Solar power has become an intriguing topic of discussion for American homeowners. Amidst the plethora of information about solar options, one query stands out, "Should I buy or lease?" Luckily, the decision isn't as binary as it may seem. The evolving solar industry has broadened the range of financial alternatives available to customers.
Six Persuasive Reasons to Purchase Solar Panels
Deciding whether to invest in solar panels is a highly individualized process that hinges on each homeowner's unique circumstances, including their home, family, and financial situation. However, six key factors often influence homeowners to purchase (rather than lease) their solar panels. Most often, a blend of these factors drives the final decision.
1) Shaving Off Monthly Electricity Bills
A sudden surge in electricity bills often triggers homeowners' interest in solar power. Reasons for increased energy usage could range from installing air conditioning to expanding their home or adding a new family member. The promise of reducing monthly energy bills tops the list of reasons homeowners explore solar power.
Though financing your solar system could potentially increase your monthly expenses depending on the loan terms, it offers a clear end date for payments, unlike endless utility bills. Moreover, these payments are an investment that adds value to your home.
2) Increasing Your Home’s Market Value
By financing or purchasing a solar system outright, you're effectively adding a mini power plant to your home, boosting your home's market value. This added value is tangible and transfers with your home upon sale.
A comprehensive study by Berkeley Labs examined homes with photovoltaic (PV) systems, concluding that each watt of solar capacity adds about $4 to a home's value. Thus, larger solar systems equate to higher added value. The study spanned various regions, utilities, and home types.
3) Championing the Environment
Switching to solar power leaves a substantial positive imprint on the environment. It's a powerful decision for environmentally conscious homeowners.
Solar power reduces our dependence on environmentally detrimental traditional energy sources like coal and natural gas. Reducing demand for these products helps protect landscapes and mitigate CO2 emissions.
Moreover, solar power diminishes pollutants like mercury and acid rain, often a byproduct of fossil fuel power plants. Plus, the choice to invest in solar panels lessens the need for power plants in your community, contributing to cleaner air and water.
One often overlooked environmental benefit of solar power is its minimal water use. Traditional coal-fired power plants use up to 1,000 gallons of water to generate one MegaWatt hour (MWh) of electricity. In contrast, solar panels need no water to produce an infinite amount of energy.
The crucial distinction between traditional energy sources and solar photovoltaics lies in one being a fuel and the other being technology. The former needs constant replenishment, while the latter, once installed, utilizes the free, clean, and abundant energy from the sun!
4) Gaining Independence from Your Utility Provider
A key motivator for homeowners to buy solar panels is to break free from their local utility provider. In many regions, homeowners have no choice in their electricity provider. By installing solar panels, homeowners take control of their energy production needs, making them less susceptible to price hikes and unfair rate changes.
5) Avoiding Future Utility Cost Increases
Utility companies have the freedom to adjust the cost of energy as they see fit, and safeguards against price spikes are few and far between.
By owning your own solar system, you shield yourself from many of these potential rate increases and unforeseen fees. This means you can plan your long-term home finances more accurately, and depending on the terms of your loan, recoup your investment relatively quickly.
6) Capitalizing on the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC)
The Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) is another reason why homeowners opt for solar panel ownership. This initiative, available in all 50 states, offers a tax reduction proportional to your investment in your solar system.
The ITC allows you to offset 30% of your total gross system cost against your tax liability. Any unused credit can be rolled over to the next fiscal year. It's always advisable to consult with a tax professional regarding your eligibility for this tax credit.
Navigating the path to solar power may seem daunting. At Solar.com, we strive to simplify this process. From assessing financial options to choosing the right panels and installers, we're here to guide you.
Book a consultation with one of our solar advisors to have your questions answered, compare solar companies, see if solar is the right fit for you, or address any concerns you may have. Together, we can make going solar a smooth and rewarding journey.