Solar Panels for Electricity
by HDME Staff
Are solar panels for electricity really worth getting? When people think about forms of renewable energy, the two most common forms that come to mind are wind and solar. Since it’s not always possible to put a field of windmills in your backyard to harness the potential of the wind, solar becomes the automatic choice for residential homes.
It’s easy to install, easy to maintain, and all of the energy comes from a source that is now and will always be free. Since its systems don’t have any moving parts, the chances of malfunction or maintenance problems are very low, especially when compared to other forms of energy generation. It can be used on its own or combined with other sources of electricity, such as the grid itself.
There are some significant advantages to adding solar panels for electricity to the roof of your home so that you can reduce your home’s dependence on electricity from the grid. Though it makes the most sense in more remote areas where it would be exceptionally expensive to hook up to the grid or where it’s a downright impossibility.
One of the most recent reasons that people have become such fans of solar panels for electricity is their ready availability to help to reduce a home’s impact on the environment. Since it is a renewable energy source, it does not cause any air, water, or ground pollution, nor does it require noise pollution in order to properly function.
Solar panels for electricity also allow for a certain amount of independence in that your home will no longer be wholly dependent on the grid for its energy needs. In times of blackouts, power cuts, brownouts, and other energy problems, if you have solar panels, the impact of these grid issues will cause you little to no inconvenience.
When everyone else in the neighborhood is waiting on hold with the electrical company trying to find out why the electricity has been off for hours (only to discover that it is predicted that it will be off for another half dozen hours), a solar powered home will continue running as usual.
The issue that usually stops people from choosing solar panels for electricity is the initial cost of installing the solar panels. Solar panels are quite pricy and can be considered by many to be prohibitive.
However, if you intend to remain in your home for several years, it will not take very much time for them to actually pay for themselves; especially if you live in a very sunny place or a location that receives lots of sunshine year-round. To reduce the initial cost, many people choose to make their own solar panels.
If you are considering solar panels for electricity in your own home, make sure to check with your municipality to see if it is among the many that encourage people on the grid to hook up the solar panels to the grid for “co-generation”. This means that at times when your solar panels are generating more energy than you can use, it will be added to the grid, effectively allowing you to “sell” it back to the utility company.
This not only allows you to reduce your electricity bill by using solar energy, but you’re also making money from selling it to the utility company, allowing the panels to pay themselves off even more quickly.
The Big Question for YOU!
What’s the biggest challenge you have with buying or installing solar panels for electricity? And if you've installed solar panels in your home, tell us about your experience as well as any noticeable cost savings or lessons learned.