When it comes to sustainable energy, people have strong opinions for and against it.
Some say solar panels never actually pay for themselves. Others love solar panels for self-sufficiency and environmental reasons.
But like all technology, the solar panels today are not the ones people bought decades ago. And there are many reasons you’ll want to consider investing in them sooner rather than later.
1. Become More Self-Sufficient
Becoming energy self-sufficient means you have electricity when others lose theirs. That can be a life-saver during a natural or people-made disaster.
You know that you and your family are taken care of, no matter what. And you’re in a better position to help others in the community during a major event.
It feels good to know you’re producing your own energy and living a more self-sufficient life.
2. Lower Your Energy Bills
As long as you live somewhere that gets good sunshine, a solar panel system can much more than pay for itself in the 25+ years it can last.
If you live in a less sunny climate, you can still save money. But you’ll want to perform an energy analysis to see how much electricity you can reasonably generate per panel.
Fun fact: A south-facing roof gets the most sun in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa south of the Equator. If you have a north-south oriented roof, you may need fewer panels than the rest of us.
3. Prices Are Going Down
While the prices of many things continue to rise, producing solar is getting cheaper. This is partly due to increased efficiency and more streamlined manufacturing processes.
In 2010, you’d pay USD $7.53 per watt produced (probably higher than your electric company charges you). Back then, getting solar panels was more of an ethical choice than a money-saving one. This is why solar once had many naysayers.
But now, you’ll pay around $2.65 per watt. That’s almost half of what you’d pay the electric company for that watt. It’s hard to argue with that.
4. Support Clean Energy
Solar is a renewable resource. Going solar can reduce your dependence on coal and fossil fuels, which still provide at least some power to electrical grids around the world. So you’re reducing your carbon footprint and supporting sustainable solutions.
When you invest in solar panels, you’re investing in the future of the planet and that of the generations that come after us.
5. You Could Make Money
If you’re in the United States, you could earn federal and state tax credits that pay as much as 26% of the cost for panels and installation.
That’s not money in your pocket just yet. But solar panels pay for themselves within 5-10 years in a moderately sunny climate.
After that, you still don’t have an electricity bill. So that is money in your pocket.
On top of that, many communities will also buy back excess electricity you produce. That could mean the electric company pays you, not the other way around.
Going solar is an investment. Like all investments, there are risks. But for most people, getting solar panels will be an investment that pays you back several times over.