In the most straightforward language, solar energy is the energy that originates from the sun. Daily, the sun releases a huge amount of energy. This energy is from the sun itself, which is made up of hydrogen and helium. The process of generating this energy is called nuclear fusion whereby the hydrogen atoms split, and their nuclei combine due to the sun’s high pressure and temperature. Four hydrogen nuclei combine to form one helium atom although the helium atom weighs smaller than the four cores that create it, this is because during the nuclear fusion some matter is disoriented and unleashed into space in the form of radiant energy.
Solar energy is a perfect example of an environmentally friendly source of energy. It does not use any of the revered energy resources, does not contribute to water, air or noise pollution, does not bear any health risk, and makes no contribution to the adverse waste products to the surrounding. Beside, solar energy cannot be forbidden or inhibited by any one nation, and even more significant advantage is that solar energy cannot be exhausted until the sun goes out.
In terms of technology, solar energy is the scientific know-how that is used to tackle the sun’s heat and make it applicable. Solar energy may be transformed into electrical power by solar cells or photovoltaic cells. A small electric voltage produced once light hits the junction between a semiconductor and a metal.
Compared to the US economy, the solar energy industry is expanding 17 times faster. It is clear that as the years go by, solar energy will become more common among homeowners. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), since 2006, solar installations have been rising at an annual compound rate of 60%. It has been made possible through its non-polluting character and its inexhaustible supply, together with incentives and returns on investment (ROI). Research done by the Solar Power World magazine has shown that in the year 2013, there was a 60% growth in the solar housing market with 792 megawatts installed. On the side of incentives, there is a 30% federal tax credence given by EPA and the Energy Department to encourage American citizens to utilize solar energy. The return on investment is the rise in the house value. Residences that go green through the installation of these assets escalates the value of their house by 13%. This action makes a difference when one is selling a home since the addition of solar power means the addition of the long-term value of a home. A distinct advantage that also comes with utilizing solar energy is that it cost less than the customary utility bills.
- At night solar energy cannot be used without a battery which acts as a storing device, and during the day, cloudy weather makes the technology unstable.
- The technology is also expensive and requires a wide area to gather the sun’s energy at a rate that is useful to a high number of people.
Despite these drawbacks, solar energy has risen by about 20% yearly over the past decade.
Other than saving money through installing solar panels, homeowners can and also minimize their carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas discharge. Not to mention within the realm of possibility of increasing the property value.
Financing solar panels
Once you become aware of your interests in installing solar panels, next would be to weigh your financing options. There are several ways to get the money you will need for this project, but before considering the available options, it would be wiser first to understand the cost and plausible savings. You must first know how much you will spend in comparison to the net savings of applying solar energy.
The cost of installing a solar panel has considerably dropped as a result of improved technology and raised demand. The related expenses will comprise of purchase, installation, and maintenance in addition to the labor and materials needed for each step. Energy Sage which is an online market has revealed that in the year 2007, majority of house owners were paying from $2.87 and $3.85 for every watt to install solar, the average gross charge of solar panels before tax credits is $16,800. For an average system size of about 5000 watts, the cost of the solar panel after tax credits will range from $10,045 to $13,475. The best advice is to obtain multiple quotes from different contractors ensuring that you are getting the best deal on the solar market.
The most important question to ask is how to save on energy bill, which is dependent on your geographical area and your home structure. To obtain a net value on the actual cost of your solar energy system, you will have to consider any tax credits, financing fees, or energy savings.
Solar panels are an excellent example of home improvement with the additional tax and efficiency welfare. The following are some of the methods you can use to finance the installation of your solar panel:
- Personal loans
It comprises of credit cards and unsecured debts. As much as this debt can be useful in a short grasp, you have to be keen on loan fees and rate of interest. When you finance the purchase of solar panel installation over a long span, it could potentially disprove the expected savings due to fees and interest.
- FHA loan
The FHA Power Saver loan program is a loan program that focuses on upgrading homeowners, which will ensure the home’s energy efficacy. It covers the cost of installing a solar panel followed by the potential savings.
This lease is an affordable option that is offered by a company called SolarCity. After installation of solar panels whose ownership is maintained by the company and the homeowner is given the choice of purchasing, removing or continuing leasing the panels. It allows you to enjoy tax credits and energy savings without any upfront cost.
- Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Here you can borrow against your home’s equity. It involves an application process and home appraisal. Your HELOC payment must be within your budget where lack of payment will affect both your credit score and jeopardize your home.
If you might be ready to take leverage of the installation of solar panels, you should consider loan engines that enable you to see the loan rates available without having to affect your credit score. You should also contrast the rates and terms on different loans of leading moneylenders.
You would expect that customers of the solar installation to be early adopters but this age of solar generation comprises of people who view it from an environmental aspect and also those that see it from an economic context. Solar power saves money.