Here are three ways investing in solar can actually save you cash in the long run.
Many argue that solar energy is the future energy source of the human race. After all, as long as the Sun is up and shining, society has a sustainable power supply for its electric vehicles and iPads. But despite the up-and-coming energy source’s progress throughout the last decade, many still remain oblivious to the potential positive changes that solar can unlock. Here are three ways investing in solar can actually save you cash in the long run.
Pay As You Go
As of 2013, 75 percent of all US households had access to solar energy services in a pay-as-you-go financing structure. So how does it work? Basically, the technology end comprises of cost-effective, prepaid meters that are integrated with complex cloud-based software that is built into the solar panels. Household or commercial consumers pay a small money down for a high-end solar installation. After the initial installation, you can then just top up your solar panels using a mobile device. Over time, you end up paying only for the power used, which is made highly accurate thanks to the technology platform supporting it.
While the pay-as-you-go financing structure is an excellent way to own and use solar energy, homeowners should consider paying in cash via a home equity loan or taking on a mortgage. If you choose to finance the entire system in cash, the payback period can usually be stretched up to 10 years, which adequately distributes the financial burden of owning the system. This makes it possible even for low-income and middle-class households to take on the greener alternative.
Boost Property Value
Purchasing a home with well-maintained solar panels equate to higher value and lower power bills for the prospecting buyer or tenant. Solar panels can serve as the key differentiator between your home and the vast other properties being sold in your area. It can make it more attractive to buyers, regardless of current or future real estate market health. According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, households that feature a functional solar panel sell at a faster rate of 20 percent. In addition, a 17 percent increase in value can be expected. These figures sound nominal, but relatively conservative as future economic conditions breed greater need for and dependency on solar paneled households.
To put this into perspective, average installation of solar panels in a household that’s within the $500,000 range can command a $20,200 premium on the sales price of the property. Considering the average cost of solar installation to be at the $20,800 level after subsidies, such as federal tax benefits, are applied, you are poised to make back roughly 97 percent of your investment. Add this to the long-term savings gained from reduced utility bills and you have yourself more than enough reason to invest in solar energy.
Be Energy Independent
Solar technology has transformed radically both in terms of efficiency and dependability. It has also ushered in a new way of managing your household’s power source. Choosing to generate your own energy as opposed to gushing it from the power lines and posts of utility companies transfer the power to control cost from a utility company’s hands into your own. Being energy-independent through solar energy means your utility bills do not wildly change and bloat up whenever your provider sees it fit.
Solar energy is undoubtedly one of the key technologies that will have a substantial impact towards future generations. While households and commercial clients of solar power celebrate and champion the long-term cost savings offered by solar, the real advantage of switching to this power alternative is the environmental impact it has on the planet.
Lizzie Weakley, the author of this article, is a freelance writer
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