Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment

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With the way energy costs are soaring nationwide, more people want to find a cheaper energy source. You may be wondering, “What is a solar panel, and how it can help me cut electricity costs for my home?”

Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment article cover image of solar panels on the roof

What Is a Solar Panel?

These panels are made from a type of silicon – and photovoltaic cells within the panel are what work to create the energy consumers can use. The cells in the panels are how the sunlight is collected and converted. Solar power occurs either through using the photovoltaic method or through a solar thermal set up.

You might think that you’ve never seen solar power in effect, but you may have and not realized it. Solar energy has been used in various devices for years. One such device is a solar calculator.

Solar calculators can run based solely on the power they get from the sun. The best part about solar energy is that it’s the energy that’s easily replenished and because it’s a natural resource. By using solar power, you’re saving financially and helping the environment.

It used to be that only businesses or the very wealthy used this type of energy because only they could afford it, but you don’t have to be a Bill Gates to have a home powered in part or wholly by solar panels.

It’s become a very cost-effective way to produce the electricity that you need. You can apply solar power benefits to your home and produce enough energy to say goodbye permanently to those staggering electric bills.

You can order solar kits yourself online and set them up to start producing the needed watts for your home today. You’ll want to get enough solar panels to take care of the electrical demands required for your home, so the amount that you purchase will be determined by the amount of wattage you use. You can figure that out by looking at your current electric bill, but ensure that you also check your seasonal electricity uses since it’s always more in winter and summer.

The panels that you buy can be used for recreational vehicles (like RVs), too. The sturdy panels can withstand some pretty intense weather – including hailstones. You can also use solar panels as an emergency supply of energy if you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to redo your entire home with solar energy.

When you decide to purchase these panels, you can find them separately or with a kit that includes everything you need for charging. A solar panel can save you money, provide your home (or vacation home) with energy, and help lessen your demand for fossil fuels. That’s innovative savings!

Why You Can Benefit from Solar Panel Cells

The cells in solar panels convert the light from the sun into energy that you can use as electricity. You can use this electricity to set yourself free from the rising costs of electricity served up through power companies, and you can use it to create a greener home.

are solar panels worth the investment

Not only is a greener home good for the earth’s resources, but it’s a healthier way for you to live as well. You might think that solar panel cells are new and haven’t been around that long.

These cells first put in appearance back in the late 1800s. Of course, there was a lot that scientists didn’t understand about the power and convenience that could be harvested by using these cells, but over time, this way of producing energy has gained in understanding and popularity.

At their simplest definition, these cells are semiconductors. The semiconductors get the light from the sun and then, through electrons, produce the power you can use. Think of the process as a current – much like you’d find the current flowing through a circuit in your home.

If you touch the current, you’ll get an electrical shock because you’ve come in contact with the voltage – the amount of electricity running through that contact point. To understand how these cells work to create energy, let’s simply explain it.

The battery in your car has both a positive and a negative charge. Solar panels work in the same manner. The cells in the panels, acting as semiconductors, create a positive and a negative.

Electrons in the semiconductor are released when the sunlight hits it (the contact point). This current is what’s used to create the electricity. If you’ve ever looked at a solar panel, the cell is inside the square module, which is inside the panel.

Several modules make up the panel. The bigger the panel, the more modules, the more cells you’ll have. What these cells can be used to power is amazing. Not only homes – but boats, RVs, and more.

Suppose you have a vacation home and it’s a good distance from civilization, and you don’t want your vacation to resemble life-like Little House on the Prairie. In that case, the solar panels’ cells can produce enough electricity to keep you in comfort.

Now, the good news for anyone who wants to switch to using solar energy is that you significantly reduce or eliminate your electric costs. But, in many cases, because you’re going green, you might qualify for a tax break.

The federal government offers a tax break to people who use solar energy. In many cases, the state also offers tax benefits for those who use solar energy. You’ll have to check with the state you reside in to see if you qualify. Be wise about saving and harness the power offered to you by simple solar panel cells.

What Solar Power Energy Can Do for You

Aren’t you ready to finally set yourself free from the grid? Solar power energy can handle most, if not all, of the same electric wattage tasks that regular electric energy does. When you’re ready to take a shower or a soothing bath and want warm water to relax in, the power of solar energy is the source that can make sure your hot water tank is ready to give you the temperature you want with your water.

Are you sick and tired of dreading every single winter season because you know the heating bills are going to be astronomical? They don’t have to be if you’ll tap into the abundance of electricity available through solar panels.

Even if you don’t want to go completely solar, you can have a considerable reduction in expenses and watch your savings grow to the point that you’ll have extra money to do some of the fun extras that families enjoy.

Take a vacation, buy the boat you’ve always wanted – by saving on energy costs, you free up a lot more of your money. You can set your home up yourself to start saving, or you can hire an expert to get the job done for you. And even with the labor cost of installing the panels, this will still be a project (unlike some home projects) that will pay for itself.

By having and using solar energy, you won’t have to worry about being left in the dark again. If you live in a state that often has power blackouts, you can still be up and running.

You’ll be able to have lights (a dark home can cause safety issues for families), and you’ll be able to keep your food from spoiling. Generators use gas (which depletes the earth’s natural resources), and they’re loud – but not only that, they aren’t always ready to work the moment you need them to. You want usable power that’s ready when you need it to be – power you can depend on.

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When you buy your solar panels, you can spend a little, or you can spend a lot. The type of panel you purchase will determine how much energy you can harvest from the sun. You’ll see labels like amorphous, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline used in conjunction with solar panels. These are referring to the different kinds of silicone within the panel, and the type you get does matter as far as energy production is concerned.

Solar panel energy comes from high-efficiency panels and can be purchased in single or multiple panels. You’ll need a charger for the panels, and you can either buy those separately or in a kit.

A small panel installed on the top of an RV can offer enough continuous use to last consumers for over 20 years. The energy can be stored and ready to provide power when you need it.

What to Look for in a Home Solar Panel

It seems as if everything is costing more today than ever before. Everywhere you turn, your pocket is getting tapped for you to fork over more money. Are you like millions of other Americans that are sick and tired of inflation in your energy costs?

If so, you might want to consider switching to solar energy created by using solar panels. You’ll find that not every home solar panel is made alike. They’ll differ in size, cost, and energy efficiency.

Some will only last approximately seven years, while others can last for 25. The long-lasting panels are not always the ones that cost the most. The best panels to buy are the ones that offer you the highest return electricity rate.

For example, panels that use amorphous silicone take longer to stabilize the amount of energy it produces, and it doesn’t make as much energy as other silicones. Many of these panels give approximately 5% in return electricity rate.

It takes more panels using amorphous than it does with other silicones, which means more cost to you. While these types of panels might be great for a smaller project, you wouldn’t want to use this type for your home. Plus, they’re just not a good bet if you live in a state where cold weather is an issue.

Amorphous silicone is one of three kinds that you can use. The next kind is polycrystalline. This is one of the most common panels used today. They’re very cost-effective and have a long-lasting history of dependability.

The most popular panel is the monocrystalline silicone. These panels are perfect for colder climates; they’re long-lasting and have a high return electricity rate. The return electricity rate is one of the essential factors that you want to consider when purchasing panels.

The type of solar panels you set up for your home will make a difference because some of the panels are specifically used with grid-tied systems. This means that your home is one that’s tied in with a utility company.

Most of the time, you can find systems that are tied to grids that end up costing you less and don’t require a rocket scientist to use. Not only that but if you end up creating more electricity than you need, your electric company can end up paying you because you’re generating electricity that can end up back in the grid.

There are a few things you’ll want to think about when you want to install a home solar panel. You’ll need to consider how many rainy days your area has versus good sunny days. Areas that have a more than average amount of rainfall aren’t good candidates for solar energy systems.

Solar Panel Cost – It’s Less Than You Think

There are a lot of questions about the bottom line of solar panel cost. Most people want to know the price of the panels when this isn’t an accurate way to figure out what it will cost you to set your home up on a solar panel system.

Before you do anything, look for your state’s energy office. Each state has one – some might be called the conservation office. When you find it, search their site for renewable energy links.

Use those links to see if your state offers any rebates or credits for outfitting your home with solar panels. If so, you can figure in that financial break as part of the savings for going green.

When adding up the costs involved with having a more economical way of getting electricity, don’t look so hard at the forest that you miss the trees. Because it’s what you overlook that can be where the real savings lie.

Let’s say you’ve decided to use a grid-tied system, and it’s going to cost you $1,000 to set up a small solar system. On your state’s energy site, you see that they’re offering a $300 rebate and a tax credit worth $75.

Why a Solar Panel is Worth the Investment

Your system now only costs $625 for you to buy. You look at your electric bills and see that your costs vary between $250 and $325, depending on the season. Once you have your system set up, your account drops to an average of $75.

You’re saving between $175 to $250 every month. Within a few months, that $1,000 system is paid for just by rebates and energy savings alone. Many utility companies also offer savings for people who want to set up their home with solar panels. When it’s time to file your taxes, you might discover that you get more savings from the federal government, too.

But before you decide which panels you want to buy, figure out how many kilowatt-hours of electricity your home uses and buy your system based on whether you want solar energy to cover all of your home electric output or only some of it.

Take into consideration too the location of your home and the number of daylight hours you get. Some solar systems can be expensive, but keep in mind that when you buy your system, the cost of living will continue to rise.

Electricity rates will rise, but with a solar system in place that takes care of all of your electric demands, you won’t have to be concerned with those increasing costs. What you pay for upfront will last you many years.

The solar panel cost you pay for your home gives you back dividends in energy resource savings, convenience (having power when a storm knocks out power to your neighbors), and financial savings. So the real question isn’t, “What does it cost me to get a solar panel system for my home?” but rather, “What will it cost me if I don’t?”

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