5 Benefits of Going Solar
Thanks to federal tax incentives, new green initiatives, and advancing technology, going solar is more of a reality for home and business owners than ever before. Solar power is one of the only unlimited renewable energy sources on the planet, which is why it is a critical element of the electrification movement.
If you are considering going solar at your home or business, there are many things to consider. To help you move into the future of green energy and answer the question, “Why go solar?” Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric put together the five top benefits of going solar.
How Does Solar Power Work?
You do not need a degree in electrical engineering or solar physics to understand the basics of solar power. Solar radiation, called sunlight, is electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun and hits the Earth. When the sun shines onto the solar panels attached to your home, the radiation is absorbed by photovoltaic cells in the panel that create an electrical charge. That electrical charge is moved out of the cell in the form of electricity.
While solar energy can be traced back to ancient civilizations using mirrors and lenses to create fire, the solar panel that we know today originated in 1883 by Charles Fritts. Solar power has come a long way since then and has plenty of room to grow.
What Are the Benefits of Going Solar?
With so much talk about going solar, it is critical to understand why this electrification is in such high demand and its benefits.
Lower Electricity Bills
One of the first benefits homeowners notice by going solar is the cost savings. Since the energy produced by the sun is free, you no longer have to pay for most of the electricity you use. Many homeowners remain connected to their local electrical grids to ensure they can access power when the sun is not shining. That means their electrical bills do not disappear entirely, but they go down exponentially. You might even see a negative balance if you sell excess solar energy back to the electric company.
Of course, you have some initial investments in going solar. In the Santa Clara Valley, for example, California residents can expect to spend an average starting price of $15,240 for a 6-kW system. Luckily, a variety of local, state, and federal programs help offset these costs and make going solar more affordable. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act provides homeowners with up to a 30% tax credit for going solar. If you spend $18,000 on an upgraded solar system, the IRA will help save you $6,000.
You will also save on your overall maintenance costs. Once your solar power system is installed, it requires little to no maintenance, which also helps reduce your monthly spending.
Create a Microgrid
A microgrid or nanogrid is a small-scale version of the traditional electrical grid. By installing an energy storage system in connection with your solar panels, you will not only produce your solar energy, but you will also be able to store it for later use. Instead of selling excess solar energy back to the utility company, you store it in a solar battery. That means you will have access to power at night, during heavily overcast days, and even during black or brownouts in your area. A solar-powered microgrid takes you completely off of the grid and can eliminate electric bills completely.
Even if you go solar to help reduce your electrical bills, you will benefit by producing a smaller carbon footprint. Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source at the forefront of electrification. You are not relying on fossil fuels to power your home when you produce your own energy.
Not only does going solar help reduce air pollution from electrical power plants, but it also reduces noise pollution. Unlike other forms of energy production, solar power does not produce noise. That means it can easily be installed in urban areas, centers of commerce, and anywhere else light falls. Your property value won’t go down due to a cacophony of electrical production.
Charge Your Electric Vehicle
Solar power isn’t just a great way to power your home and appliances—it offers a fantastic means of powering your EV. Whether you use a solar-powered charging station or install an EV charging station at home, you can keep your car running at no cost. If you purchased an EV to cut fuel costs and help the environment, charging your EV via solar power will extend your savings and eco-friendly efforts even more.
Keep the Lights On During Power Outages
If you live in the Gilroy, CA, area, you are no stranger to power outages. The older electric grid and high demand for power often leave Santa Clara County residents in the dark. When you go solar and utilize a home energy storage system (microgrid), you do not have to worry about losing power when everyone else does. So long as the sun is shining, your lights, refrigerator, and air conditioning units will keep humming. When you add solar power backup batteries and build a microgrid, you can go days without seeing the sun.
Extend the Benefits of Going Solar
You will reap the benefits of a solar power system immediately after it is installed. To get more out of your solar power system, you need a Gilroy electrician who can help establish your battery backup system and EV home charging station. More importantly, you may find that your outdated electrical panel is not rated for going solar.
Before you add solar panels to your property, it is worth having a licensed electrician from Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric inspect your local grid. We can give you a health report on your electrical grid and make the necessary upgrades to prepare your property for going solar.
As one of the leaders of the electrification movement in the Santa Clara Valley, we have helped countless homeowners extend the benefits of going solar. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how going solar can work for you.