There are plenty of reasons why using solar power is a great idea, especially when it comes to environmental issues, as solar energy is one of the cleanest forms of energy there is, with little in the way of the harmful emissions associated with other, traditional forms of energy such as gas and electricity.
One of the main reasons people can appear a little reluctant in adopting solar power as an alternative power source within their home is the amount of money they think it will cost to install a solar energy system. The truth is, there is more than one way to obtain a solar energy system, and you can even have a solar energy system installed in your home for no cost to yourself whatsoever!
The biggest advantage when it comes to solar energy is that solar energy systems are powered by the sun, and of course, sunlight is free. Solar energy systems still draw power from the sun even on cloudy days – your house does not have to be in direct sunlight all day in order to benefit from solar, and solar energy systems 'store' power during the day, so don't think all your appliances will be useless once the sun goes down. It is possible to install enough solar panels on your roof so your home is completely powered by solar energy – meaning that you pay utility companies absolutely nothing!
There are other financial aspects to take into consideration if you're thinking about converting to solar energy. Some utility companies will buy any surplus energy your system generates but which you yourselves do not use. All states in the US also now have so-called solar incentives, which includes tax credits and other incentives that are offered to people to hopefully persuade them to convert to solar energy.
According to figures released by the Energy Department, converting to solar would save you money in the long term in 45 out of the 51 US States (the unlucky ones being South Dakota, Idaho, Arkansas, Indiana, North Dakota and Mississippi). If you are lucky enough to live in Hawaii, you will save nearly 24 percent on your fuel bills over 25 years, and States such as California, New York, Colorado and New Jersey will all save 10 percent. If that doesn't sound too great, then consider that the same amount invested in 30-Year US Treasury Bonds over that time would only generate a return of under 4 percent!
If you don't want to pay for your solar panels, you can always lease them instead. This means a company will 'lease' your roof-space off you so they can install panels there. They will then sell you the power that the panels produce at a 'locked-in' fixed rate that's cheaper than mains electricity, but you would not receive the tax breaks and incentives that paying for your own installation brings.
Switching to solar power will definitely save you money, just how and how much is up to you. If you're still unsure about going solar, why not head to the Cost of Solar website and use their handy 'Solar Saving Calculator' to find out just how much money you could save?