The first solar panel was created in 1881 by Charles Fritts. While an amazing breakthrough for the time, these early panels were inefficient compared with coal generation. Since then, the efficiency of solar panels has increased dramatically, while the availability of better components and mass production has brought the cost of solar down 90% in the last 10 years. Solar energy is now the cheapest energy on the planet, consistently beating coal and natural gas. Each year the amount of solar installed increases 4x, making solar the fastest growing, cheapest energy around.
Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
To make the consultation most effective, it is best if you are prepared with: 1) Your goals and requirements, 2) Last 12 months’ electric bills, 3) Your roof condition, 4) How long you plan on living in your home.
If your solar panel system is connected to the grid, it will shut off in the event of a blackout. This is to prevent emergency responders and electricity utility repair-people from being injured by your panels sending power back to the grid while they're working on the line. However, there are certain inverters you can buy that provide backup power in a blackout when paired with a battery. It is also possible to pair your solar system with a whole-home generator using a transfer switch to provide consistent power more cheaply than adding batteries.
Solar rebates and incentives vary depending on where you live. The most significant is the 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC), which allows you to deduct 26 percent of the total cost of your solar energy system from your taxes. Some states offer additional tax credits, and certain municipalities and utilities also offer cash rebates or other incentives, though these frequently change. A solar expert can walk you through what's available in your area.
Solar panels convert sunshine into power, so if your panels are covered in snow they can't produce electricity. Snow generally isn’t heavy enough to cause structural issues with your panels, and since most panels are tilted at an angle the snow will slide off. If snow does accumulate, your panels are easy to clean. Surprisingly, when snow slides off your solar panels, it acts like a squeegee, cleaning them for you!
If you can afford to pay your electricity bill you can afford to go solar. $0-down solar financing options make it easy for homeowners with good credit to start saving on their electricity bills by switching to solar. Most homeowners save a little money immediately and save thousands over the life of their system.
Solar panel systems are made of durable, tempered glass and require little to no maintenance. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. Unless you live in an area where there is a large amount of farm dust, rain and snow will usually clean your panels for you.
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