Between housing, food, bills, and other expenses, the average American spends more than $150 a day. As consumers, we go to the grocery store, order that thing on Amazon, buy gas for our cars, go to the mall, pay the plumber to fix our sink, or spend our money on countless other options every day. With hundreds of purchasing decisions to make, we all develop our own system of justification. Is it necessary? Does it fit in my budget? Would it provide meaningful experiences? Will it save me money down the road? At Blue Raven Solar, we know that purchasing a customized solar system can be rather intimidating. It has a large price tag, there are so many different financing options, and it can take several years to generate a return on investment. So, rather than listing all the benefits to try and convince you to go solar, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the top 5 solar advantages and disadvantages to let you decide if solar is right for your unique situation!
Top 5 Disadvantages of solar:
It might seem counterintuitive to start by listing the disadvantages of going solar, but we like to be completely transparent with our customers. Plus, we know that for most homeowners the advantages always outweigh the disadvantages!
As we described in one of our latest posts, Does Going Solar Really Mean Free Electricity?, solar is never free. To power an averaged sized American home, you would need to purchase a solar system that costs upwards of $20,000. Because of its high initial price, many homeowners forget that going solar is an investment and never give it full consideration.
If you’ve looked into purchasing solar, you know that there are several ways to finance a complete solar system. If you don’t have the cash to purchase your solar system outright, almost all solar providers have loan-based financing options that will allow you to pay a monthly fee that goes towards the overall cost of the panels. For many homeowners who are already paying a mortgage and a variety of other monthly bills, adding solar loan payments to the list may not seem appealing.
You’re Betting on the Sun
Because solar relies on the power of the sun, you have no control over how much electricity your panels will generate. If you live in a cloudy region of the U.S. or if your roof doesn’t have a section that faces south, your panels will generate less power throughout the course of the day. Homeowners can always make up for lack of sunlight with more panels, but that can mean thousands of dollars in extra expenses. With that being said, it is important to utilize available resources from solar companies to calculate how much power the panels on your roof should generate, rather than speculate that the weather conditions where you live will negate all the effects of going solar.
No Power at Night
This one might seem obvious, but it is important to point out because the majority of time that homeowners use their appliances is during the night. With no light being absorbed by the panels, no electricity will be generated to power your home. In order to utilize your solar system a night, a homeowner may need to invest in a battery, which will store any excess power from the day to be used at night. Net metering is another option to offset power used at night with power produced during the day.
For many homeowners, batteries can make buying a system a more financially sound choice. Unfortunately, these batteries are expensive and are not extremely efficient. For example, the Tesla Power Wall costs $6,000 upfront and an extra $1,000 for installation. In recent years, solar battery technology has gained a lot of attention in the scientific world, providing an optimistic outlook for improvements in efficiency and an overall reduction in price.
Top 5 Advantages of solar:
With a large price tag, the inability to control the sun, and several other disadvantages, you might wonder, “How can solar be a justifiable purchase?” Well, let’s look at some of the solar advantages we make sure to point out to all of our customers!
Eliminate Your Power Bill
The most popular reason to go solar is to eliminate your monthly power bill. By having your system sized correctly and owning your panels, you should produce enough electricity to cover the cost of your monthly bill. For the most part, homeowners with solar only have to pay a small monthly connection fee to stay connected to their utility provider.
Control the cost of Electricity
It’s no secret that electricity prices are on the rise. With every passing year, utility companies will continue to drive up prices and homeowners will have no way to get around the increased bills. To put this into perspective, over the last 20 years the price of electricity has gone up by more than 60%, and the U.S. Energy Information Agency projects that residential electricity prices will continue to rise by at least 1% a year over the next 5 years. So, even if your electricity usage doesn’t increase, your bills are still going to end up being more and more expensive. Going solar is a great way to combat rising energy bills, because your panels produce energy independent of the price of electricity.
Increase the Value of Your Home
Because solar becomes an integrated part of your home system, they immediately add value to your home. For many prospective home buyers, a house with solar can be a huge appeal and validate paying a little extra for a home. Who doesn’t love the idea of never having to pay more than $15 for their monthly power bill! All in all, most homeowners can increase the value of their home by 3-7% by investing in a solar system.
Reduce your carbon footprint
We all know that solar panels are part of the green movement, but how much do they actually impact the environment? The average residential solar system will offset energy produced by burning over 80 tons of coal or 175 tons of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. The energy generated is also equivalent to planting 4000 trees. So yes, solar panels make an impact. This advantage alone has caused tens of thousands of Americans to go solar!
Solar can become a source of income
In many states, net metering programs allows homeowners to sell back their unused electricity to utility companies for energy credits. These credits can be used during a less productive time of the year or be stockpiled to the point where the utility company will actually pay the homeowner for their unused credits. While these credits probably won’t add up to a substantial amount of money, it can be enough to make an impact on day-to-day life. All in all, there is no better feeling than having your utility company pay you after years of high-priced energy bills.
Do the Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages?
For tens of thousands of Americans, the advantages of going solar heavily outweigh the disadvantages. By making the switch to clean, renewable energy, you control your power for decades to come, which means that you’re not left paying monopolized utility companies’ unfair rates to power your home. Plus, you get the peace of mind that you’re reducing your carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment. Of course, we may be a little biased and recommend that homeowners considering solar go through our free solar proposal process. By giving us some of your basic information, we can generate a full report that will show how much solar can impact your monthly electricity bills over the lifespan of the panels. With that information, you’ll be able to determine whether solar is right for your specific situation.
Going Solar with Blue Raven Solar:
Once you like the look of your customized solar system and are happy with its savings capabilities, sit back and relax. We will take care of all the red tape (permitting, surveying, and installation) that goes along with owning solar, so that you can have the most enjoyable process possible. Once your system is installed and producing power, you’ll begin to see the lifelong benefits of owning solar panels. It is our mission to provide homeowners across America with all the benefits and joys of going solar!