Why Go Solar?
Every year more and more households are converting their power to solar energy. Although there are many advantages of going solar, it’s important to identify your primary motivation for using solar. This will help you determine the best system to meet your needs. All benefits of solar energy can be broken down into 3 categories.
#1 Saving Money
For a long time this wasn’t the best advantage to using solar. Since the costs of product and installation were much too high, it would take 30 years or more to to pay for the initial investment. However, over the last few years the installed cost of solar power has become much more economical. Systems that were costing $8 a watt 5 years ago are now being installed for $3 a watt, allowing you to recoup your investment within 5 years or less (at current energy prices). Now that makes more sense financially. To maximize your return on investment, the best option would be a grid tie system.
#2 Energy Independence
Whether it’s because of increased energy prices or the uncertainty of reliable power, solar power is an excellent solution for energy independence. There is no shortage of solar energy! When thinking of possible emergencies, or crisis, relying on conventional energy is not a reassuring thought. There are times when the grid will go down for extended periods of time- either because of power issues or natural disasters. This can be a very serious situation, ranging from inconvenient to life threatening. You can easily have a backup solar powered system that will power through emergencies. Knowing you have power to run essential items such as heating, refrigeration, light, etc., Or even have a system that will completely run your home. Now that’s reassuring!
There are many options you can use depending on how much you want to spend, and what exactly you need. Here are some systems you could have:
- Off-Grid Independent System – you would need this if you don’t have a grid available, or you want to be completely energy independent.
- Grid-Tie System with battery backup – this system would be reducing or eliminating your electrical cost by essentially using the grid as your battery (grid tie), however when the grid goes down it will switch over to a battery bank to run your home.
- Solar Generator – These are becoming very popular because they can be used as backup power as well as a portable system that you can take camping or whatever you need. Howerver, most systems sold use cheap modified sine wave inverters, and cannot be easily upgraded.
# 3 Protect the Environment
With all the pollutants in the world, lowering our reliance on fossil fuels reduces pollution for everyone. Did you know that a typical residential solar panel system will eliminate 3-4 tons of carbon emissions each year! That’s roughly the equivalent of planting over 100 trees! Any of the solar options will allow you to do your part in keeping polution down and reducing our need of fossil fuels.