Why Go Solar? Answered!
Ok! Let’s clear the air. After all, isn’t that what “going solar” is all about? If you’re still unsure about why it’s a good idea keep reading…
Toss the electric bill. Get a long-term solar energy system!
While there’s a lot to be known about the solar energy industry, there are also many misconceptions surrounding “going solar”. What we have come to realize is that many times it’s simply due to a lack of knowledge in the industry or false information passed on from others. In this blog, we discuss in great detail the benefits of going solar.
We will not only discuss the benefits of solar power as a renewable energy source, but we will also explain and provide a better understanding of questions surrounding the following concepts listed below
☀️Installing solar panels
☀️Federal tax credits
☀️How going solar can save money (such as net metering)
☀️Environmental impacts on natural resources, fossil fuels, and gases
☀️Going solar over traditional electricity
Let’s start by understanding that solar power is a renewable energy source, also known as clean energy. This means energy that comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished. For example, the sun and the wind will keep shining and blowing, even if their availability depends on time and weather.
Many times people have thought of renewable energy as a source of modern technology. However, in reality, we have been relying on the use of the sun and nature as a whole for decades. Some of the ways in which we have been relying on nature would include the energy used for transportation, heating, lighting, and harvesting. To understand renewable energy in laymen’s terms, would be to simply understand that it is infinite clean energy that is generated by nature.
INSTALLING SOLAR PANELS
Now that you have a better understanding of renewable energy, let’s further explore how installing solar panels and generating renewable energy work together to every homeowner’s benefit. When installing solar panels on a residence there are typically 5 steps involved.
The first step of installation is called the engineering site visit also known as the site survey. During the site survey, an engineer will come out and inspect your roof or ground (depending on your mounting preference), to ensure the quality and structure of your preference is suitable for installation.
Assuming all goes well during the site survey, the second step includes the signing of permits and documentation (which also encompasses the layout design, number of panels, and electricity usage evaluation). This step is followed by the ordering of your panels.
Once your panels have been ordered and arrive. The fourth step is solar panel installation. On average installing solar panels on the average residential property take anywhere between 1 to 3 business days (some may take longer).
When installation is complete, and before we “flip the switch” also known as connecting the panels to the electric grid, your installation must undergo a final evaluation by an electrician to ensure no glaring issues.
You can expect to wait two weeks to a month for the town approval and utility approval to occur. Once this has taken place…Viola, you’ve gone solar my friend!
The entire process to go solar can take an average of about 2-3 months.
We won’t go too in detail about how solar works. You can check out my YouTube video “What is Solar?” here https://youtu.be/e2zgO0BpzVA for more details surrounding that. It is important to note that the solar cells are responsible for absorbing the sun’s heat (aka renewable energy) and converting it into a current known as Alternate Current or AC. Alternate current creates the electricity that powers your home.
SOLAR SAVING YOU MONEY
Okay, I’m sure by now you’re probably saying to yourself okay Earl, enough about the logistics let’s get to the money! You know the whole “how solar can save me” thing you mentioned earlier…?
Well, I’m glad you asked because I had actually forgotten to add how much money you can save by going solar!
I’ll start by saying that over the last 10 years solar has dropped in cost by 75%, making it a more affordable investment for all homeowners.
So, there’s that!
According to Solarreviews.com, “The average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer is 10,972 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, or an average of 914 kWh per month. Multiply that by the national average electricity rate as of June 2020 ($0.13 per kWh) and you’ll find that the typical American family has electricity bills totaling $1,450 a year. This means that if enough solar panels were to be installed to cover the average electricity usage across the country, average solar panel system savings for any home in America in 2020 would be about $1,450 per year.“
I’m not sure about you, but I can comfortably argue that that’s a TON of savings! Especially considering the fact that the average homeowner stays in their home for about 13 years. So, let’s just take these figures and do some basic math.
$1450/year savings (13/years in residence) = $18,850/SAVINGS!!!!!
FEDERAL TAX CREDIT
As if these weren’t enough savings, in most states going solar allow homeowners to take advantage of Federal Tax Credits. A federal tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the income tax you owe. These credits reduce the amount of taxes you owe to the federal government. Federal tax credits on going solar vary by states.
Here in the states of Texas in most cases homeowners are receiving a 22% tax credit on their solar energy installation. If you’re not sure how much of a tax credit your state qualifies for you can visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (https://www.dsireusa.org/).
Okay, so let’s do some more basic math.
In Texas, the average solar system loan will range anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000. For the sake of simplicity, let’s take the average of $35,000.
$35,000 (cost of solar loan) MINUS 22% (federal tax credit deduction) = $27,300 (new loan)
equates to a savings of $7,700 on your solar installation.
Now, if we take our yearly savings of $1,450 (mentioned above) and we add those savings to our federal tax credit deduction of $7,700 (in the state of Texas), that is a total savings of $9,150 by going solar.
Note: this does not factor in the savings accumulated over the course of 13 years (average duration of homeownership).
Are you starting to see how these numbers add up? Can you see where going can save you money from day one?
One more savings incentive that I do not want to forget to mention is what is known as Net Metering. Net metering is described as a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid.
For example, if a residential customer has a solar system on their roof, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours.
As a result of this over generated electricity, the homeowner will receive a credited bill or a bill with a zero balance instead, a negative balance which includes a credit that can be used towards a future bill.
If you’re not convinced by now that going solar isn’t an expense but more so an investment of great return, then maybe rereading this blog from the beginning would create that “aha” moment that more than 2 million homeowners have had since the start of 2019.
(SOLAR > TRADITIONAL)
As there are many financial benefits of going solar there are also perhaps more importantly, the environmental benefits of doing so as well. In an article written by Taryn Holowka, of the U.S. Green Council, Holowka stated that “solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuels”. As we know that traditionally electricity is sourced from fossil fuels and natural gas. When fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity, they emit harmful gases that are the primary cause of air pollution and global climate change.
It is also very important to note that the production of electricity by way of fossil fuels requires a great deal of water resources which is a leading factor in water pollution. However, solar energy on the other hand requires little to no water to operate efficiently. Based on this information, three factually based arguments surrounding solar and the environment can be made:
1) Solar panels create a clean source of energy.
2) Solar panels do not pollute our resources.
3) Solar does not put a strain on the world’s water supply.
Fun Fact! Did you know that the typical solar panel installation on a home eliminates 3 to 4 TONS of carbon dioxide emissions each year?
In conclusion, it is my hope that you were able to take away some valuable information in regard to the benefits of going solar. We were able to do discuss the basis of solar power as a renewable energy source, the process of a residential solar installation, how solar saves you money, and the environmental benefits of going solar over traditional electricity production. As I stated in the beginning of the blog my efforts were to answer any and all questions that you may have had surrounding these topics.
As owner of ValuSolar+, it is just as important for my friends, family, and clients to understand the basis of going solar as it is in actually deciding to “Go Solar”.
I’ll leave you with this, as always, should you have any questions about going solar or just needing some general information please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly!
Much love, peace and happiness!