Updated: Mar 25
If you have been paying attention to the news, you have probably heard about extreme weather events caused by climate change. According to a report, there were 7,348 major natural disasters, resulting in $2.97 trillion in economic losses in the past 20 years. This is not only bad news for the environment but it also costs homeowners more money in energy bills as extreme temperatures become increasingly common. Installing solar panels can help you combat both the cause of climate change and the effects. If you’re on the fence, GreenLifeNH explains why this is a great way to do your part for the environment.
Benefits of Solar Panels
One of the top reasons people install solar panels is to save money on their energy bills. If you live in a place with a lot of sunlight, you could potentially cover all of your energy needs with solar energy, but even people who live in places with a lot of cloud cover can still save. Other benefits include the 26% federal solar tax credit for residential solar systems, which is scheduled to phase down in 2023. You may also be eligible for rebates or state and local tax credits, depending on where you live.
It can be easy to talk yourself out of the benefits of going green, but it’s difficult when you take a close look at solar energy. Solar panels can increase the resale value of your home. Additionally, they may increase the life of your roof by protecting it from snow, rain, and debris. Finally, solar power has many environmental benefits. It does not pollute the air and water or increase greenhouse gas emissions the way burning fossil fuels does. Solar energy also requires less water to operate.
Solar Panel Installation
Because solar panel installation involves specialized knowledge and skills, do-it-yourself installation is not recommended. However, it helps to familiarize yourself with the process. First, you will meet with an engineer to evaluate your electrical system and make sure everything is compatible. The engineer will also inspect your roof to make sure it can support the weight of your solar panels. Composite and metal roofs are the best options for solar panel installation, but your installer may be able to work with you if you have a more difficult type of roof, such as a cedar shake roof.
Next, the installation professional will help you obtain all the permits and documentation required in your area to legally install the panels. Once you have your permits, the installer will help you order your equipment. Your professional will install the equipment when it arrives, connect it, and get it approved. Finally, unless you are completely off the grid, a representative from your local utility company will connect your system to their electrical grid so that you can supplement your solar power when needed or sell excess power generated by your panels to the utility company.
Federal Housing Administration's Energy Efficient Mortgage Program
The FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage program was established to help families save money on energy bills by installing energy-efficient home improvements, such as solar panels. To qualify for this financing, the upgrades you intend to make must be considered cost-effective, which is defined as the cost of the materials and labor being equal to or less than the energy savings they generate.
With the climate in crisis and federal incentive programs set to expire, now is the time to consider installing solar panels. You can save the planet and your wallet at the same time.
- Dean Burgess