Finding alternative energy sources is a priority for many Americans, especially with growing concerns over global warming. However, even if you’re not necessarily concerned with environmental issues, and are searching for ways to power your home more efficiently, solar energy is an accessible way to do so.
Within the last 50 years, the price of solar panel installation for homeowners has steadily decreased, making it available to homeowners who are looking to help the environment and potentially cut down on utility costs.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels use energy from the sun and convert that energy into electricity to power your home. The panels capture photons released from the sun, and as the photons pass through the panels, their electrons are knocked loose; this generates enough energy to power your home.
To learn more about how solar panels work, click here.
How Do Solar Panels Help the Environment?
Because solar panels use energy from the sun instead of fossil fuels, it is considered a “clean” energy. Fossil fuels (coal, crude oil and natural gases) are expensive to extract and use, and harmful to the environment. Burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gases, which contributes to global warming.
Solar energy, though, is a renewable energy source, so there are no other costs to use it. Solar panels do not generate greenhouse gasses and do not pollute the air, making them a safe option for your family. By using solar panels, you are dramatically reducing your carbon footprint and helping protect the environment from harmful chemicals.
Are There Incentives to Purchase Solar Panels?
Yes! One incentive to purchase solar panels is the investment tax credit, also known as the federal solar tax credit. This credit allows you to deduct a certain percentage of solar panel installation costs from your taxes. This tax credit, though, is decreasing every year. The sooner you install solar panels, you may be eligible for a greater tax deduction.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are another incentive to consider. These certificates allow homeowners who have solar panels to earn an SREC for every 1000 kilowatt hours of solar energy produced. Homeowners are eligible to sell SRECs to earn extra cash. The price per SREC will depend on where you live.
What are Some Misconceptions about Solar Panels?
A common misconception about solar panels is that you have to live in a warm climate or have a south-facing roof in order to maximize the use of the solar panels. However, solar panels can be utilized in cloudy weather just the same.
“Most people believe that the Midwest does not receive enough sunlight for solar panels to work,” says Dan Puckett, Sr. Vice President at Iconic Energy. “Germany has the lowest average hours of sunlight per day, but they remain one of the highest producers of solar energy.”
Most installers can design systems to help you maximize the use of your solar panels.
Can Solar Panels Save Me Money?
Solar panels are not going to instantly save you money, as there are upfront costs associated with installation. However, over time you will start to see an increase in savings, as you will pay less for electricity. There is no cost to operate your solar panels, so you can generate electricity for free (instead of being dependent on a traditional power grid). Many homeowners with solar panels report reduced or eliminated electric bills, and as the cost of electric continues to rise, solar panels are a great way to cut utility costs for years to come.
Additionally, adding solar panels to your house is a smart way to raise the value of your home. When you are ready to sell your home, you could receive a better price because your home utilizes solar energy, making for a great return on investment.
At Blackhawk Bank, we want to ensure our customers and communities know about opportunities to save money and support the planet by going green. Are you interested in learning more about how Blackhawk Bank can help you save money? Contact us today!
To learn more about Iconic Energy, click here!