the switch?
Solar Energy in 2021
2020 was a year full of challenges. The harsh economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly concerning climate crisis left many homeowners with a gray cloud hanging over their heads.
Additionally, utility bills found themselves on the rise. To almost 50 million Americans, these bills became a chore that many struggled to pay. Luckily, a solution has emerged.
Solar energy has become increasingly popular, largely thanks to its many benefits. Offering cheaper, cleaner energy, many homeowners are electing to go solar.
Why Should You Go Solar?
The cost of solar energy has gone down over 70% since 2010. Because of this, solar panels became the most popular new energy technology in the country by 2016. So, should you consider making the switch?
To know if solar energy is right for you, it's important to know just what solar energy has to offer you. So, here are 7 benefits of solar energy:
1. Reduce or Eliminate Electric Bills
One of the most obvious benefits of solar energy is its impact on your electric bills. It's no secret that electric bills can account for a major portion of your monthly expenses. And they're only going up.
However, with a solar panel system, you begin to generate free power that will last for 25+ years. As long as your system is functioning, you'll be seeing major energy savings.
The actual amount you'll be able to save will depend on a variety of factors. These include the amount of energy you consume, the number of panels you have installed, or the amount of sun your home receives per day.
But, even if you aren't producing 100% of your consumed energy, you'll still see a major reduction in your energy costs. Any way you slice it, solar energy is almost always more cost-efficient than traditional energy. And those savings will really start to add up as time goes on.
2. High Return on Investment (ROI)
Solar panel systems may seem like a lofty purchase to make upfront. However, installing solar panels is more of an investment than an actual out-of-pocket expense. Like stocks and bonds, the return on investment (ROI) offered by solar panel systems is major.
Thanks to the savings you'll see on energy bills, you'll likely pay off your system in 7-8 years. Generally, the average homeowner will then begin to see an ROI of 20% or more.
But energy bill savings aren't the only way solar panels pay for themselves. Installing a solar panel system might also qualify you for some major financial incentives. If you install your solar panel system by the end of 2021, you can enjoy the solar investment tax credit (ITC).
If you install in 2021, you'll receive a 21% tax credit to reduce your installation costs. That means, installing will be cheaper and your ROI will be greater.
However, in order to qualify for the Solar ITC, you must act quickly. Residential tax credits will be eliminated entirely in 2022, and commercial installations will only see a 10% tax credit. Install by the end of 2021 to receive the full tax benefits of a solar panel system.
3. Offers Increased Flexibility
Solar panels are able to uniquely offer homeowners an increased sense of flexibility. Since you'll no longer have to worry about the grid, you can more easily monitor your energy consumption. That means no more paying for energy you don't use.
When you're buying off the grid, you have no say in any raising of prices. But, with your own solar panel system, the cost of production and consumption is entirely up to you. Your costs are only affected by your household usage.
Additionally, you can customize your system to fit your average consumption. Once again, this means no more paying for things you don't need.
You also get the added benefit of aesthetic flexibility. With more styles offered, you'll be able to customize the appearance of your home. You can even customize your solar panel system design.
4. Become Energy Independent
No one likes a power outage. These can be especially frustrating with little to no communication from your utility company. They could leave you without power for hours, completely left at their mercy.
But, with a solar panel system, your household becomes energy independent. That means the next time the grid goes down, your house won't go dark.
You'll also find that solar batteries have become much more affordable. This means more storage for back-up power. More storage means more independence, which means less reliance on potentially unreliable utility companies.
5. Experience Increased Energy Efficiency
It's no secret that the sun is a major source of energy. In fact, it's the most abundant source of energy on Earth. And with a solar panel system, you can harvest it for yourself.
Theoretically, solar panels could power the entire country using only .6% of the U.S.'s land area. With numbers like that, it's not hard to imagine that solar energy is a wildly efficient energy source.
There are several different factors that affect just how efficient your solar panel system can be. These include the solar panel material, solar panel age, environment, and how they're positioned. However, most solar panels are still between 15%-20% efficient.
These are much better rates than traditional energy sources. That's because all the energy is clean and harnessed directly from the sun. This is great news for those interested in reducing their carbon footprint!
Solar panel systems are also extremely cost-efficient, as mentioned above. The major ROI and low monthly cost mean more money in your pocket.
6. Increase Your Property Value
A major benefit of going solar is that it will increase the value of your home. Appraisers are becoming increasingly attracted to solar-installed homes. Because clean energy homes are more efficient, investors find them to be much more interesting.
This will only continue to trend upwards. As more homeowners become educated on the benefits of solar energy, more and more are going to be looking for homes with solar panels. In the coming years, a solar panel system could make all the difference between a home that sells and a home that doesn't.
7. Stimulate the Local Economy
Solar energy is a growing business. And growing businesses are great for the economy. According to The Solar Foundation, the solar industry is a major driving force for overall U.S. job growth.
This growth is trending upwards. As more homeowners become interested in solar, more solar professionals are needed. That means more jobs for American workers.
It is impossible to outsource solar jobs, which means these jobs must stay in the U.S. These jobs also tend to be higher-paying because of the level of technical expertise needed. This makes solar energy an increasingly important contributor to the U.S. economy.
Choose The Reliable Energy
Solar energy comes with a plethora of potential benefits. And, these benefits are only becoming more and more important in our constantly changing world. For most homeowners, especially in the Las Vegas area, it just makes sense to go solar.
Schedule a consultation with our experts to figure out how to take your home into the future with a solar panel system. Start generating cleaner, cheaper energy today!