Just a few, short years ago the idea of renewable resources and alternative energy was considered the future. However, the future of alternative energy is here, now! In 2015 the U.S. Energy Information Administration stated that domestic energy use in 2015 had “the highest renewable energy share since the 1930s, when wood was a much larger contributor to domestic energy supply.” We are part of a solar revolution, and we either ride this solar wave or bow to ever increasing energy bills and a growing carbon footprint.
If you’re a homeowner you understand the frustration of paying large energy bills. What if there was a way you could decrease those bills? Solar, when sized for maximum savings and properly installed, can actually help you create all the electricity you need. And with the costs of solar dropping every day, more and more homeowners can afford to harness the power of the sun. The U.S. Department of Energy annual residential energy report indicated that the costs of clean energy technologies, like residential and utility-sized solar, have fallen by anywhere from 40 to 90 percent since 2008. It’s time for homeowners to join the nation’s alternative energy future and realize that solar energy is no longer a form of “alternative energy” but instead a truly competitive energy resource.
Already thinking about going solar?
TIPS FOR SOLAR SHOPPERS
1. The biggest companies do not always offer the best prices. Homeowners should consider all solar options, not just the brands that are large enough to heavily advertise. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers charge from $2,000-$5,000 more than smaller companies. It is important to understand how different systems can be better for your home. Being informed and open minded is crucial for making the right decision when going solar.
2. Make sure that the design and potential costs are accurate for your home.
Allow companies to come and analyze your roof and energy needs so an appropriate design can be implemented to your home. The more accurately a company can design a system specifically for your location, shading of roof, and other factors, the more you will save.
3. Understand how much electricity your solar system will generate.
With solar panels, their size, cost and time the needed to recover investment, ultimately depend on how much power a home uses. There are many things you can do in your home to maximize your energy savings. Simply changing certain habits, like not having lights on during day or doing laundry after peak hours, can highly impact the energy needed per month and can make you energy independent.
During the first nine months of 2015, 62 percent of new electricity came from renewable energy sources. Within this 62 percent, 15 percent came from solar power. The California academics at The Solutions Project found that by 2050, approximately 15 percent of all electricity would come from rooftop solar including commercial and residential. This might seem far from now but it is estimated for most homeowners to live in the house they own for more than 30 years. The nation’s solar power capacity has grown fifteen-fold since 2010 and solar industry employment recently reached 200,000 people. This is just the beginning of exploiting the gigantic untapped solar potential.