When it comes to being a member of a modern urban community, especially in California, there is always a dilemma between two practical choices. This has always been the case with the human race every year where change can be quite a polarizing decision, making the choice not so easy for the majority of the population.
Of course, this might well be the case with solar energy right now, where some families or a certain percentage of the population might be on the fence about employing solar energy for their homes. Some of them might have been too comfortable already with their traditional power sources or might not have the investing capacity to readily make changes.
Hence, here at SunPower, we like to help you make a fair and logical decision, one that might even be able to shape the future of the human race, especially when it comes to dwindling resources and a worsening environmental state. That is a lot of pressure, we know, that is why we would like to accompany you in enumerating the positive and negative aspects of solar energy.
While we do hope that you will see that the pros outweigh the cons, you still have the final say on what to do with your homes or establishments. Simply take the time to consider options regarding the two natures of solar energy.
Good for the environment
It is, after all, one of the most obvious and prevalent reasons for using solar power. For one, solar energy uses the power of the sun, which still has several hundreds of billions of Earth years of lifespan left, basically guaranteeing a future-proof way to supply the human race with energy.
What this means is that if solar energy was to be fully utilized as a replacement power source, mankind will no longer have to rely on alarmingly finite fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gases for electricity. This means no more carbon emissions and harmful smoke from burning these fuels for generating electricity, leading up to a cleaner Earth. So know that using solar energy lets you be part of the solution for saving our planet.
Good for your wallet
It is a well-known fact by now that solar panels actually let you save up money that you would have spent on your utility bill for electricity. This is because you would be using the electricity generated by the solar panels instead of your utility provider’s, cutting your energy cost significantly.
The savings vary from state to state, but in California, people on average are expected to be able to save around $1,500 per year in electricity costs alone. This money that you save could then be used for other urgent expenses or simply for recreation, a thousand dollars per year can certainly go a long way for a family.
More proof that lots of money can be saved when using solar power is some of the largest companies in the world like Costco, Walmart, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, and a lot more. These companies are only some of the few that have switched to solar power as the main energy source for their establishments. So if the companies are certainly saving a lot with solar energy, then you can too.
More affordable now than ever
Solar energy has initially been one of the more expensive alternatives for traditional coal, oil, or natural gas electricity. A decade ago, it certainly could not have been as popular as it is now, but recent advancements in technology and engineering have made solar panels a lot more affordable and available for the common American family.
In fact, between 2016 and 2017, the cost of setting up solar energy equipment has dropped by nine percent. Since then, the prices have been in decline and continue to do so. If the price ever was a concern for you when considering solar energy, then you could perhaps wait for a little while more for the cost to go even lower than they are now. Though switching to them early will guarantee that you do save more early on as well.
It is rather important to note too, that schools, government establishments, and even businesses are qualified to use federal investment tax credits or accelerated depreciation for commercial solar panels. It is important to consider this too when you are a business or establishment owner.
Good for your home
Even if you do have plans to sell your home in the future, investing in a solar panel array before you do so if not exactly a waste. This is because solar panels increase the value of your house, in fact, a lot of home buyers admitted to wanting to pay extra for homes with solar panels.
There is also the fact that the newly constructed vacant homes in California are mandated to be built with a solar panel array, meaning the future neighborhoods of the state would be teeming with homes that run on solar energy.
Good for your peace of mind
Solar panels are typically low maintenance, once you have set them up on your house or establishment, they practically maintain themselves. Depending on which brand you bought or how present the sun is where you live, they might also sometimes pay for themselves too. Solar panels also do work on lots of climates, as long as there is daylight, even in cloudy or rainy areas.
Lastly, solar panels also have significantly longer lifespans, SunPower’s, for example, has warranties that extend up to 25 years of guaranteed efficiency. Beyond this, you would be surprised that solar panels might even be able to perform functionally and with considerable efficiency. Still, 25 years is a long time and a quarter of a century’s peace of mind is one of the best things you can buy.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and happiness once you have bought and set up your elaborate solar power array. There are some cons to be considered in the prospect, but hopefully, they do not supersede the pros for you.
Bad for your wallet– initially only though
Solar energy is, after all, an investment. As with any investment, you need a considerable sum of money in order to initiate the investment. Some solar panel arrays may be more expensive than the others because of warranty, materials, or brand names. In California, the average calculated cost of the initial investment for a solar panel array actually amounts in at $13,500.
Still, SunPower and its solar panels can guarantee you that the initial fee in setting up a solar panel array can be eventually offset by electricity savings. As mentioned above, savings per year can go up to $1,500 per household, definitely a worthy tradeoff.
Solar panels only work during the day
Unfortunately, at this time, solar panels are not the be-all and end-all replacement for electricity. It actually has to work in real time at the moment and there is no complex or practical way to store excess energy. There are home batteries right now for solar panels and their excess energy, but it is still technically at its infancy stage.
As of now, there is no way for people to go off the grid reliably when using solar panels, and we also do not advise it, since an emergency or calamity could easily make your situation unfavorable if that happens.
Installation is not DIY
No matter how handy you are, installing a solar panel by yourself is not a good idea and is best left to experts. The equipment is certainly not an easily repairable product of engineering and should not be handled by untrained hands.
What this means is that do-it-yourself (DIY) homeowners could get discouraged at the idea of not being able to set up their own solar panel array. We also do not recommend trying to tinker with the solar panels no matter how qualified you are, that’s what the warranty is for.
Not for all homes
Since not all homes are the same, solar panels will definitely have different surfaces for every home. This is one of the difficulties that companies and their installers face when customers ask for solar panel compatibility.
The ideal home, of course, would be one of those traditionally roofed houses with skillion or open gable roofs. Flat roofs are also good and might be able to provide more surface area for the panels. Generally, though, most suburban or business establishment roofs should be good enough, though you still would want to consider the architecture of the structure for solar panel installation.