Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity

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Solar energy is sustainable, renewable, and plentiful. As the cost of using solar to produce electricity goes down each year, many Americans are increasingly switching to solar. Now, there are over a million solar installations across the country. Below are additional benefits of switching to solar electricity.

Cost Savings

Financial returns and lower monthly utility bills are major incentives for going solar. The exact savings you will see with solar depends on the following: 

  • Electricity consumption
  • Solar energy system size
  • Whether you purchase or lease your system
  • Direct hours of daily sunlight
  • Size and angle of roof
  • Local electricity rates

 A solar electric system provides an opportunity for anyone who is looking to reduce monthly utility bills and make a long-term, low-risk investment.

Increased Home Value

Solar panels are viewed as upgrades, like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, so purchasing a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. Studies show that homeowners pay a premium for a solar home; one study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that on average, solar increased the value of a home by about $15,000. Although market factors like electricity rates and system size may impact the size of the premium, solar homes can sell for more than homes without PV. Learn more about solar and real estate.

Solar Works Everywhere

The solar resource of the United States is enormous.  In fact, just one hour of noontime summer sun is equal to the annual U.S. electricity demand.  Most states in the United States have good-to-excellent solar resource. Even places with relatively low solar resources, such as the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, can experience cost savings, and have similar solar resources to countries that have widely developed solar PV, like Germany.

Environmental

Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar that is generated will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2, as well as other dangerous pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.  Solar also reduces water consumption and withdrawal.

A federal tax credit is available for solar energy systems. The credit is for 30% through 2019, then decreases to 26% for tax year 2020, then to 22% for tax year 2021. It expires December 31, 2021. Learn more and find state and local incentives.