Solar energy has been with us for some time, and we all know the importance as well as the potential impact of renewable power sources on our planet, health, and pockets. In the last decade, solar has played a major role in the US economy, while its costs have dropped by more than a whopping 60%, making this profitable investment a more affordable option.
If you’re considering going solar for your home or business, you need to weigh the pros and cons of solar energy before deciding if it’s right for you.
Advantages of solar energy:
Drastically reduce or eliminate your monthly electricity bills. Your solar installation will allow you to cash in on huge savings from day one. By generating your own power, you become less reliant on your utility company.
Reap economic benefits for decades. A solar panel system typically has a 25-30 year lifespan during which time you will realize measurable financial outcomes in different forms:
- A 30% federal tax credit on your installation.
- Net metering allows you to get full credit for all excess energy generated that’s not used.
- State and local grants are available but vary by region. Maryland and DC have robust solar incentives.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are worth a lot of money over the life of your system. Utility providers are required to purchase a certain amount of SRECs each year from solar owners to meet sustainability requirements. There are a number of options for selling your SRECs.
Increase property value. Solar panels add 3%-4% to the value of a home, according to research issued by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Bonus depreciation on commercial solar investment. A 50% bonus depreciation for a system placed before January 1, 2018, and the remaining half is depreciated under the MACRS recovery period.
Control over rising electricity costs. Anyone can agree that being inundated with fluctuating electric bills can induce anxiety. Solar panels give you a guaranteed cost for energy and can protect you from increasing utility rates. To be energy autonomous puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to generating your own electricity.
Disadvantages of solar energy:
Rooftop solar panels are not for everyone. Unlike some home renovations or improvements that doesn’t pay for itself, a solar installation actually does. Going solar offers the energy upgrades and electricity bill reduction that people need.
Short-term dwelling. If you’re about to move, there’s a chance that you won’t see all of the financial benefits of going solar, however, the increase to your property value would more than makeup for that.
Finding quality and competitive prices for a solar panel system. Doing your due diligence when shopping for an accredited and well-established solar company is crucial to ensuring a successful installation. Make sure your goals align with what your solar company offers you (incentives, warranties, monitoring, flexibility, financing, etc.).
You can seize the solar opportunity, too. But the longer you wait, the more savings you can be missing out on, with some important government incentives scheduled to expire soon.