Are Solar Systems a Worthy Investment?

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For many of us with green aspirations, having our homes be energy independent — not to mention getting rid of an electric bill altogether — is like finding the Holy Grail. Installing a solar energy system on your home is one of the quickest ways to achieve that. However, this isn’t an inexpensive option, and there are a lot of things to think about when you decide whether or not they will work for you.

Be sure to consider these factors when making your decision:

They will reduce your energy bill

Energy providers nationwide are planning to increase their rates up to 10% over the next year, and of course there’s no guarantee it will end there. Installing solar panels will have a dramatic impact on your energy bill, as they will generate the majority — if not all — of the electricity your home uses. Still, it’s no secret that having solar panels installed can get very pricey. Most advisors that provide solar systems, like www.anglianhome.co.uk, will be able to give you an estimate of how much you could save each month. Calculating your monthly and yearly savings will be an essential factor to consider when deciding whether to go for it.

You can earn money back

There aren’t very many situations in which the government or the energy company pay you, rather than the other way around. But if you install solar panels, you will be generating renewable energy and therefore become eligible for tax credits. On top of that, assuming you’re still connected to their grid, you’ll also get paid by your electric company for extra energy that you feed into the grid.

Many people wonder if there’s a catch here. There is none.  Energy independence is the goal, and when individual homeowners take steps to help us all get there as a nation, there are benefits, including tax breaks and discounts.

They are durable and easy to maintain

In addition to all the energy and financial benefits, solar panel systems require little to no maintenance and are generally hassle free, as long as they were installed correctly in the first place. As they are built with a relatively simple structure, there aren’t many problems that can occur with them. This means that you won’t have to do anything once they are installed other than maybe the odd cleaning, though dust is not known to cause any functional issues.

They are designed to last at least 25 years, which makes it very unlikely they’ll have to be replaced or updated. However, be sure to learn about your provider’s policies regarding the length of time you need to keep them for, as some companies want them installed for a set number of years. This is definitely something to consider if you are thinking of selling your home in the near future.

They can be used all year long

Many people are put off from making the plunge and going for solar systems because, no matter where you live, we can’t control the weather. They do work best of course, while the sun is at its strongest. However, contrary to what many believe, they also work during winter and colder days to absorb sunlight and generate energy. Learn about the optimum positions in which to install the panels. South facing locations are generally best, because north facing properties with lots of shade are usually unsuitable. You should also consider whether your area requires any special permits or requirements before having your panels installed.

What other things should people consider when deciding whether to have solar panels installed? Leave your ideas in the comments below!

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2 comments… add one

  • James Paulson December 10, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I have a few neighbors here in Chicago that recently installed Solar Panels, so I think they are a worthy investment. From talking to them, there’s a pretty large up-front cost, but down the line, the benefit you’re doing for the environment is worth it all!

  • Lori Granger December 10, 2013, 4:43 pm

    How do you install a new roof if you have solar panels on?

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