Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy
Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Did you know that the majority of electricity in the United States is being generated by the use of coal or fossil fuels? We know that the overuse of fossil fuels is harming the environment and as a result, many people are looking for ways to sustainably supply their homes with energy. With that in mind, we'll cover the environmental benefits of solar energy to help you decide if going solars the right choice for you.
The Differences Between Solar and Traditional Energy
Here's a fun fact; If we could capture all of the energy the sun shines on the earth for just one hour, we could power the entire world for one year. Solar energy is a powerful thing- and if you're considering getting solar for your home, you should know that you'll be helping both the environment and yourself. We mentioned that the majority of the electricity being generated in the U.S. is from the use of fossil fuels- about 62.7 percent, to be more exact. When these energy sources are burned, they can be used to produce electricity. However, in doing so, they also create large amounts of greenhouse gasses that are released into the environment. These gasses pollute our air and trap heat in the atmosphere making earth a more harsh environment every year.
Solar energy collects light from the sun via solar panels to produce electricity. When the light hits the panel, photons of light are converted to electrons. This process creates little to no carbon emissions and is a sustainable way to power our homes and businesses. Plus, it doesn't require any fuel beyond what is already naturally produced by the sun which means we're significantly reducing the carbon footprint.
Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy
Fossil fuels have taken a toll on our environment and on our health. This is why many people are switching over to solar energy as it is an effective way of remedying the problem.
Is renewable energy and removes nothing from the environment. There is no drilling or mining used to extract the energy source and only requires minimal equipment to install in your home or office building.
Decreases carbon emissions. Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for about 39 percent of all carbon emissions. Did you know that the average household is emitting about 20 metric tons of carbon pollution every year? Switching to solar energy can reduce that number by 3 to 4 tons.
Reduces water use. Coal and nuclear plants can use up to 60 gallons of water for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. Harnessing solar energy requires very little water to operate, if any at all, and reduces the potentiality of water being polluted by manufacturing processes.
Reduces land use. Traditional power plants require an immense amount of land to lend to the manufacturing process. Using solar energy requires less than 20 percent of the space required of traditional power plants and can be used for more housing, schools, and businesses.
Is made of long-lasting materials. Solar panels have longer life-spans than traditional equipment used to harness energy. In fact, our SunPower solar panels include a 25 year warranty. This not only ensures that you will have an energy source you can rely on, it means that there is less material being thrown away, another benefit for our environment.
Personal Benefits Using Solar Energy
Using solar panels in your home is not only good for the environment, it's also good for you! By using solar panels, you:
Can reduce your energy bills. On sunny days, you will generate far more than you consume. Most people are unaware of the fact that you can then trade that energy with the utility companies to save or even eliminate your electricity bill. Even on cloudy days, you will still collect energy from the sun though it will not yield as much as a sunnier day. Even still, you'll decrease your energy bill!
Earn tax credits or rebates. When you file your taxes, you will get back 30 percent of the total cost of what it took to equip and install your home with solar panels as a federal income tax credit. The intention of the government is to encourage more and more people to use solar energy in their day-to-day lives. Your investment will most likely have a payback period of about 3 years and the panels themselves will have warranties that could range from 10 to 25 years making it a socially responsible, ethical, and economically profitable. SunPower has the best warranty and highest efficiency of any panels making them the clear choice for solar. There are also many options for a cost-free installation including $0 down financing options which still cost you less than your utility bills and they're fixed - meaning you know exactly what you need to budget each month.
Start saving on your first day. The cost of energy use annually is usually thousands of dollars depending on where you live. The very day your solar panels are installed, you will be reducing or even completely eliminating these costs. They also preserve the life of your roof since they are providing protection from the elements.
Contribute to better health. When you cut carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels you will be contributing to the health of yourself and the general public. Areas that use a substantial amount of solar energy report fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory, and problems involving the cardiovascular system.
Improve the resale value of your home. If you think you may sell your home in the future, solar panels can drastically increase its value. Most people have a general understanding of the benefits of solar panels and having them installed already cuts out the work they may not be wanting to have to do themselves.
Solar energy is a wise investment for the health of the planet that ends up helping us on an individual level too. By reducing carbon emissions we expose ourselves to less and less pollution. This improves our health, creates a healthier world for future generations and saves us immense amounts of money. If any of this resonates with you, or you have more questions feel free to contact us. Now is the best time to start using solar in your home!