The Pros and Cons of Going Solar

If you’re like many other homeowners, you’ve considered going solar. Whether it’s for the tax write-off, the savings on your energy bills or you are environmentally conscious, there are benefits of going solar. But there are also downsides.

Before you decide to invest in solar panels, as it’s a hefty investment, you should consider both the pros and cons.

The Pros of Going Solar

Going solar has many benefits, as you probably assumed. The top benefits include:

  • You may reduce your electric bills. This is probably the reason you are considering installing solar power in your home. With naturally generated electricity, you pay the electric company less.
  • It may improve your home value. Many home values increase after installing solar panels. If you are moving in the near future, you may see a decent return on your investment. Not every home will increase in value, though; make sure you discuss this with a professional appraiser or realtor in your area to see if home values typically increase with the addition of solar panels.
  • The cost of solar keeps decreasing. In an economy of rising energy rates, it’s a welcome reprieve to learn that solar rates are decreasing.
  • You do your part to protect the environment. Anything you can do to lessen your carbon footprint on the earth can help the environment. Solar energy doesn’t directly pollute the air, which makes it more environmentally friendly.

The Cons of Going Solar

  • Not every home is eligible. Before you settle on installing solar panels, talk with a solar energy company. Have them come out and evaluate your roof – if it’s not the right pitch or steepness, you may not be able to install them.
  • It takes time to break-even. If you are moving in the near future, you probably won’t break-even on the installation costs alone. It takes an average of 8 years to make your investment back. While you may gain some appreciation in the home’s value, it probably won’t be enough to offset the cost right away.
  • Not everyone saves money. If you already don’t pay much for electricity, you won’t see significant savings installing solar panels. This could also mean that it takes longer to realize the savings, making your break-even point even longer.
  • It’s expensive. Let’s face it – installing solar panels is expensive. Most homeowners finance the purchase with the solar energy company. If you aren’t eligible for the financing, you must either pay out of pocket or find financing elsewhere.
  • It’s hard to find quality installers. Don’t just fall for any scheme. Many companies come around and push their services – they typically aren’t legitimate. Do your research and make sure the company you choose has a good background, is licensed and insured, and has positive reviews from people that have used their services before.

The bottom line is that solar isn’t for everyone and it’s not the perfect solution all of the time. Yes, it may lessen your carbon footprint on the earth or you may save some money on your electricity bills, but don’t expect it to be a miraculous change. It’s a costly investment that takes plenty of forethought and research to make sure that it makes sense on your home, in your environment, and given your plans for the future.