The decline in supply of easily accessible oil and natural gas and the negative impact our use of fossil fuels is having on our environment has resulted in increased interest in sources of clean and efficient energy. An ever-increasing number of home and business owners are taking advantage of one source of renewable energy – solar power. Going solar means huge benefits to home and business owners as well as Planet Earth.
Since 2008, U.S. installations have grown seventeen-fold from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) to an estimated 30 GW today, enough to power the equivalent of 5.7 million average American homes. According to SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), the U.S. solar market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 68% in the last decade. The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70% since 2010, leading the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide.
Why is the solar energy market expanding so rapidly? It is because going solar means huge benefits. Consider the following advantages:
Solar energy is a renewable energy source. We can’t run out of solar energy for as long as the sun is alive – another 6.5 billion years according to NASA.
The US Department of Energy calculates that the surface of the earth receives 120,000 terawatts of solar radiation (sunlight) – 20,000 times more power than what is needed to supply the entire world. Or, said another way, “the sun continuously pelts the earth with 35,000 times the amount of energy required by all of us who now use electricity on the planet!” Clearly, solar energy can meet current needs as well as those of future generations.
There are emissions associated with manufacturing, transporting and installing solar energy systems but once installed, solar energy does not cause pollution. This is an important step in fighting climate change and the gradual warming of our planet. The average residential solar system offsets about 100,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide in 20 years – the equivalent of driving a car for 100,000 miles. In addition, because there are no moving parts involved in most applications of solar power, there is no associated noise. Solar is a quiet and clean source of energy.
All countries on Earth can access solar energy. And, solar energy can be stored and shared across the globe, including with those who do not have photovoltaic panels installed but who are tied in to a utility grid that transports electricity throughout a community. 1.5 billion persons globally, representing 22% of the earth’s population, currently do not have access to electricity. These persons reside mostly in rural areas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, but can also be found in South America, Central Asia, and Central America, as well as in urban areas in less-developed nations. The capability of off-grid photovoltaic cells with battery storage to change lives around the globe is unlimited.
In most locations, homeowners can now “sell” excess electricity, or receive bill credits, during times when they produce more electricity than what they actually consume. In addition, you will eventually recoup the cost of installing solar for your house or business over time. Consider thefollowing:
The average solar energy system size in the U.S is approximately 5 kilowatts (kW). Based on the average price of $3.14/watt, installing a 5kW system would cost $10,990 after tax credits. The current federal solar tax credit reduces your solar system cost by 30 percent plus some states, local governments, and utilities also offer rebates and other tax incentives that can further reduce the solar system costs quoted by your local solar installers.
So how much will you actually saving over 20 years as a result of installing a solar energy system? That depends on where you live. For example, according to Energy Sage, homeowners will save about $38,000 on average in Portland when they go solar. In Boston, homeowners will save $63,000 on average, and in Los Angeles, homeowners can save a whopping $90,000 over 20 years.
Increase The Value of Your Home or Business
A study conducted by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more money. In addition, U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the sales price of the average home increased $17,000 with solar panels. And going solar means huge benefits financially not just when you sell your house. There is little or no upkeep or associated maintenance costs for those solar panels during the time you own your home. Residential solar panels usually only require cleaning a couple of times a year. Serious solar manufacturers provide 20- or 25-year warranties (also known as a performance guarantee) with their solar panels. The industry standard guarantees 80% performance after 25 years.
So, going solar means huge benefits for our planet and for you as a New Yorker. Our state has a history of success in terms of state and local policy as well as financial offsets to support home and business owners who embrace this technology. There has been an 800% increase in solar between 2011 and 2016 in New York and solar rebates are still available for upstate homeowners and those served by Con Edison.
According to Energy Sage, there are three main sources of financial incentives for NYers to “go solar.” Going solar means huge benefits, including
1. The Megawatt Block Incentive, a program that provides an up front dollars-per-watt ($/W) rebate for both commercial and residential solar panel systems. The size of the subsidy depends on how much solar energy is already being produced in your area.
2. New York net metering , a policy that ensures you get paid for the solar electricity you generate and send into the grid. You get credits for the solar power you accrue to be used at night or in the winter when your system produces less electricity.
3. The New York State Solar Equipment Tax Credit which reduces your state tax payment up to $5,000 or 25% off your total solar energy expenses, whichever amount is lower.
To learn more about these incentives, you need to connect with a New York solar expert like Venture Solar today. Venture Solar stands ready to help you explore your solar options and to learn more about the financial offsets to make your system even more affordable. Headquartered in Brooklyn, we only serve NYC and the surrounding areas. Find out how you can be part of the NY initiative to bring clean energy to all New Yorkers. Call us at 800-203-4158 to learn more.