Benefits of Solar Energy
Why Go Solar?
Because sunlight is abundant and inexhaustible, solar energy is a valuable renewable energy source that, when used in place of traditional fossil fuels, can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as stimulate the economy.
By investing in a solar system, you can harness the sun’s energy to help power your home and may even be able to sell excess energy back to the grid. Solar is not an option for everyone, but if you own a home it’s easy and risk-free to determine if solar can be an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for your energy needs.
- 100% Pollution-Free—solar is one of the cleanest sources of energy because it does not emit any pollution when it is produced or consumed. Using solar energy can help avoid carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with conventional fossil fuel electricity generation.
- Renewable Resource—solar is an inexhaustible resource with endless possibilities. The amount of energy from the sun that falls to the earth in one day could supply the entire world's energy needs for 27 years!1
- Financial Return— a solar energy system can instantly reduce your electric bill and provide a long-term fixed energy rate for the life of your system (20-25 years) – that means cost savings now and protection against unpredictable electric prices in the future.
- In addition, federal tax incentives, various rebate opportunities and decreasing equipment costs make this a great time to invest in solar!
- Plus, solar panels can increase your home’s resale value. One study found that solar systems added on average $5.50 per watt to a home's value above the cost of a comparable, non-solar home.2
- Energy Independence—producing more renewable energy at home helps secure America's energy future
- Job Growth—greater demand for solar creates employment opportunities in the green job sector, helping to stimulate our economy
How does it work?
How Does a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System Work?
A solar PV system is a set of connected solar panels, or PV modules, that generate direct current (DC) electricity by absorbing energy directly from the sun.
Is it that simple? Almost! While these systems generate DC electricity, all of your household appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity. Therefore, the DC electricity from the panels must go into an inverter to convert it into AC electricity. Now it can be used by your house or goes back to the electric grid.
There are many factors that affect the productivity of your solar PV system, such as:
- The direction your panels are facing
- The angle of the panels
- Your home’s location
A qualified specialist will assess your property’s solar potential.
To learn more, visit our Solar Energy 101 page.
How much would this lower my electricity bill?
If your property is a good candidate for solar, the next thing to consider is whether it is a good investment. Let’s begin with a quick review of electricity basics:
- Power is the rate at which energy is supplied - like the speedometer on your car that measures how fast you can go. Power is measured in Watts (W).
- Energy is the measure of power over time - like your car’s odometer, which measures how far you’ve gone. Energy is measured in watt-hours (Wh) or kilowatt-hours (kWh).1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour.
Solar panels will generate different amounts of energy (measured in kWh) depending both on their power capacity (measured in kW) and how many hours the panels have ideal access to sunlight.
- The amount of money you can save depends on how much solar energy is generated, how much electricity from the grid you typically use, and your electricity rate in cents per kWh.
- For example, if you have a 5-kW system, it could generate approximately 20 kWh of energy in one sunny day.
- Over the course of a month, if the system generated 400 kWh, it would directly offset that quantity of grid electricity use. So if you typically pay $0.12/kWh for your electricity, installing solar could lower your electricity bill by as much as $48.00 per month.
Rebates & Incentives
What types of incentives are available to me?
Federal, state, local and utility rebates and incentives may be available in your area. We can help you determine which, if any, may apply specifically to your home and enable you to go solar at the most competitive price.
- Federal Tax Credit: All new installations are eligible for a 30% U.S. Federal tax credit off the full system price after installation.
- State, Local and Utility Incentives: Incentives vary, but may include rebates, property tax exemptions, and income tax credits.
Request information now to learn more about the federal, state, and utility incentives that may be available for your home solar installation.
1 Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory
2 Source: April 2011 report: “An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California” by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-4476e.pdf). The price premium for the average size installation in the study 3.1 kilowatts [kW]) was approximately $17,000.
3 Details will be available in your free assessment.