From last February’s Texas snowstorm to the incessant Californian wildfires and the heatwaves hitting the Pacific Northwest — current events show that the climate crisis is worsening. Unsurprisingly, a recent GlobeScan and BBMG survey revealed that younger generations are keener on sustainable living. One way they are doing so is by investing in greener ways to consume electricity.
Notably, this includes small-scale solar power systems, and more homeowners are installing them for reasons that go beyond promoting sustainability. So if you’re an American homeowner, you might want to consider switching to solar, too.
It’s cheaper than ever
As previously discussed here on Relocalize, solar power will see a 23% increase in demand over the next few years. This is most likely because it can be up to 50% cheaper than traditional electricity.
In other words, instead of paying 13 cents per kilowatt, you’ll be paying as little as 6 cents, instead. This is especially crucial given that traditional electricity is becoming more expensive every year.
If you plan to invest in solar power for your home, you can expect to pay around $11,000-15,000. Though costly, you’re likely to get a full return on your investment in 8 years or less. That’s because, aside from the fact that you pay less per kilowatt, solar panels can last for up to 3 decades.
It’s easy to use
Another great thing about home solar systems is that they’re easy to set up and use. And with modern cloud technology, you can even monitor solar energy production and usage straight from your phone. The Hoymiles app provides an in-depth analysis of the emissions you’ve reduced by your big switch to solar. Plus, you can monitor specific solar modules and get notified if any of them need some TLC.
On the whole, though, solar requires little to no maintenance. Any costs incurred will be minimal, as repairs are usually covered by warranties. And on your end, the most work you’ll need to do is rinse down your panels twice a year.
It’s highly reliable
If you’re working from home and need an uninterrupted power supply, solar can give you peace of mind. Thanks to solar power storage, your house will still be up and running, even when electric company grids are down. Similarly, this means you won’t experience electrical power surges, which can damage your electronic devices and even cause electrical fires.
It’ll give you tax benefits
This may be the most compelling reason yet. If this is what convinces you to switch to solar, though, you’d better do it soon. If your system is approved and installed before the end of 2021, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will refund 26% of your initial investment.
In some states, you’re even allowed to earn some cash by selling surplus energy to local electric companies. As an added bonus, installing a system can add up to $15,000 to the value of your house if you plan to put it on the market.
It’s better for your health
It’s common knowledge that the production of traditional electricity contributes to air pollution, which, according to the World Health Organization, causes an estimated 4.2 million deaths a year. Switching to solar, then, means you’re helping contribute not just to your health, but the health of humanity in the long run — lowering our collective risk of developing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The environment will thank you for it
In the end, it’s best not to forget that switching to solar will keep the world healthy for the sake of future generations, including your children’s children.
Though small, Relocalize contributor Linda Harris reminds us that even individual switches to solar power take away from the fact that more than 2/3 of the world’s carbon emissions come from burning fossil fuels.
On the whole, when you’re dealing with 100% clean sources of energy like solar power, there’s really nothing to lose — and everything to gain.