This is to give a brief overview of the benefits of switching to a solar power system for your home. Some people are uncertain of whether or not they should make this move, and whether it will be viable and worthwhile for them. There is certainly an investment of time or money or both involved, and here is why it can be well worthwhile.
As the cost of conventional sources of energy continue to rise, solar power is becoming a competitively priced, but clean and viable, source of energy for the home or business. Over the past couple of decades in the United States, Billions of dollars have been spent promoting and developing this technology.
It is estimated that the cost of the equipment to power a home with solar energy is 90 per cent cheaper than it was in the 1970s. And, with our conventional energy bills rising rapidly, it becomes increasingly attractive as an alternative source of electricity.
In most cases, using solar power to provide electricity for a home involves installing a set of special solar photovoltaic cells in the roof of your home. It is true that the initial investment can be quite expensive, though DIY Solar Power systems exist, and if you do get a system professionally installed, the money should be recouped in terms of savings on electricity bills over time. Significant savings can be made in the long-term, although it is definitely not instant in the case of commercial installations.
In sunnier areas, solar power can meet, and even exceed, the average home’s electricity needs at some times of the day. Excess electricity which is created by the solar panels can be stored in batteries, or in certain areas it can even be sold back to electrical supply companies.
Here are some of the main benefits of solar energy:
- It’s cheap – Once you have made the initial investment to have solar technology installed in your home, it becomes a virtually free source of energy. And, once it has paid for itself you can make significant savings on your energy bills. You may even qualify for government incentives or tax credits, to help cover your installation costs.
- It will add significantly to the value of your home. Green homes are becoming ever more popular in today’s environmentally-aware climate so this investment will increase your home’s value and make it easier to sell it, if you ever decide to move.
- It’s clean – Solar is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly sources of energy. If you want to do your part to combat global pollution, this is a great way to do so.
- It’s easy – Solar power systems require very little maintenance. Most or all of the work goes into the initial installation. Once the system is installed, you’ll have a constant source of energy, but you won’t have to worry about adding extra fuel, paying energy bills, or the other chores associated with conventional sources of power.
- It’s consistent – If you use solar energy, you won’t have to worry about power failures. Even if your traditional source of electricity fails, you’ll have a back-up. Furthermore, if you live in a remote area that doesn’t have easy access to centralized sources of electricity, solar power is a great alternative.
- It’s neat – Even if you live in a heavily populated area, installing solar panels should not be a problem. Since the panels slot easily into the roof of your home, there is no need for them to take up precious space in your yard or garden. And, while the panels themselves are costly when bought commercially, they are very easy and quick to install.
- It’s wire-free and cable-free – A number of stand-alone solar-powered appliances are available today which eliminate the need for wiring. For example, you can install solar powered garden lights which you simply place in your garden, no cables required, and they off of the sun’s energy. These even have light sensors, so that they turn on and off automatically, depending on the light, which helps to conserve on their stored energy so that the lights don’t shine needlessly when the sun is up.
The use of photovoltaic cells is not the only way to make use of the sun’s energy. In colder regions an increasing number of homes are being designed to make the best use of sun light, to provide warmth. This involves sensible design of houses, using methods such as having large glass windows on the south sides of the homes, which help keep the house warm during winter. In the summer, the home will need to be protected from overheating in too much sun – and trees can be used for this, when the house is properly designed in relation to its surroundings.
Another option is to use the sun to heat water for the home. A very simple way of doing this involves using thin water pipes, painted black, and running them through a ‘greenhouse like’ box which is exposed to the sun on the outside of the home. In warmer areas, this can provide sufficient hot running water throughout the home, for no cost.
Solar power isn’t equally effective in all areas and situations. Although I can point out that living in a northern area doesn’t preclude the benefits of solar power – Scandinavian countries are some of the areas where solar power is used most heavily. But where you live will determine to some degree, whether or not it is the right choice for you.
If solar panels or solar water heating are not yet a workable solution for you, or you are unsure if you are ready to take the plunge, you should still consider buying solar appliances when possible. Any number of solar appliances are available, today including video cameras, watches, radios, fountains and much more. These all eliminate the need for batteries and/or wiring, and they also make it easier for you to take your electronics with you when you are camping or on the road.