The U.S. government predicts that one in seven homes will have solar panels by 2030. It makes sense to push this agenda as people will be able to create their own energy for free.
Yes, there is the initial investment cost of buying the solar panels, but over time they pay for themselves with the amount of money you save by not paying energy bills. Thus, the financial benefits a clear with solar energy and we’d like to highlight them in this article.
If you want to understand more about why so many people in the U.S. are embracing solar energy in their homes, read on. But before we go into the financial benefits, we’d like to quickly explore what solar panel options are on the table for your home.
Types of Solar Panels
A solar panel is made of various layers. These tend to be layers of phosphorus, boron, and silicon.
The phosphorus provides a negative charge, the boron delivers a positive one, and the silicon is a semiconductor. When all these elements work in unison, they can draw energy from the sun and convert it into usable electricity which can use right away or store in a battery for later use.
In general, there are four solar panel types to consider for your home. Let’s take a look at them:
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Makers of these panels use a pure silicon crystal that they cut into wafers to make their final product. These solar panels tend to be a dark color since they use pure silicon in their construction.
If you want the longest-lasting solar panels on the market then monocrystalline solar panels are the way forward. They are also one of the most space-efficient types of solar panels. The only downside to these panel types is they can be pricey, but they may well be worth the investment in the long run!
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Many silicon crystals are used when making these solar panel types. Manufacturers melt the crystals and then pour them into a mold. The mold is square-shaped and the process is super-efficient, making them relatively cheap at the point of purchase.
Yet, they are not as efficient when it comes to space use and energy conversion as the monocrystalline solar panels. Furthermore, they don’t work as well in higher temperatures due to their low heat tolerance. So if you live in a very hot climate, these might not the best solar panel choice for you.
PERC Solar Panels
Passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) solar panels are essentially just an enhancement of monocrystalline panels. This technology increases the efficiency of these types of panels.
PERC panels are more efficient because they reflect sunlight back into the solar cells, meaning the panels absorb more solar radiation. It can also deal with greater light wavelengths and stops electrons from recombining and causing flow issues.
Thin-Film Solar Panels
These solar panels use fine film layers making the solar panel structure flexible. They also do not require any backing. The result is that thin-film solar panels are easy to install, and lightweight, and you can use them in a variety of spaces where you can’t use other solar panel types.
One issue, though, is that these solar panels often are not as efficient as your standard silicone panels. Yet, they might not need to be depending on your energy requirements.
Solar Panels vs. Solar PV
You should also understand that solar panels aren’t the same as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar panels convert the sun’s radiation into heat while solar PV panels convert thermal energy into electrical energy.
Since these technologies do different things to harness energy from the sun, they don’t need to compete but rather complement one another. What’s interesting, though, is that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says that solar PV might be able to cover a quarter of the world’s energy needs by around 2050!
The Financial Benefits of Solar Panels
Now we’ve taken a look at the different types of solar panels on the market, it’s time to check out what financial benefits they can offer.
Keep in mind, that the type of panels you choose to install will have more or less financial advantages to them over time depending on how efficient they are. Now let’s check out how you can save money going solar:
Federal Tax Incentives
The U.S. government is keen to get as many homes as possible to go solar. This is why they have tax incentives in place to make solar panel adoption more appealing to homeowners.
In 2020, U.S. Congress passed an ITC extension which meant that between 2020-2022 homeowners could claim a 26% tax credit when they install solar energy systems in their homes. This amount will reduce to 23% in 2023 and will expire in 2024 unless Congress looks into renewing the tax incentive scheme.
If by any chance you installed solar panels before December 31st, 2019, then you may be eligible for a 30% tax incentive! You should also look into any potential regional tax incentives that might be available to you on top of the federal one.
Increase Your Property’s Value
If or when the time comes to sell your property, having solar panels will have a major appeal to buyers. And if you’ve used your panels for some time, you’ll be able to provide buyers with valuable information on the cost savings they can make when using the solar panels.
You can see getting solar panels like upgrades to your home, much like adding an extension or a new kitchen. It’s often the case that sellers can gain more money from the addition of solar panels to their homes than the initial cost of buying them. So, it’s a no-brainer to get panels for solar energy savings and eventual profit too!
Help Save the Environment
If you want to go green, then solar panel installation is the way forward. Instead of using fossil fuels as your main source of energy, you’ll be harnessing the sun’s rays without producing any masty emissions in the process.
Global warming is an issue high on the agenda at the moment. But also, just think about how fossil fuels like carbon dioxide have the potential to lower the air quality in our towns and cities. Do you want your kids and future generations to have to live in smog or clean fresh air?
The solar energy savings you can make long-term are astounding! At current standards, panel installers only need to install your system every 20 to 30 years, since panels tend to last this long!
Like anything, solar panels will have some level of degradation. However, the degradation rate of solar panels is often very small.
We’re talking in the realm of 0.5% degradation per year as an approximation for typical solar panels. Although, you should ask your solar installers about the degradation rate of your specific panels.
Low Or Zero Maintenance Costs
You might have thought that there are going to be maintenance costs involved with solar panels. The reality is that panels need little or no maintenance whatsoever over their lifetime.
You might have to clean your panels once in a while to keep them running efficiently. For instance, debris from nearby trees, snow, and dust can cause barriers that block sunlight from being absorbed by your solar panels.
You Can Drastically Reduce Energy Bills
Most homeowners will use their solar panels in combination with their traditional grid-based energy source. What you’ll find when you do this is how low your energy bills start to become.
Other homeowners go further by becoming 100% reliant on their solar panels. In this scenario, their energy bills may be zero or just a tiny amount.
Plus, there are now ways where you can contribute energy to the credit to earn solar credits. These credits represent a monetary amount that can be taken off your standard energy bills.
Community Solar Projects
If you’re not quite sure about investing in your own solar panels, there is the option of community solar projects to explore. This is where third-party companies concentrate a large number of solar panels in a local area and then supply this energy through the grid to people who opt-in within a given area.
One issue with this option, however, is that you won’t save money in the same way that you could by having your own solar panels. Yet, by choosing to get some of your energy from a community solar project, you can take a step towards going green.
The Financial Benefits of Going Solar
So as you know now, there are various financial benefits associated with going solar. If you want to gain the best benefits, it’s best to invest in your own solar panels, and get them as efficient as possible.
Learn more about solar panels and related topics on our blog.