Sun is the power house of energy. When the sun’s rays are tapped and passed through specific devices they get converted into electricity and solar power. Scientists believe that the energy which the sun provides to the earth in an hour could very well meet the energy consumption of the whole world for a year. Going by this estimate, one can conclude that so far we have been able to harness only 0.001 percent of that energy.
The world acknowledges solar energy as the ‘the inexhaustible energy’ and the ‘energy of the future.’ People are opting for it in large numbers for this very reason. They are willingly installing it in their houses and work places. Since 2008, the installation of solar power system has grown seventeen-fold in the US.
How does solar energy power your home?
Solar panels create solar energy. Solar panels contains photovoltaic cells. When the sun rays fall on the panel, the PV cells within creates friction and out of this friction/ motion energy is created.
The sun’s rays fall on the panel and create a direct current electric field. The direct current is then converted to alternate current through an inverter which powers the appliances and other electrical devices. The alternate current supplies electricity to the house via the switch board.
America has seen a remarkable rise in solar powered homes. People are opting to go solar because of the large number of benefits it offers. Some of the benefits are direct while some are indirect. Following is a list of the advantages of solar power for homes:
Savings worth thousands of dollars:
By installing solar panels in the house, monthly savings could rise way above $1000 in many states. If this was to be calculated over a period of two decades, than the savings would amount to above $30000. According to the reports, the residents in Hawaii on an average save up to $64,000 in the first 20 yrs.
Power agreements and lease:
The availability of solar purchase power agreements (PPAs) and lease facility has facilitated the purchase of solar systems at marginal or zero cost.
Many families prefer to take it on loan because of two reasons:
1) They can avail low cost energy from day one.
2) they can pay for the system in easy installments.
The cost of installation deters homeowners from purchasing the product. Power agreements and lease facility helps boost sales.
Zero or Low electric bill:
The monthly electric bill of your household comes to nothing or turns negligible. Depending on the usage and size of the panel installed, if the consumption is equal to the power received, than no charges are incurred by the home owner, but if the consumption is more than what the system provides, then traditional electricity will have to be continued, in accordance to the requirement. In any case the overall expenses on electricity will go down significantly.
Long term savings:
The owner bears no other cost once the system is installed. The power received is practically free for the rest of life or till the warranty on solar panels last. As the cost of fuels keep rising and fuel being an exhaustible resource, is bound to get expensive periodically. Switching to solar energy will amount to huge savings in the long run.
If one compares the cost of both the energies over a period of ten to twenty years than one can easily deduce the results. It is estimated that an approx saving of $1,000 per year could be attained. When calculating the long term savings, it would come to a saving of $20,000 in 20 years.
Cost of solar panels are reducing day by day:
While it is hard to predict whether the cost of cars or equipment will go down, the cost of solar panels will definitely go down. With the large amount of research and development taking place in the field of solar energy, cost of the panels are estimated to go very down making it affordable to all sections of the society. There has been a reduction of about 60% in the average price of the panels, since 2011.
Rise in the resale value of homes:
If a home has solar panels than it means that the buyer will not have to bear the installation cost and the energy provided to him would be free. Homes with solar panels will always be more attractive and appealing than homes without one. A buyer will most certainly opt for a home having solar power. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a study where they found that homes with solar panels fetch 17% more money.
The tax incentives provided by the government enables one to save $7500 on a system worth$25000. If the local rebates and solar renewable credits are added to the incentives than the total cost will be cut to have. Hence, it is advantageous to take the incentives till they last.
According to one of the data circulated, the average solar homes in New Jersey earn something around $5,000 to $7,000 by selling their SRECS credits.
Low maintenance cost:
Solar panels require negligible maintenance. After you install the panel, all you require is basic yearly maintenance and cleanliness. There are no wear and tear issues in it. The initial investment may be expensive, but it is worth the price.
Solar power is a silent generator of electricity. Unlike power plants or generators, solar plants functions silently keeping the milieu free from noise pollution. Homes having solar panels on their roof hardly face any problem or disturbance. They go about their daily work undistracted and undisturbed. You will not even understand that such complex machinery is working above your head.
The Sun shines forever. Humans may exhaust oil reserves, but they cannot run out of solar energy. Import of crude oil and petroleum accounts to around 40%of US import. Consumption of solar energy will reduce the dependency on foreign resources thereby creating energy independence. Energy independence of the country begins with energy independence of each family residing in it.
Easy to install:
Solar panels are easy to install. Since you have to install them on roofs, you do not need to create space in your house. Solar panels make good use of the roof and are not that difficult to fix into place. Also, consultants are readily available to guide consumers through every step of installation. You need to select a good consultant who will assure that your solar panel works smoothly.
Incessant solar power:
Every home will have incessant power supply. Solar supply is consistent and constant. Sun rise everyday so there is no hiatus in the supply. It is a myth that solar energy is not effective in monsoons or when cloudy. Solar systems have batteries, so in times of intense heat, the battery stores extra power which the machine can use any time. As consumption of electricity in homes are mostly during the day with the rising of the sun, so solar energy is apt for home use.
Investment on solar power is always profitable than investing in utility companies who exploit their customers with unreasonable prices. These prices are always going to go upscale whereas with solar panels the cost would remain same. One can easily calculate the energy cost for the next ten –twenty years.
Social and environmental contribution:
A noble deed infuses high level of contentment and self worth. The fact that we are in our own way contributing towards a better world makes us feel good about ourselves.
Solar energy is emission-free pure energy. It checks pollution. Fossil fuel emits lots of smoke when used. This causes increased level of carbon dioxide in the environment thereby creating a threat to global warming and polluting the very environment we live in. Rise in pollution level and smog gradually affects our health in other ways as well.
Switching to solar power leads to less consumption of fossil fuel thereby leading to a pollution free world.
If you have a solar panel installed in your home, it is in the best interest of your family and nation as well. However you should consider a few things before installing:
a) Panels are difficult to install if the house has an asphalt shingle roof. Asphalt shingle roofs are shaky.
b) Installing solar panels at home is feasible if one lives in a state with protected solar access rights. Some home association owners object to installation of solar panels. But states like New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, New Mexico and California defines solar power access rights which makes installation hassle free.
c) If the energy consumption is very high than investing in solar power is advantageous.
d) Installation of solar power makes sense only when the home is self owned and not on rent.
e) Installation is possible only if the roof is in good condition and receives direct sunlight.
Solar power is always beneficial for homes. It makes all household appliances run at low cost while simultaneously reducing carbon footprint and conserving natural resources. If you have not switched over till now, it is never too late to get started. You can avail all the amazing benefits of a solar-powered house. You can increase your savings while making a significant contribution the environment.
It is an investment that will never go out of style. If you support sustainable development, then it is imperative that you switch to solar power.