Sustainable energy is the wave of the future. As the price of oil continues its steady climb upward and the world’s finite supply of fossil fuels continues to deplete, renewable fuels present the only viable long-term solution to our planet’s exploding demand for energy. For reasons both economic and political, world governments have been slow to enact the sweeping reforms needed to transition our energy sector from the industrial to the digital age. This failure has left many households to consider investing in their own green infrastructure.
The two most obvious options for sustainable power are wind and solar. Homeowners have overwhelmingly flocked to the latter, citing the inherent disadvantages of wind power. For one, wind turbines are big and loud. Unless you own hundreds of acres of property in a rural area, turbines simply don’t provide a workable solution. For the 99.9-percent of us that live elsewhere, only one renewable energy option remains: solar panels.
So is it worth it for you and your family to invest in solar power at home? Unsurprisingly, the answer is: it depends.
There’s no question that solar power is better for the environment than tapping into our polluting power grids. So if your only concern is sustainability, you should go ahead and book some solar panel technicians today. Solar technology is cheaper now than it’s ever been, and a little investment can go a long way towards reducing your electric bill for the duration of your property’s lifespan.
If you’re concerned about the initial expense, there are couple questions you need to ask.
How close is your home to achieving optimal energy efficiency?
When you were shopping for a home, did you look for buildings that were already LEED certified? If so, installing an expensive solar panel system may just be redundant. If you’re living in an older building however, particularly in areas with colder climates, chances are that your energy efficiency is far from optimal. Before installing panels, weatherize your doors and windows and replace old light bulbs and electrical appliances with newer, more efficient versions.
Where can you install your panels for optimal sun exposure?
Solar panel installation is all about location, location, location. Unless you live in the vast deserts of the Southwest, you’re going to have to do some critical thinking about where to place your panels so that they generate enough energy to power your home. There’s no sense in purchasing a solar system if your panels are only going to be exposed to the sun for a fraction of the day.
Are there any incentive programs you can take advantage of?
Solar power in Louisiana has become a more attractive option in recent years due to a system of subsidies and tax incentives that help homeowners defray the cost of solar panels. In 2007, the state passed landmark legislation offering residents a 50% rebate on solar panels. Do your research to determine whether your home state has similar programs.