From electric cars to sustainable flooring, and clean eating — many Americans are making the conscious decision to lessen their carbon footprint. As this becomes a cultural shift, we’ll see the benefits for years to come by switching to eco-friendly solutions for the demand to fight climate change.
The existing human population cannot use all the solar energy the earth receives daily. However, this is becoming a recognized phenomenon. Currently, over 27% of homeowners have installed solar panels, and 67% of non-solar homes are interested in the switch.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons to switch to solar panels to reduce your carbon footprint while investing in your future.
1. Cut Electric Bill
The amount of money you can save on your electric bill will vary monthly. Variances are due to weather changes and the differences in average energy consumption over time. Going solar saves Americans, on average, $1,500 a year, or $37,500 over 25 years.
That comes out to about $125 per month of saving on your electricity bill.
2. Government Grants
If cost is a concern for switching to solar energy, don’t worry. There are now government grants and loans to help cover the cost.
A federal program called the Solar Tax Credit, commonly referred to as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), aims to encourage the expansion of the solar industry in the US. The ITC is a form of tax credit provided by the government. The solar sector in the US has increased by 10,000% since the ITC was implemented in 2006.
In addition, many states have incentives for their residents to take advantage of solar.
3. Reducing Dependence on Oil
The U.S is now the largest consumer of oil worldwide. Going solar-powered would reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports and improve our air quality. In addition, solar energy powers houses, electric cars, and heat water.
4. Return on Investment
In modern times, sustainability has become a big selling point in the housing market. Beyond the buzzword, many sustainable products increase the longevity of a home. This means that new home owners will incur less costs for repairs and renovations on top of their electric bills.
Take bamboo flooring, for example. While the manufacturing process is lauded for its sustainable basis, the toughness of the floors make them last decades longer than vinyl, carpet, and even other hardwoods. Paying for sustainable quality up front can drive up your home value because future buyers won’t have to worry about replacing everything from the floor to the ceiling.
As solar panels become a box to check for prospective homebuyers, placing them on your home could increase its value, in some cases by tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster than homes without. Adding solar panels to your home makes for a great return on investment if you plan to sell in the future.
5. Can Be Installed Anywhere
Solar panels should be installed where the most direct sunlight hits and can be installed practically anywhere. They can be placed:
- Over parking lots
- Mounted in the yard
- Over garages
- Storage Unit
- The ground
Solar panels can also be set up as a charging station anywhere. So you’ll be covered if an emergency arises and you need to charge your electric car or use your devices.
6. Creates Jobs
Where the coal industry once thrived, the rise of the solar industry takes its place. The solar industry has created many jobs and is a much safer alternative to coal mining. In addition, as cities and towns pledge sustainability goals, the acceptance of solar companies continues to increase.
The industry provides a steady and secure job that is unlikely to become obsolete..
7. Does Not Cause Pollution
Solar panels are a clean source of energy. When used, solar energy systems and power plants don’t emit any greenhouse gases or pollute the air. Therefore, when solar energy replaces or lessens the usage of other energy sources with more significant environmental impacts, it can have a positive, indirect effect on the environment.
8. There Are Portable Solar Panels
Have you heard of the rising “van life” trend? There is an increasing amount of people converting vans, buses, and cars into mobile homes. Time and time again, people are using solar panels to power them.
There are countless solar panel options available that are easy for a single person to install, pick up, and move on a whim. As van lifers like to travel, having a setup that relies on energy from the sun to cook food, charge devices, and work is optimal.
9. Ability To Live Off-Grid
If your dream is to go off in the woods somewhere and live off-grid, this isn’t as far-fetched as it once was. In theory, living off-grid entails supplying your energy requirements locally and living independently of public services. Solar energy is typically used to do this.
10. Healthy For The Environment
Solar panels do not produce pollution or greenhouse gases. Using them reduces the reliance on energy from the grid — which can often be a burden on resources. Solar energy is also a renewable energy source — it’s not going away for the foreseeable future (and if it did, we’d have much larger issues to address). Lastly, solar panels require little maintenance, which is an attractive feature.