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.

Comments for Solar Panels for Electricity

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Off the grid
by: Santana

My wife and I made a vow that in 5 years we will be as much off the grid as we possibly can. Solar panels for electricity will be the first project we tackle.

Great Idea
by: Graceful

I think solar panels for electricity are a great idea, but they are awfully expensive. However, in our area the electricity has gone up so much in the last six months that the panels would pay for themselves pretty quickly.

Carbon footprint
by: Betty

Our electric bill is not very high to begin with, but we are still thinking about solar panels for electricity just for the environmental impact. We worry about what we are doing to the planet and what our daughter will be left to deal with because of our choices. I know solar panels can be very expensive, but it seems to me that if you can manage it they are the right thing to do.

Cool Idea!
by: Alley

I have investigated solar panels for electricity for our home. We are going to buy one every month with money we would have spent on entertainment and eating out for the month. I know they are expensive but if we eliminate television and eating out we almost have half of what we need anyway. If we cut down on entertainment and go to free events offered in the town I live in, I believe my husband and I will have enough each month to buy one. We've calculated it will take at least 8 to 10 to completely be off the grid and independent. With the savings we amass each month as we install each we can also put that in savings to help with any other cost that may spring up during the construction and installation. I can't wait!

Solar Power Rocks!
by: Randa Keeton

I have been looking at solar energy for quite some time now. I don't think we would ever be off the grid with solar power, but the savings we did get would make a significant reduction in our out of control electric bill. I have also been looking at water power to help produce electricity. Very interesting article.

We did it!
by: Zelda

My husband and I were able to install solar panels for electricity on our home and you would not believe the difference this has made for us. We love it. They were a bit more difficult to install and integrate than we thought so the project ran a bit longer than expected. Still we were so happy with the results.

I want some
by: MLsmith

I am about to buy a new house out in the country. I am going to fix it up and add solar panels for electricity so that I wont have to be so dependent on the grid. I think my biggest challenge is learning how to install them. I do hope I can do it myself with help from family and friends. I need to learn to understand the whole principle behind solar panels.

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