[Practical Truths] Pros and Cons of Solar Power For Home Use

clean park

Solar panel use on home is definitely on the rise. Just drive around your neighborhood and you will see more of them on houses.

But there are Pros and Cons of solar power, and let’s break them down in this article:

Overview

Pros Cons
Improve the value of your home Buying panels can be expensive
Lower your electric bill No sun, no energy
Earn money back on your investment Doesn’t work for every roof type
Reduce your carbon footprint Interfere with basic roof repair
Basically free energy Hit or miss when finding installers
Tax credits Requires constant rooftop attention
Various outdoor applications Expensive solar energy storage setup

Pros

Increases Home Value

Houses that already have solar panels installed attract many home buyers because they increase the home value for sale for energy savings if done right.

Even if you’re planning on moving in the near future, you’ll earn back your solar panel investment when you sell your home.

Lower Your Electric Bill

reduced cost

No body likes to worry about rising utility cost on top of their busy lives. In most scenarios, there is nothing you can do, and you will pay to live comfortable regardless how expensive it gets.

Going solar puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to energy generation

The average household pays around $1700-2,200 on electricity every year based on location and usage, while large households can spend up to $5,000.

Solar panels will bring your cost down to about $80 to $200 a month based on location, that’s roughly $2500 savings back into your account for other things.

Off Grid Energy

solar energy field

When using solar energy, people can go green and go off grid. If you ever want to build a remote house, this is the way to go assuming you picked a great location to get maximum amount of sunlight on a annual basis.

Outdoor Applications

electric fence type

Use it on RV and other outdoor applications such as

Reduce Carbon Emission

carbon emmission

Energy harvested from the sun dramatically lowers electric bills. At the same time, relying on clean, emission-free solar energy significantly shrinks an individual’s carbon footprint.

The average American household produces ~15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, (average 957 kilowatt hours monthly energy consumption).

Every kilowatt installed lowers your home’s carbon footprint by over 3,000 pounds per year

You can’t completely eliminate your home’s greenhouse gas emissions, but solar power goes a long way in shrinking household waste.

Tax Credit Incentives

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are a solar incentive that allows homeowners to sell certificates for energy to their utility. It exists because the renewable portfolio standard state laws requires a specific percentage of their electricity from renewable resources.

If you live in one of those states, you can benefit from it. Click here to see the states.

A homeowner can one SREC for every 1000 kilowatt hours (kWhs) produced by their solar panel system. An SREC can be worth over $300 in certain states.

Cons

Weather Dependent

cloudy colorado

Cloudy skies are not ideal for producing consistent solar power especially when its consistent in your region. In addition snow, dirt, storm, tornado , hail and other mother nature factors that can prevent solar panels from working at its peak performance and even damage them.

You can’t control the weather, but you can maintain it to your best ability. Learn how to maintain solar panels here.

Location Dependent

US solar map

Geographic location is an important factor to considering solar energy.

Some places get a lot of sunlight and other places not so much. In addition, certain locations are prone to the inclement weather conditions listed above. Wind can cause issues in some locations as well if there is a lot of sand, dust, or loose dirt that can build up on the panel.

Lifestyles

moving van

If you relocate a lot and frequently within 3- 4 years for career change or for active duty military, adding solar panels to your rooftop just to save couple thousand dollars a year isn’t worth the chase in the whole grand scheme of things on top of personal financial reasons.

If you’re a high income earner, you are more likely to focus your attention on things that will give you higher ROI, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad idea to add solar panel if that genuinely interests you.

Expensive Up-Front Cost

The up-front cost of installing solar panels and power storage system for a home is an expensive investment in addition to your home mortgage. Some people take out loans to buy solar panels and end up creating more financial stress in their lives later on, and the balance sheet just doesn’t a whole lot of sense.

If you’re well established in life financially and have settled down in a spot, then it’s more justifiable to go all in on a solar home project.

Based on my personal experience, you’re better off focus your attention on creating wealth and do more interesting things in life than to install solar panels just to save a couple thousand a year on electric bills.

Difficulty Finding Qualified Local Installers

solar panel installer safety

As the solar industry grows, the pricing is getting more competitive.

You can get quotes from various companies in your local areas and there is 4/5 chances that you will be dealing with price negotiation and pushy sales pitch to get more money out of your pocket.

It is what it is and people need to make money and you want a good deal.

Do your research first, know the facts before speaking to a rep on the phone as they try to close the sale.

Key Takeaways:

  • Solar panel cuts down energy cost in the long run
  • Reduces carbon footprint and create more greener environment
  • Perfect for off grid use & other outdoor applications
  • Increases home value if you do it right
  • Expensive up front cost, sometimes it may not make a lot of sense based on your finances
  • Utility bill savings may not worthy a high income earners’ focus or time

Ying Xu

Graduated from the University of Kansas with an Aerospace Engineering degree & served 4 years as an US Air Force officer. Experienced with basic survival skills, weapon system security,  technical disaster recovery, and system troubleshooting

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