This story is sponsored by Clear Solar. Learn more about Clear Solar.
You've seen them on people's roofs and throughout the community but you still have a lot of questions about solar energy. In this case, there's a reason more and more people are putting solar panels on their roofs — several reasons, actually. Here are 10 that might get you thinking along those lines as well.
1. Save money
Once installed, solar panels collect the money that is lying on your roof in the form of unharnessed energy. Even if you use the solar for only part of your energy needs, it lowers your power bill. Rocky Mountain Power provides net metering to charge you only for the power you get from it, and not for what is generated from your panels.
2. Make money
In some cases, you can actually put power back onto the grid so the power company owes you instead of the other way around. Plus, it's fun to talk about how your power meter runs backward.
3. Rebates and incentives
The federal government has a solar incentive tax credit program through which a "taxpayer may claim a credit of 30 percent of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States," according to the website.
4. Emergency power
Think about how much you depend on your electricity. When the power is out, almost everything in your house shuts down. It's inconvenient and possibly dangerous. If your system is tied to the grid, your solar panels won't operate your house fully without expensive backup batteries. But with new inverter technology, you could get enough electricity to charge your phones and run fans. It's enough to get by on.
Solar providers take comfort that they can take part in emergency preparedness. Cade Spackman, Vice President of Business Development, at Clear Solar said, “It is good to know there are options out there for the community through an alternate source of power if the utility companies fail us.”
The solar industry has pushed to create panels that are warrantied for 20 or more years — longer than a lot of roofs will last. Finding the right provider is the key.
6. Environmentally responsible
The more power from the sun that we harness, the less dependent we are on fossil fuels. Solar power will save you money, but it also will cut down on emissions and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. It's a win for your wallet and for the world.
7. Cools the house
Researchers at University of California, San Diego, used thermal imaging to show that a building's roof was 5 degrees cooler under the solar panels. It's a similar effect to planting a tree. The panels also keep your house warmer when it's cold out. Good news for Utah winters.
8. Protects the roof
Not only are solar panels safe to install on your roof, but they actually protect the part of the roof that they cover from the elements.
Some home improvements do not add value to the home; they just please the current owner. Adding solar to your home often increases the resale value. You reap the rewards both on your lower power bill and when it comes time to sell the house.
10. Low maintenance
Solar panels have no moving parts, so they are easy to care for. Once they're in, there is no ongoing cost, noise or strange smell.
If you're thinking of solar, talk to a professional who can show you how you can make the sun work for you.