Many homeowners want to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and tap into renewable energy resources. The United States is following the lead of other first world nations in going solar and in avoiding catastrophes connected with using more potentially dangerous sources of energy, such as that associated with nuclear energy in Japan, or continuing to deplete non-renewable energy resources. How has solar energy fared in the United States and what has aided its rise in popularity?
Solar Panels Make Homeowners Money
Simply put, homeowners want to save money. From using gadgets and automation to installing insulation and new windows, many people are looking to optimize every inch of their home to be more energy efficient. Since solar panels have come to the market in the 60s, homeowners have sought out professional solar panel installation in order to cut their energy costs. It is estimated that a homeowner can recoup their investment in anywhere from 6 to 15 years. Individuals using state and federal incentives and tax credits may see a return in as little as 2 years. Homeowners who invest in solar panels often see an increase in resale value, some as much as $15,000. With a growing population of individuals interested in energy-efficient homes, investing in solar energy can be an attractive upgrade to entice future prospective buyers. As of 2017, costs associated with solar panels have dropped nine percent compared to those in 2016.
Customers spend less money paying for a residential solar energy system then they would spend on buying electricity from a local utility company. The costs of switching to solar have dropped annually since 2009. It is not even necessary to pay for it in cash. The HomeStyle® Energy mortgage is one option for borrowers interested in making a clean energy upgrade. Homeowners can also lease a system, rather than purchase it outright, and still save on energy costs.
Neighbors save a significant amount of money over a 20 year period. Portland homeowners save an average of $38,000, Boston homeowners save $63,000 on average and those in Los Angeles can save $90,000. The top cities for solar savings over 20 years include Los Angeles, CA, Jersey City, NJ, Boston, MA, New York, NY and Baltimore, MD.
Remember that with great energy storage, savings can be even greater for homeowners.
Solar Panels Are Used Throughout America
It was once believe that Solar panels could only be used in areas such as Southern California and Arizona. It was thought that sunny and hot conditions were the most useful for generating energy from solar panels.
Homeowners should realize that solar panel are most efficient in areas that experience sunny and cold conditions. Homeowners in areas that experience regular snowfall can benefit from solar panels. This makes Alaska a region where solar power is a useful and sustainable energy source. Currently, there are over 1 million solar installations in the United States. Solar power can not only provide energy for residential houses, but for high-rise condos, as part of community solar programs.
Government Support for Solar Energy
As climate bills, such as the bill in California, push utilities to incorporate more renewable energy into their sales, states are strongly incentivized to go with solar energy. California is the leader in solar energy use, followed by:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- New York
California has enough solar capacity to power 3.3 million American homes. Homeowners turning to solar are helping to improve their state’s cumulative installed capacity.
The Popularity of Solar Power
As solar panels become a familiar sight, homeowners and renters throughout the country are able to reduce their energy costs and become more independent. As costs associated with energy from utility companies tend to rise annually, homeowners may even save more on bills in the future, when making the switch to solar today.