By now, many homeowners are aware of the benefits solar panels deliver – lower energy bills, a higher home value, and a reduced carbon footprint, just to name a few. But a few lesser-known solar panel facts could also influence you to go green and save with solar. Here, Vision Solar offers a look at five things to know about solar panels that make them a smart source of energy for any home.
1. You can choose from two types of solar panel systems.
While all solar panels convert sunlight into usable forms of energy, there are two types of solar panels on the market that work in different ways. The most common are photovoltaic (PV) panels, which utilize an electric field and an inverter to convert the sun’s photons into AC electricity. The second type, solar thermal panels, converts the sun’s warmth to heat water in the home. Solar thermal panels also heat swimming pools and the interior of your home for an all-in-one heating solution.
2. Solar energy is more affordable than any other source of fuel.
The electricity produced by solar panels carries a price tag of $0.00 once you pay for the cost of installation. According to research, the next cheapest form of energy is natural gas, which can cost up to 7.8 cents per kWh. And compared to coal, nuclear, and diesel, even natural gas can become quite the bank breaker, especially when heating your home during the winter. It all points to solar power soon overcoming every form of fossil fuel thanks to its dramatic cost savings.
3. Solar panels work with or without direct sunlight.
Even on cloudy or rainy days and during the winter, enough sunlight is present throughout the day to power your home. And while your system won’t be able to produce electricity or heat at night, net metering offers a solution. When excess energy produced during daylight hours is stored in your utility company’s grid, net metering ensures you receive a credit for the energy. The credit may be used to power your home during the nighttime hours or when clouds or other weather stop panels from absorbing sunlight.
4. It only takes a few years to break even.
While most homeowners must consider finances when making upgrades, many report that their solar panel system paid for itself within eight years. In some cases, that time may be as short as three years. The timeframe depends on your home’s location and how many solar panels are installed, but after 20 years, you can expect savings of more than $20,000.
5. One hour of sunshine can provide enough energy to power all of Earth for an entire year.
Energy sourced from the sun is the most plentiful form of energy on the planet. Just one hour of sunshine provides enough power to heat and generate electricity for the whole planet for an entire year or longer. By tapping into this abundance of power, you are contributing to moving humanity one step closer toward renewable and green energy every day.
Get the Facts about Solar Panels
If you’re interested in solar panels for the home, there’s no better time to contact Vision Solar. We offer more than 50 years of experience serving customers in NJ and PA and can help identify the best solar panel options for your sustainability and budgetary goals. To get started, request a free quote today.