What Are the Benefits of Solar Energy?
What Are the Benefits of Solar Energy?
Solar energy uses the sun’s rays to produce heat and electricity. It’s a clean, renewable power source that can be used anywhere on Earth.
Switching to solar energy is an ideal solution for businesses of all types and sizes to save money on their electric bills. Furthermore, it helps guard against future increases in energy prices.
1. Clean Energy
Solar energy is the future of renewable energy sources. It utilizes multiple technologies to capture and store solar light and heat, such as photovoltaic (PV) devices, solar heating & cooling (SHC) systems, and concentrating solar power (CSP) plants.
Solar energy offers several advantages, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and conserving water. These attributes make solar energy an attractive alternative to fossil fuels which may cause extensive environmental harm and contribute to global warming.
Unfortunately, solar panels also create a lot of waste. According to IRENA’s official projections, the world could be producing 78 million tons of solar waste by 2050.
2. Environmentally Friendly
Solar energy is a renewable resource that helps reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. As such, it offers an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels like coal or natural gas.
Solar energy is also environmentally friendly because it requires fewer resources than other forms of power generation, such as coal or nuclear. For instance, it consumes between 2%-15% less water than traditional sources like coal or nuclear plants.
Furthermore, it produces very little air pollution. This is essential as it helps reduce acid rain, smog and particulate matter that are linked to health issues.
3. Save Money
One of the greatest advantages of solar energy is that it can save you money. Your panel system produces a significant amount of electricity during the day and sells this to your utility company at night, thus decreasing your power bill.
Your savings will depend on your average energy use, the size of your solar system and when those panels pay for themselves. Furthermore, financial incentives may shorten the payback period for these investments.
Solar systems typically take homeowners 7 to 8 years to pay for themselves, though this timeline may differ based on your location and other factors. Regardless, it will be worth the wait when your solar panels start producing an abundance of free electricity and save you money each month on your electric bill.
4. Increase Home Value
Solar energy systems can increase the resale value of your home. This is because solar panels reduce electricity bills and make your house more energy-efficient, thus increasing its overall worth.
According to a study published in the Appraisal Journal, solar systems can increase home value by $20 for every $1 they save on utility costs. That means that saving $400 annually on your energy bill could add an extra $8,000 to your house’s worth.
The same article noted that homeowners can take advantage of net metering programs to receive credit for any excess energy produced by their solar system and sell it back to the electric company. These credits accumulate over time and can be applied towards paying off future electric bills.
5. Tax Credits
Installing solar energy on your property qualifies you for a federal tax credit, also known as an investment tax credit (ITC). This credit is worth 30% of the gross system cost associated with your solar project.
The Investment Tax Credit is available to both residential and commercial taxpayers.
Tax credits are nonrefundable and used to reduce federal income taxes. If you don’t owe enough taxes to claim the full credit, you may roll it over into subsequent years.
The ITC is an excellent way to reduce your electric bill and receive money back from the government. However, it’s always wise to consult a certified tax professional with any questions about eligibility before using this program.