6 things homeowners need to know about solar energy

March 8, 2019

If you've been wondering how you can cut back on energy expenses, one option that more homeowners are choosing is installing solar panels. The sun is a powerful source of energy, and you save money by investing in an environmentally friendly solar energy system. 

Use these six considerations to determine whether solar energy is a viable option for your home. 

1. Solar energy can save you a pretty penny
One of the most important aspects to consider before investing in solar energy is how much money your family can save. According to Energy Informative, recent studies have shown that homeowners in many states are able to reduce their electricity expenses by more than $100 a month when they switch to solar power. Other sources suggest that you may be able to cut your energy bills in half with properly sized panels and optimal sun exposure. Depending on how much you pay for electricity each month, these savings can quickly add up and amount to significant cash in your pocket. 

2. You can buy or lease panels

When it comes to purchasing the equipment, you can either buy or lease solar panels. Consumer Reports noted that there are pros and cons of each method and you'll have to do some research to figure out which is right for your needs. It generally costs between $10,000 and $50,000 to purchase solar energy equipment. If you choose to lease the panels, these upfront costs will be lower, but you'll likely have to sign a multi-year contract. 

3. The condition of your home plays a part

Since the solar panels will likely be installed on your roof, it's essential that the structure is in prime condition. If your roof is old or in bad shape, you may need to give it a facelift before purchasing solar panels. This will likely increase your overall costs significantly. SolarEnergy.net explained that certain types of roofs, such as Spanish tiles or shake, can increase solar panel installation costs up to 25 percent, so be sure to get a professional estimate before you start your project. 

4. You'll probably need more insurance

If you're purchasing this expensive equipment, it's imperative that you protect it! Talk to your insurance provider about extending your coverage to include your solar panels and supplementary equipment. SolarEnergy.Net noted that the increase in price will probably be minimal.  

5. The energy is intermittent

While solar power can save you ample money, you shouldn't expect to be completely self-sufficient with your energy needs. Energy Informative explained that solar power is intermittent depending on the daily weather conditions. On rainy or overcast days, your solar panels will not be able to harness enough energy to power your home. You'll also need to rely on the electric company for power at night. 

6. Solar energy is eco-friendly

In addition to cutting back on your utility bills, solar energy can also reduce your environmental footprint. There is only minimal pollution associated with solar energy, and it comes from the manufacturing and transportation processes. Once your solar panels are installed, you'll cut back on your family's reliance on non-renewable energy sources that contribute to many problems in the environment.