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Why Roof Solar Panels Are Worth the Investment

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Why Roof Solar Panels Are Worth the Investment

The solar industry in the United States is currently booming, employing more than 230,000 people. This is because more and more homeowners are realizing for themselves the many benefits of switching to solar energy. In 2021, a new solar project was installed every 60 seconds, a statistic that succinctly demonstrates the current popularity of solar panels.

There are many good reasons for homeowners to be interested in solar panels. Chief among these is the potential for thousands of dollars of savings on energy bills over the lifespan of solar panels. Grid independence and concerns over the health of the planet are two other reasons why solar panels are so sought after in the US.

In this blog post, we will ask ‘Are solar panels worth it?’ Spoiler alert: the answer is a definitive yes. Here will highlight everything you need to know about the benefits of solar panels, the cost, the potential savings, the science behind solar panels, and much more.

Let’s get started with this deep dive into solar energy.

What Are the Benefits of a Solar Energy?

As we have alluded to, there are a host of undeniable benefits of solar energy. These range from personal and financial benefits to benefits that are good for all us of (plus the environment). In this section, we will take a closer look at some of these key benefits.

Save Money On Home Energy Bills

For the majority of homeowners, the most compelling reason to install solar panels is the potential cost savings. Later on, we’ll take a closer look at the amount that homeowners stand to save with solar panels on their roofs.

Homeowners who install a solar panel system on their roofs will gain independence from the main grid and freedom from rising electricity prices. Solar panels allow bill payers to drastically reduce, or even wipe out, their monthly energy bills. If you are feeling the pinch from rising energy prices, solar panels are highly recommended.

Increase Your Home’s Property Value

Properties that feature solar panels are highly desirable to buyers, so much so that they are willing to pay a high premium. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, properties with solar panels on the roof typically sell for around $15,000 more than comparable homes without solar panels.

The reason is that solar panels are seen as a home upgrade, similar to a finished basement or a renovated kitchen. Given that prospective home buyers can count on cheaper energy bills if they buy a property with solar panels, it’s easy to see why they are so in demand. Homes with solar panels also sell in a faster time than comparable homes without solar.

With proper care and maintenance, solar panels can last for upwards of 50 years. So, even if you are not planning to sell your home any time soon, it’s still another benefit that is worth keeping in mind.

Earn Credits With Net Metering

A number of US states offer net metering, which is another way for homeowners to further reduce their energy bills. Effectively, net metering allows homeowners to sell excess electricity generated during the day to the main grid in exchange for credits. These credits can then be used to offset the cost of drawing electricity from the grid during the nighttime (when solar panels won’t be generating electricity).

Net metering is great if you don’t have a solar battery, which can be used to store excess electricity for use at a later time. We recommend that you speak to your solar panel installation company to find out if your state or energy provider offers net metering.

Save More With Tax Credits

It must be highlighted that while solar panels are an excellent long-term investment, there is a relatively high upfront cost. However, if you act soon, you can save thousands of dollars on this cost by applying for the federal solar tax credit.

This tax credit has been around for well over a decade and initially stood at 30%. For the rest of 2022, the tax credit stands at 26%, representing more than a quarter of the total cost of the purchase and installation of a solar panel system. In 2023, the tax credit will be reduced to 22% and, unless renewed by Congress, will expire at the end of next year.

A number of states, in addition to the federal tax credit, also continue to offer their own incentives for residents. When combined, the federal and state tax credits can greatly reduce the upfront cost that homeowners pay when switching to solar energy. Speak to your solar installation company for information about both federal and state (if applicable) tax credits.

Help Protect the Planet

According to the United Nations, climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. The health impacts are harming our health through extreme weather conditions, air pollution, disease, and more. There can be no doubting the impact that climate change is having on our planet.

Solar energy is a clean, renewable, and abundant energy resource. Unlike fossil fuels, it does not create any greenhouse gases when generating energy. Switching from fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil, and coal to solar energy helps to reduce water pollution, air pollution, and the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Of course, fossil fuels are also finite. By comparison, solar energy comes from the sun. The sun, which is currently around 4.5 billion years old, won’t die for at least seven to eight billion years.

Help Power New Technologies

Solar panels are one of the most popular ‘green’ technologies today. Another such technology is the electric car, which promises to make combustion-engined vehicles obsolete within a few decades. Many US states have already put a date on when the sale of combustion-engined vehicles will be banned.

Modern electric vehicles are increasingly popular, thanks to their shorter charging times and longer driving ranges, as well as their affordability. However, it must be stated that electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source that is used to charge them. An electric vehicle that uses electricity generated from burning fossil fuels will not have the environmental effect that it is intended to have.

The good news is that solar panels and electric vehicles pair perfectly together. Not only is it environmentally beneficial to use solar energy to charge electric vehicles, but it is also more affordable. Charging electric vehicles using solar panels at home is more affordable than using electricity from the main grid or public charging stations.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

We have established the benefits of solar panels, so let’s take some time to understand how the technology actually works when installed on rooftops. While the science behind solar panels is a little complicated, rest assured that they are incredibly easy to operate.

Solar panels installed on roofs are comprised of a number of components. These include:

  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Glass casing
  • Metal frame
  • Wiring
  • Inverter

These photovoltaic cells, also known as silicon cells, work as a semiconductor with two layers. One layer is positively charged and the other is negatively charged. When hit by photons from the sun, these cells are energized to create an electric field.

Electrons are set into motion within this semiconductor layer, which creates an electric current. Another piece of equipment, the inverter, will change the direct current electricity into alternating current electricity, which is used to power homes.

In the US, it is recommended that homeowners install their solar systems in a south-facing direction, so as to achieve maximum output.

What Is the Cost of Solar Panels?

There are a number of factors that must be considered when determining the exact cost of installing solar panels. Before we look at these, let’s look at the average cost for the US as a whole.

In 2022, the average cost (after applying the 26% federal solar tax credit) is $9,620 for a 4 kW system. For larger systems, the average costs are:

  • $13,098 for a 6 kW system
  • $16,872 for an 8 kW system
  • $20,350 for a 10 kW system
  • $24,420 for a 12 kW system

Generally, the payback period for solar panel installation is between four and eight years (depending on the below factors). As we have already highlighted, solar panels have a long lifespan, meaning that the long-term benefits far outweigh the upfront cost.

What Factors Determine Solar Panel Costs?

As the above bullet points highlight, the larger the solar system, the greater the upfront cost. Some of the factors that determine the necessary size of the solar system include:

  • The size of the property
  • The exact location of the property
  • The number of occupants
  • Its current energy usage

For properties with higher energy needs, a larger solar system will be required to offset these costs.

Location is an important factor, too. Solar panels in the southeast of the US, such as in California, will be more efficient than systems in the northwest. The reason is that the southeast experiences a greater number of sunlight hours. So, homes in areas where there is less than average sunlight hours will require a larger solar system to offset this reality.

The specific type of solar panel system installed will also play a role in the exact cost. We recommend that homeowners pay more upfront by opting for Tier 1 solar panels. They are more efficient and of better build quality than cheaper Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems, and therefore better in the long run.

How Much Can You Save With Solr Panels?

We have highlighted how homeowners stand to save tens of thousands of dollars on energy bills over the lifespan of solar systems. The exact savings will be determined by the other information above, such as solar system size and property location.

Given that California is the leading solar state in the country, let’s give an example of the potential savings in Los Angeles County. Homeowners there with an average monthly utility bill of $173 are recommended to purchase a 5.5 kW solar system. After applying the federal tax credit, the average upfront cost will be between $10,500 and $13,000.

Over the course of the first 25 years of the solar system, the net profit is estimated at between $48,326 and $59,065. The net profit refers to the total savings minus the upfront system cost. The payback period for this example would be between 5.5 and 6.7 years.

Also, as noted above, solar panels have a lifespan of upwards of 50 years (though gradually the efficiency of the panels will degrade). Homeowners, therefore, stand to save even more when the full length of a solar panel system’s lifespan is taken into account.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of solar panels and the potential savings, we recommend that you speak to a reputable and experienced company, such as the team at Blue Raven Solar.

Are Solar Panels Worth It?: The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, yes, solar panels are absolutely worth it. Saving with solar panels is easy and is a great way for homeowners to gain independence from the grid while also supporting the environment. If you are concerned about your household’s collective carbon footprint, solar panels are the way to go.

Given that the federal solar tax credit is due to drop from 26% to 22% next year, now is the perfect time to make the switch. Speak to a local solar company near you for more information.

Like this blog post on are solar panels worth it? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.

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The Latest Kitchen Remodeling Ideas That Will Inspire You in 2022

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The Latest Kitchen Remodeling Ideas That Will Inspire You in 2022

Archeologists may have recently discovered the earliest evidence of cooked food – glazed cooking pots that are believed to be over 10,000 years old! Even if your kitchen is much more modern, you may still be thinking of remodeling this important room.

But what are some kitchen remodeling ideas that could give you inspiration? You’ll likely be keeping this kitchen style for many years, so you’ll want to design a space that you enjoy cooking in each day.

The good news is that there are a huge number of options when it comes to this type of home renovation project, and we’re going to highlight some stunning kitchen ideas.

Let’s take a look.

Brighten Your Cupboard Spaces

Many cupboards have solid doors that don’t allow you to see what’s inside, and this can also darken the space depending on their paint color. However, you could use glass cupboard doors and small internal lights to illuminate these storage areas.

This can make your kitchen brighter and also create a unique talking point when guests come to your home for a meal.

Add a Kitchen Island

You could make your residential kitchen a social area by adding a kitchen island. Not only can people gather around the different sides of the island, but you’ll also be able to prepare food on a chopping board on the island’s countertop.

Put some comfortable stools around your kitchen island to encourage people to sit up while you make breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Maximize Storage Space

As a smart homeowner, you’ll be keen to have plenty of kitchen storage space. You can use solutions such as adding shelves to cupboards that would have previously been single-level spaces. It can also help to look at the available vertical space in your kitchen and install floating shelves on your walls to hold pictures and ornaments.

This can help you expand your storage capacity in a stylish manner.

Update Your Appliances

It’s easy to become so familiar with your favorite kitchen appliances that you continue to use the same ones for years. But, technology develops quickly, and you could benefit from using new kitchen tools that can help you make meals more quickly and with less hassle.

If you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen appliances, you can get expert guidance from Kitchenliner.

Make a List of Your Favorite Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

There are plenty of terrific kitchen remodeling ideas that you can use to improve your cooking space. Adding extra light sources can brighten your kitchen, and you can enjoy chatting around a kitchen island while preparing food. Having extra storage space can be useful for storing your kitchen essentials, while upgrading your appliances can make it easier to achieve tasty cooking results.

Your kitchen could soon be your favorite room in your home!

Before you rush off to remodel your kitchen, be sure to read more of our helpful blog posts.

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