Consumer Reports: Solar Energy – The Truth About Solar Energy

Is Solar Energy Worth It?

When you’re stuck in crippling debt and see no hope of a better future, you’ll do just about anything to make ends meet. That’s what caused many Americans to switch banks and mortgage brokers, taking on huge debts they couldn’t possibly repay.

The government, already strapped for cash, stepped in and decided to help. The result: the 2008-09 financial crisis. It took years for the economy to recover, and many people are still struggling. During that time, the value of solar energy dropped by more than half.

While the cost of solar electricity has declined significantly since then, it’s still not affordable for the average person. What’s more, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover the cost of solar installations. That means you could be on the hook for a large sum if something goes wrong.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

So, is solar energy worth it? There are a few good things you need to understand. First, if you live in a sunny region, you’ll benefit greatly from solar energy. Your electricity bills will likely drop by about 30%. That’s good. Second, going green is good for the environment. Producing solar energy doesn’t contribute to global warming, so you’re doing your planet a favor. Third, many states offer rebates for purchasing solar energy products, which further lowers your costs.

On the other hand, there’s a lot to complain about. First, even in the best-case scenario, you’ll still need to pay for electricity generated by solar energy. That’s not good. Second, you’re totally dependent on the weather. If it doesn’t shine, you’ve got zero power. Third, many people falsely believe that solar energy is completely free. That’s not true at all. You’ll still need to purchase expensive equipment upfront, as well as pay for maintenance and repairs. Finally, your electricity will never be entirely reliable, as it could shut off at any time, leaving you without power.

The Truth About The Labor Pool Effect

One of the major complaints people have about solar energy is that it’s unreliable. That has to do with the fact that you’re totally dependent on the sun’s energy and can’t guarantee that it will always be available. To prove this point, one researcher looked at 20 years of weather data and calculated that the average American household spends about $500 annually keeping their pool heated during the summer months.

That amounts to a lot of money, especially if you consider that the average cost of solar electricity is about $0.12-$0.20 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The good news is there are ways for homeowners to save money without compromising their quality of life. One of the simplest solutions is to invest in a pool pump that can store energy, especially during the day when the sun is shining. With a pool pump, you’ll never be without electricity, and you can reduce your average power bill by about 70%.

Pumps are only as good as their batteries, however, so you might still need to worry about running out of electricity during the day if you don’t have backups. Thankfully, there are solutions for that too. Batteries are getting cheaper by the year, which is why it’s more affordable to invest in a backup power system than to install solar panels on your roof. Batteries alone can store enough energy for a small bedroom.

The Downside Of Going Green

Another downside to solar energy is that it’s not an economical choice for all homeowners. That’s because you’ll need to invest in expensive equipment, as well as pay for the installation and upkeep. Installing solar panels on your roof doesn’t come cheap. That’s why many believe it’s best suited for people with large roofs, such as ranches or corporate buildings. On the bright side, you’ll benefit greatly from any decrease in energy bills, regardless of your income level.

For most homeowners, the best option is to look for rebates from energy providers or environmental organizations. Many states have now passed laws requiring their utilities to provide rebates for purchasing and installing solar energy products. That’s how you can benefit without having to spend a lot of money.

What About Global Warming?

Some people worry about global warming due to climate change. The truth is that the earth’s temperature has been increasing for years, and there’s no clear indication that this trend will stop. Going green won’t stop climate change, but it can at least help reduce your electricity bills and give you a small sense of satisfaction knowing you’re doing your part to help the environment.

Even if you believe that global warming is completely man-made and that it’s a threat to your personal safety, you have to admit that the earth has been treating us fairly well up to this point. The technology to combat climate change already exists, but the problem is that the profit-driven energy industry has spent billions of dollars preventing us from using it. If you want to protect your personal safety and the earth, you’ll need to invest in reliable power sources, such as nuclear energy.

Nuclear Energy (Not Just For Generating Electricity)

If you want to avoid paying astronomical power bills and don’t want to put your personal safety at risk, you have several renewable energy options available to you. One of the best, and arguably the safest, is nuclear energy. Not only is it extremely affordable, but it’s also one of the most reliable energy sources out there.

Nuclear power plants generate electricity through a process known as fission. During fission, uranium atoms are split in two. One of the fragments remains relatively stable, while the other breaks down into smaller and more readily available particles, which can be used to power the plant.

Nuclear energy is essentially unlimited, except for what you have in your backyard. You’ll need to do some research to find out what kind of plant would be suitable for your unique environment. You’ll also need to make sure that your area is completely shielded from radiation, as any leak could be dangerous. Make sure to contact your local power company for more information about the types of plants available in your area.

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