The Benefits of Solar Energy and How to Get Started

Benefits of Solar Energy

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Using solar energy to make electricity gets cheaper each year. This makes more Americans switch to solar power. Over a million solar setups are now working in the United States. This shows many people are choosing this clean energy option1. Solar power saves money on monthly bills, offers a safe investment over time, and boosts property values.

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Solar energy makes homes more valuable. Research by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found homes can go up in value by $15,000 with solar panels1. This shows there’s a growing desire for homes with solar tech. And, a solar system can make your home worth $15,000 more than similar homes near you that lack solar panels2.

Going solar is not just good for your wallet. It’s great for the planet too. Solar power cuts down on harmful gases like CO2 and pollutants such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides. Besides, America has a huge solar potential. Just one hour of strong, midday summer sun can power the whole country for a year. This means solar energy is a big opportunity for many places in the U.S1.

If you want to learn about the benefits of solar power and how to start, many resources can guide you. You can find help in learning about government incentives and setting up your solar system. The move to green energy is easier and more inviting than ever before.

What is Solar Energy?

Solar energy is power from the sun converted into electricity3. It is not only renewable but also sustainable. Imagine this: an hour of sunshine at noon during summer equals the entire yearly electricity need in the U.S4.. Solar panels, or photovoltaic cells, change sunlight into power. They offer a green way to produce electricity, beating out polluting fossil fuels.

Harnessing the Power of the Sun

Solar panels can last 25 to 30 years3. They are fitted on roofs of homes and companies to supply power. More sunlight means more electricity4. Thanks to better tech and lower prices5, using the sun for energy is getting easier and cheaper.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Source

Solar energy is never-ending, unlike oil and gas4. It cuts reliance on resources that can run out and boosts energy freedom. It empowers us to have electricity when the grid is down4. Solar power is spreading worldwide5. It’s a boundless, eco-friendly choice for our energy future, saving the planet as it powers our lives.

Cost Savings with Solar Energy

Going solar is a great investment for many reasons. It saves a lot of money on energy bills. In the U.S., most homes see their solar systems pay for themselves in about 8.5 years. At this point, they can enjoy free energy from the sun6. A typical home solar system costs $2.85 per watt, which equals around $2,850 per kilowatt. Systems are usually between 5 kW and 10 kW in size6. So, a 5 kW system would cost about $14,250. A 10 kW system, on the other hand, would be around $28,500, before relevant tax credits6.

Lower Monthly Utility Bills

On average, an American household spends $1,834 yearly on electricity, or about $154 per month7. But, solar panels can slash these bills by a lot. Homeowners can save anywhere from $25,000 to $110,000 over their system’s life. Typically, savings add up to $46,000 over 25 years7. These savings make a big difference, letting families spend on other things.

Long-term Low-risk Investment

Solar systems are solid, long-term investments. They usually last 25 to 30 years, offering big savings in energy costs. With a solar system, you could save between $25,500 and $33,000. These amounts vary based on where you live and how much sun your area gets8. Plus, there’s a 30% federal solar tax credit that cuts down the upfront cost even more8.

If you’re aiming to lower your bills each month or make a safe, long-term financial choice, solar is the way to go. You can pick the right system size and finance plan to start saving and help the planet. The benefits of solar energy last for many years678.

Increased Home Value with Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can really increase your home’s value. They are seen as great home improvements, similar to a new kitchen or basement. A solar energy system can make your home worth more when you choose to sell it9.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) says every dollar you save on energy bills adds $20 to your home’s value10. This means a house with solar panels can sell for more. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that buyers might pay over $15,000 extra for a solar home1110.

But solar panels not only save money. They also attract buyers who care about energy efficiency and sustainability. 67% of buyers think these things are very important1110. This interest in solar homes can add up to a 4.1% higher sale price compared to non-solar homes1110.

In some places, the advantage is even clearer. In New York, solar homes can sell for nearly $24,000 more10. This extra value depends on where the house is, how much energy it saves, and how much potential buyers like solar power.

Solar home value

There are more than just financial benefits from solar. Homes with panels sell 20% faster, says Zillow9. This is because more people want energy-efficient, sustainable homes today. Solar panels make your home more appealing to buyers.

Thinking about adding solar panels? It’s a wise investment. They boost your home’s value and appeal. Solar panels make your most valuable asset worth more. They are a smart, profitable choice.

Solar Works Everywhere

The United States has an amazing solar resource. Just one hour of summer sun at noon matches the nation’s yearly electricity need12. This huge solar power potential shows that solar energy is a great choice everywhere, from coast to coast.

In places like the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the solar power potential is significant, too12. They get as much sun as countries leading in solar technology, such as Germany12. So, solar power is cost-effective for both homes and businesses, no matter where they are.

Solar power is great for all kinds of climates. It works through different systems like photovoltaics and concentrating solar power12. This means solar is good for small home roofs or big industrial projects alike.

No matter the weather where you are, solar has benefits. With new solar cell technology, like thin-film cells, solar power’s reach is growing. It stays a practical and available energy option for the future131214.

Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy

Using solar energy greatly helps the environment. It doesn’t emit harmful gases like fossil fuels do. Thus, changing to solar power in a U.S. home equals benefits like planting 125 trees a year or cutting coal use by over 8,000 pounds a year15.

Solar power also saves a lot of water. For setting up solar sites, solar experts look at many aspects such as site designs and impact on wildlife16. The U.S. Department of Energy and groups like the Avian-Solar Multi-Agency Working Group work on these issues16.

Improvements in solar technology also help the planet. For example, solar panels have become more efficient15. Since 1996, the time solar panels take to make up for their energy use has decreased by 12.8%. Less raw material is now used in these panels, too15. Plus, in 2020, some solar cells achieved a 47% efficiency in lab tests15.

Even though it’s not perfect, solar energy is cleaner than fossil fuels. It creates no pollution when working, but making and recycling solar products can harm the environment15. Yet, the gains in cleaner air and less water use are very important for our planet’s health and for a sustainable future161517.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar power has many advantages that make it a top choice for millions. Currently, about 4 million American families use solar energy18. They get a 30% tax credit for installing solar systems, which will drop to 26% after January 1, 203318. Also, a solar system raises a home’s value. Solar panels are seen as valuable upgrades18. They work well in different climates and don’t need constant sunshine to work18.

The financial perks of solar energy are clear. By using solar, homeowners can save up to $1,005 each year19. Solar helps ease the pressure on the grid during peak times, like early afternoons and evenings19. Solar power is great for places with lots of sun but no electricity grids19.

But the benefits of solar go beyond saving money. Solar panels don’t pollute, unlike fossil fuels, which emit around 21.3 billion metric tons of CO2 yearly20. Solar energy could provide over 10,000 times the world’s current energy needs. Just using 0.02% of sunlight could replace all other energy sources20. This means solar power can greatly improve life for the 90% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have electricity20.

With its many advantages, it’s no surprise many Americans are choosing solar power. It can save you money, raise your home’s value, and help the planet. Solar is a smart choice for anyone aiming to cut their use of nonrenewable energy, lower bills, or secure a long-term investment with little risk.

Getting Started with Solar Energy

Thinking about switching to solar energy? There are key points to keep in mind. Many benefits exist, from federal and state solar incentives to planning your system. Knowing this helps make the change to sustainable power easy.

Federal and State Incentives

The federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a great advantage, giving a 26% tax credit for systems set up from 2020 to 202221. However, this benefit will lessen to 22% in 2023 and might disappear in 2024 if not extended by Congress21. Additionally, many states and towns provide extra incentives and refunds to help with solar setup costs21.

Planning Your Solar Energy System

In planning your system, consider your roof’s size, its sun exposure, and how much electricity you use21. These factors are key in choosing the right system. Solar leases and PPAs offer a way to lower your electricity costs without paying too much upfront, making solar power more affordable21.

Buying a solar energy system makes you eligible for the Solar ITC21. Beyond tax benefits, installing solar panels can boost your home’s value, just like a new kitchen or basement renovation22. Careful research and planning make it possible to benefit from these incentives and invest wisely in renewable energy.

solar installation

To learn about local incentives and policies, check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) with your zip code21. Solar co-ops and Solarize campaigns can also let you get better rates on solar systems by teaming up with neighbors21.

Picking solar energy can help you cut utility bills, lessen your environmental impact, and increase your home’s worth. With a good understanding of the available incentives and careful system planning, you’re taking big steps towards an eco-friendly and affordable energy future212223.

Solar Energy for Renters and Multi-Family Homes

Once, owning a home was seen as necessary for using solar energy. But now, things are different thanks to new ways of accessing solar power. These changes make it easier for renters and people in apartments to get solar energy24.

Community Solar Programs

Community solar lets many people benefit from one solar array. It doesn’t matter if you don’t own your place. These schemes help renters and apartment dwellers get the savings and green perks of solar without roof installations24.

In places like California, where new apartments must have solar, community solar is picking up steam24. Policies like virtual net metering and NEMA also help. They let the power from these solar sources be shared among different families’ energy bills24.

Shared Solar Arrays

Shared solar, or community solar, is great for those not able or willing to put panels on their roof. These systems are set up and looked after by solar experts or local groups. Power is then divided among the households involved25.

This way, people share the solar savings without the usual costs and work. It also acts as backup power in emergencies, keeping the lights on for everyone25.

Even landlords can find shared solar beneficial. It helps cut their tenants’ power bills, which could attract new tenants who care about the planet26.

With more community and shared solar options, going solar is easier for more people. These new solutions allow everyone to join in the clean energy movement. They bring the benefits of affordable, green energy to all242526.


The benefits of solar energy are huge. It can save money and boost your home’s value. Also, it’s great for our planet and can power many things27.

Solar energy could soon be our main energy source. It’s a great time for U.S. homeowners to look into it28. The solar industry is bringing lots of new jobs and helping the economy grow29.

Thanks to government help, more people can now use solar power. It’s a low-cost, low-maintenance choice for the environment and your home29. If you want to pay less for energy, boost your home’s value, or help the planet, solar is a top choice29.

As solar tech gets better, it’s becoming easier and more affordable to switch. Now is a great time to consider solar power28.

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