The spread of solar power around the world has been truly amazing. Nowadays, we can see solar panels on buildings and cars. But has it really become a cheaper option to purchase and run solar energy? While it’s true that some states and countries have implemented policies favoring solar energy, others have not. In fact, the cost of solar electricity varies quite a bit from one place to another, which means that it really is an option for most people.
If you’re wondering whether or not to invest in solar energy, take the time to do some research. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Is Solar Energy Becoming More Affordable?
The cost of solar power has been dropping, and it has been dropping fast. Photovoltaic (PV) cells, the basic component of solar power, have been becoming more and more affordable. For example, they’re now available for purchase at Costco for less than $5. Some manufacturers have even begun offering bulk discounts, cutting the price even more. All this has helped drive the cost of solar power lower and lower.
Even residential-grade solar panels have dropped in price, which means homeowners can now afford to install solar energy systems on their houses. And the best part is that they’ll get a big chunk of their money back within a year through clean energy incentives offered by countless governments and utilities. So, even though solar power can be rather expensive to install, it’s definitely worth it.
Where Can I Purchase Solar Panels?
If you’re looking to buy solar panels for your home or business, it’s important to do your research. Since prices can vary so much from one supplier to another, taking the time to do some comparison shopping is crucial. You don’t want to buy panels from a manufacturer that is not providing good service and support for the product, and you especially don’t want to purchase them from a retailer that is not offering the best price for the type of appliance you’re looking for.
If you’d like to purchase residential-grade solar panels, you have several different options. First, you can contact each of the major panel manufacturers and see which one offers the best price to you. Then, you can contact the retailer that you’ve previously researched and see if they have the product in stock. If not, there is usually a waiting list, so you may have to wait a bit before you can fulfill your order.
How Do I Calculate How Many Solar Panels I’ll Need?
If you’re not sure how many solar panels you’ll need to run your home or business, it’s important to do some calculations. To begin with, you’ll need to find out how much energy your home or business uses each month. If you have a utility provider, they can provide you with this information. Alternatively, you can use an energy monitor that is attached to your home’s electrical system and track how much electricity you use throughout the month.
After you have this information, you can use it to work out how many solar panels you will need to purchase. To determine this amount, you will need to look at how many sunny days you have each month and how many hours of sunlight each day. If you don’t have a sunny day each month, it’s still acceptable to use a bit of science to work out how many panels you’ll need. For example, if you live in a place where the sun is never seen from one side, you may need to setup a bank of solar panels to get enough electricity to run your home or business.
As an extra note, many homeowners prefer to finance the purchase of their solar panels through an Installment Plan, which enables them to spread the cost of the system over a period of time. This is one option you may want to consider, as it will help reduce the upfront cost of purchasing the equipment.
What About The Environmental Impact Of Solar Panels?
While we’re on the subject of energy, it’s important to mention the environmental impact that solar panels have. Due to the fact they’re made from plastic, most solar panels have a rather short lifespan, which is a problem when you consider the fact that many of them are disposed of improperly. In some instances, they’re simply burned to avoid any chance of them clogging up a sewer system.
In terms of the environment, it’s generally accepted that solar panels don’t contribute much to the problem. They don’t take long to decompose and don’t pose any threat to wildlife. However, many agree that the manufacturing process of these panels does contribute to some degree of environmental damage. The process itself is rather energy-intensive and requires a lot of raw materials, which are then turned into panels.
The real kicker in terms of the environmental footprint of solar panels is the fact they’re not recyclable. Once the product is worn out, it’s usually tossed into a waste bin, where it will degrade into a thick sludge, which is then sent to a landfill. And you know what, even then, it won’t biodegrade completely. It will remain in the landfill for hundreds of years, posing a threat to the environment.
To reduce your carbon footprint, you should look to purchase green energy products, which include solar panels. If you want to be sure your energy is environmentally sound, it’s imperative to purchase green energy products, such as solar panels. Not only will they help reduce your carbon footprint, but they’ll also help reduce the cost of your energy bill.
How Much Does It Cost To Purchase All This Equipment?
Well, let’s take a brief moment to discuss the total cost of purchasing all the equipment you need for a residential solar power system. First, you’ll need a solar panel. Depending on the size of your array, you might want to purchase a bigger or smaller unit, the first cost of which will be around $600. Next, you’ll need a home furnace to provide you with adequate heat through the year. Depending on the type and size of your furnace, this could be anywhere from $500 to $1500. And finally, you’ll need a water heater to provide you with enough hot water to wash yourself, your children, and the dogs. Depending on your specific needs, this could be between $500 and $1000.
So, in total, you’re looking at around $1500-$3000. In some instances, people are content to pay this amount for the privilege of powering their home with renewable energy, or at least reducing their reliance on coal-generated electricity. Of course, you can find cheaper alternatives, but you should expect to pay for this privilege. And just like any other costly purchase, such as a home computer or a smart phone, overtime, the cost will diminish in value.
To keep things simple, let’s say you have a 3KW system, which is relatively simple. You’ll need three 1201w solar panels to do this. If you’d like to reduce your cost, you could opt for a 9KW system, which will cost you $1800 instead of $3000. Just check out the resources section of this blog for more information about this subject.
Should You Purchase A Monitored Solar Energy System?
Although solar panels don’t have many direct uses, you can use them to monitor many aspects of your home or business’ electrical system. For example, you could use a monitoring device to discover any power surges that might occur, which could be a sign of an impending storm or an accident. Or, you could use a solar panel to monitor your home’s temperature, ensuring you’re not overexposing yourself to cold weather by letting more heat escape through the roof.
If security is a concern, you could use a solar panel to monitor the activity around your home. Since it’s always better to be safe than sorry, a monitored solar energy system will give you the piece of mind that your house is always protected.
Overall, the cost to purchase and operate a residential solar power system is becoming less and less each year. Since the prices for solar panels have decreased so much, it’s a good idea to take the time to do some research before making a purchase. This way, you can be sure you’re buying a quality product at a good price and in the right amount for your needs. If you use the right calculators and do some comparison shopping, you’ll be able to find cheaper solutions. But, for the most part, solar energy has proven itself to be a cheap, yet reliable and efficient way to produce energy for your home.