Solar Panels for the Home

The Pros and Cons of Adding Solar Panels to Homes

A brief History of Solar Panels

Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of solar panels have popped up across the country as an increasing number of Americans choose to power their daily lives with the sun’s energy. Thanks in part to Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) investments, the cost of going solar goes down every year. You may be considering the option of adding a solar energy system to your home’s roof or finding another way to harness the sun’s energy. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solar solution, here are some resources that can help you figure out what’s best for you. Consider these questions before you go solar.
Installing home solar panels may be a great way to reduce your electricity bills and your carbon footprint. To get the most out of your solar panel system, it’s important to understand the pros and cons that come with this technology. In this guide, you’ll learn how solar panels work and considerations to keep in mind before installing them at home.

How does solar work?

Solar panels are an increasingly popular way to generate electricity from the sun’s energy. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels capture the sun’s light and convert it into electricity that can be used in your home. PV solar panels work by absorbing photons from sunlight, creating an electric field between the layers of the panel and ultimately generating electricity. To learn more about how solar power works for your home, read up on PV technology today!
Solar panels are the most common type of solar technology used in residential homes. They convert sunlight directly into electricity, which can be fed into your home’s electrical grid or used to power electrical devices. Solar panels are relatively simple and cost-effective for homeowners and require minimal maintenance. Learn more about solar panel systems for your home today!

Is my home suitable for solar panels?

Thinking about installing solar panels at home? Before you take the plunge, consider whether your roof is suitable for solar. Trees near your home that cause shade on the roof or an old, sloped roof are things to keep in mind. Generally, a south-facing roof with a slope between 15 and 40 degrees is best, as it will allow the maximum amount of sunlight to reach your panels. But even roofs which don’t meet these specs may still be suitable if they are not too old – you don’t want to replace a rooftop too soon after investing in solar panels!
Are you a homeowner interested in solar energy but don’t have the right roof configuration or don’t own your home? If so, you can still benefit from solar with community solar. Community solar allows multiple people to benefit from a single, shared solar array, which can be installed on- or off-site. The costs associated with purchasing and installing the system are divided among all of the participants, allowing them to invest at their chosen level. Explore more about community solar to see if it is the best option for you and your energy needs!
If you want to go solar but don’t have the space for a rooftop system, then community solar might be the perfect option for you. EnergySage’s Community Solar Marketplace makes it easy to search and compare multiple community solar projects that are near you. This marketplace also standardizes project information so that you can make informed decisions about picking a project that works best for your home.

How do I start the process of going solar?

Are you thinking of installing solar panels on your home? If so, there are many mapping services and resources available to help you determine if your roof is suitable for solar and provide you with quotes from pre-screened solar providers in your area. Additionally, an internet search can lead you to local companies that can help install the panels. Before making any decisions it is important to read reviews of solar companies to ensure you make the best choice for your home.
If you’re considering installing solar panels on your home, there are several options available to make the process easier. Solar co-ops and Solarize campaigns allow groups of homeowners work together to get better rates when selecting an installer, as well as creating greater community interest in solar energy by offering a limited-time offer. As more people take part in these programs, the cost of installation will become cheaper.

Can I install solar myself?

Homeowners who are looking for a green energy alternative should consider installing solar panels. To ensure that the project is completed safely and correctly, it is best to use a certified professional. Such professionals can be identified through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which certifies electricians and contractors that specialize in solar panel installation. With their help and some high-quality solar panels, you’ll be able to enjoy clean solar power in no time!

Annual savings when using the electricity you generate

Most households will use about 15-25% of the energy you generate, though this can change quite dramatically based on:

  • Whether you work from home.
  • How many people are at home during the day.
  • Whether you have an electric vehicle.
  • Whether you heat your home or hot water using a heat pump or other electrical heating.
  • Whether your cooking is done using electricity.

Instead of sending surplus electricity to the grid, a PV diverter switch can power the immersion heater in your hot water tank, storing hot water for you to use later. On its own, excess solar energy is unlikely to meet all of your hot water needs, but it can help reduce your bills.

The Benefits of Installing Solar Panels in Your Home.

One of the main advantages of installing solar panels in your home is that it can help reduce your electricity bills. By converting energy from the sun into usable electricity, you’ll be able to power your home and save money on energy costs over time. Additionally, investing in solar energy may be eligible for federal and state incentives, making it an even more attractive option. In some cases, homeowners may even be able to make a profit from selling excess electricity back to their utility company!

The Challenges of Installing Solar Panels in Your Home.

As beneficial as solar panels can be, there are some key considerations one must make before installing them. The cost to purchase and install solar panels can be expensive, usually ranging from $15,000-$30,000 for a typical home. In addition to the initial cost of installation, you will also likely need to upgrade other parts of your home in order for the system to work properly. Solar panel installation should always be done by a certified installer as it requires knowledge of electrical systems and may involve significant construction to ensure that everything is working safely and efficiently.

What Are the Long-Term Costs?

Solar panels offer long-term cost savings, but it can take several years for you to start recouping your initial investments. There are ongoing costs such as maintenance and repairs which will add up over the years. You’ll need to consider whether you’re able to cover these costs when calculating the total cost-benefit of installing solar panels on your home.

Other Sustainable Energy Options to Consider

Solar power is a great way to get started in sustainable energy, but there are actually many other energy-efficient solutions for your home. Investing in insulation and efficient equipment and appliances, optimizing your home’s thermostat settings, using LED bulbs, air sealing cracks and crevices, transitioning from gas water heaters to electric or tankless water heaters – these are all cost-effective options for reducing the emissions of your home.

Can I get Paid for the Electricity I generate?

Following the closure of the Feed-in Tariff scheme to new solar PV system applicants in March 2019, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) was introduced to provide financial support to small-scale renewable energy generators for the electricity they export to the grid. The savings from solar PV with the SEG are considerably higher than without it.

In Great Britain, the Smart Export Guarantee pays you for the electricity you generate.

In Northern Ireland, you can get paid for any surplus you export – usually estimated based on how much you generate. Several organisations offer this service, so if you’re interested, we recommend researching their offers to find one that works for you.

SEG (smart export Guarantee)

This image compares the difference in savings with and without the smart export guarantee.

solar panels for home - SEG comparison chart


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