Remember when solar energy was something only extreme environmentalists talked about at dinner parties? For most people, the idea of installing solar panels on their homes was akin to growing their own food and forgoing indoor plumbing in favor of a compost toilet. While generating your own power has always been a big part of “living off-the-grid,” it’s only recently become adopted by mainstream culture.
Today, going solar is easier and more affordable than ever. Every year, more and more people are choosing clean, green energy in an effort to become more Eco-friendly and to save money. The hefty federal tax credit doesn’t hurt, either. When it comes to generating electricity, solar energy is about as natural as it gets. If you’re on the fence about installing solar panels on your home, this list of benefits might be just the thing to nudge you in the right direction.
The amount of savings available for solar panel users varies by the amount of sunlight in a region, the cost of electricity, and the financial incentives available. Luckily, San Diego hits the jackpot with all three: We enjoy plenty of sunshine all year round, our electricity prices are amongst the highest in the U.S., and California offers a number of cash-back rebates for installing solar panels.
Increase The Value Of Your Home
The promise of lower utility bills is a big selling point when it comes to attracting home buyers. Solar panels can actually net you more money at the closing table by as much as 4 to 6 percent! In California, you’re looking at an average of over $18,000 added to the value of a medium-sized house – and that’s for a small, 3.1-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system. The bigger the system you install, the more property value advantages there are.
Lock-In Energy Costs For Years To Come
Energy costs in the U.S. have risen an average of 3.75 percent every year since 2001. Why the big increase? Non-renewable fossil fuels are dwindling, which means electricity is only going to get more expensive for consumers as time goes on. However, solar energy is renewable, which means we’ll never run out of it. When you go solar, you lock in a fixed energy rate that protects you from unpredictable utility rate increases.
Decrease Your Carbon Footprint
Fossil fuels like coal and petroleum must be burned to generate electricity. This creates by-products that release huge amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. By replacing utility power with clean, green energy from solar panels, you’re reducing your carbon footprint by quite a bit. In fact, the average residential solar energy system offsets about 100,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide over 20 years. That’s the equivalent of driving a car for 100,000 miles!
Take Advantage Of Tax Incentives
When you buy a solar energy system, you can claim a federal tax credit that helps offset your investment. The Solar Investment Tax Credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the federal income taxes you would otherwise pay. In other words, you get to deduct 30 percent of the total amount you pay for your solar energy system directly from your tax payment, so long as you begin construction before the end of 2020.