With the right products and installation, solar energy can be a viable option for homeowners who want to power their homes. The technology has been around for a while now, but it’s only recently that people have started realizing the benefits that solar energy can provide.
Unlike other renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power, which are often available only at certain times of the year, solar energy can be generated 24/7/365 and doesn’t rely on the weather conditions to provide for its availability.
This article is going to shed some light on the subject by discussing what solar energy is and how it works, as well as how homeowners can harness the power of the sun to provide for their daily needs.
What Is Solar Energy?
Put very simply, solar energy is the energy that the sun emits that is directly useful to mankind. The most common and efficient way of generating solar energy is through solar panels, which can be attached to the roof of your home or business.
The energy that is generated from solar panels is usually stored in some form of battery, such as a Tesla Powerwall®, which can provide electricity for devices such as electric vehicles, rooftop photovoltaic systems (PV), and battery-backed storage systems (BES), among others. The sun is naturally available to provide for our energy needs 24/7/365, so there’s no need to worry about running out of electricity due to peak demand times which occur during the day when electricity usage is at its highest. This is also known as the “power hungry” hour.
Where Can I Use Solar Energy?
One of the main reasons why homeowners opt for solar energy rather than other renewable energy sources is location; because they can be attached to the roof of your home or business, they can provide electricity in any place regardless of the weather conditions. If you live somewhere cold, like Canada or the northern parts of the United States, solar energy can be a great option because it doesn’t rely on the weather conditions to generate electricity, making it available any time. In areas where solar energy is already heavily subsidized by the government, like California, homeowners can look to take advantage of this and save a great deal of money.
How Long Does It Take To Get Started?
The time it takes to get started with solar energy is fairly minimal. While some companies and products come with a manual or quick start guide, others can be completely self-sufficient once you’ve plugged them in. The most minimal requirement to get started is a sunny climate and a roof with a suitable pitch to install the solar panels on (usually between 15° and 40°).
Once you have those two things, the rest is pretty much easy peasy.
How Much Does It Cost To Go Solar?
The price of going solar is something that usually surprises people who opt for this energy source as their main power option. Although the price of solar energy has come down significantly in recent years, it is still rather expensive when compared to traditional energy sources. For instance, a medium-sized residential solar installation that generates 4KW of electricity can cost up to $15,000 dollars.
This is mainly due to the cost of purchasing the equipment needed to go solar and of having someone come and install it for you. Nevertheless, as the costs always come down with further production and installation of solar power plants, the price of solar energy will continue to drop, making it a more cost-effective option for homeowners who want to go green.
The Pros And Cons Of Going Solar.
Now that you’re aware of what solar energy is and how it works, let’s take a quick look at its pros and cons. As with any other power option, there are benefits and drawbacks to going solar. First, the good things. The good things include savings on your energy bill and being able to generate your own electricity even during times of peak demand (which is usually at noon to 4 p.m. during the summer months).
In addition to those clear benefits, homeowners can also experience some of the following perks:
- Lower electricity bills
- Freedom from dependence on the electric company
- More environmentally friendly
- Saves money over time
- Increased productivity due to decreased energy costs
On the downside, solar energy is still fairly expensive when compared to traditional sources of electricity, so it isn’t for everyone. In addition to the cost of purchasing and installing the equipment needed, one of the drawbacks is that you have to depend on the sun for power, so if there isn’t sufficient sunlight, you won’t be able to generate electricity and you’ll be relying on traditional power sources. This is why many people only go green during the day, when the sun is out and about.
Another con is that not everyone wants to go green, and so they may need to pay additional surcharges or fees for accessing power sources that come from renewable energy projects. This can also apply to companies located in certain states, such as California, which has a “green label” requirement for companies that sell a lot of power into the state. However, these are the only two major drawbacks that come to mind at this point. Overall, however, going solar is a good option for many homeowners who want to reduce their energy dependence on the electric company and save some money in the process.
In summary, solar energy is a viable option for homeowners who want to power their homes. Although there are many benefits to going solar, it is still rather expensive when compared to other power options, so it’s not for everyone. If you can afford the upfront costs and are in a position to take advantage of the benefits, however, one should not hesitate to go green and switch to solar energy as soon as possible.