The combination of increasing energy prices and a growing awareness of our environment is making solar energy a more popular choice than ever before for the home owner. What is driving the increase in solar panel installations? There are several factors, including:
- Savings on electric bills
- Increased home valuation
- Environmentally friendly energy
- Energy independence
- A long-term energy solution
- Protection against future energy price increases
- Decreases your carbon footprint
- Current tax incentives
Solar power accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. Government’s Energy Information Administration. That number is up from 0.02 percent in 2008.
The move towards solar energy made national headlines when, in the State of the Union Address, President Obama stated “It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too,” he said. “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar.”
Solar panel costs can be a barrier when deciding to purchase a system. When thinking strictly short-term, the cost seems to outweigh the benefits. However, when taking a long-term approach it is easy to see that installing a system today can provide free electrical power in the future. When doing a cost/benefit analysis be sure to include items such as the increased value of the property (ask a local Realtor with solar energy experience to help you arrive at this figure) and current Federal and State tax incentives (check with your CPA or tax advisor on this). At times, these two items alone can off-set the cost of the system.
So why are U.S. home owners installing solar panels every 4 minutes? Because it makes sense financially, it’s a long-term energy solution, and the benefit to the environment is priceless.
For more information on solar energy systems, download this handy .pdf from the U.S. Department of Energy: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy09osti/43844.pdf