There is a lot of talk these days about solar power saving costs on consumer utility bills, or even replace them completely. Like many things that sound great initially, this could turn out to be much more complex than it appears at first glance. While there may be true benefits, such as savings there are several variables on which the actual effectiveness is highly dependent; it all depends on your individual circumstances.
The Right Conditionals For Going Solar
Solar works significantly better in regions that get a lot of sun and you will benefit more if your electric bills are otherwise higher. The cost of solar is coming down, a little but you still have to a big up-front investment. There is a new alternative that might help you to avoid that initial expenditure. In any case, when you go solar the biggest benefits are long term and environmental.
Hot water solar systems and passive solar have been around for decades. The advances in materials that have reduced the cost of solar electric have been more recent and so the use in domestic applications has only just started to grow in the last few years.
Installation costs can be high and it may take a significant length of time to recoup the cost through energy savings. This is also dependent on the comparative price of conventional energy on offer from your local power company; the higher the price, the more quickly you will recoup your investment.
Solar At The Heart Of Sustainability
One significant reason that you might consider adding solar to your home is that it aligns with your personal values. There is a growing awareness in our culture of the importance of sustainability as a factor in the choices that we make about the resources that you consume.
Sustainability has come to mean the consideration of how resources are consumed throughout the life cycle of a building, organization or business. To get the big picture in sustainability you have to account for the costs of the industrial processes to create the materials for construction, the energy to transport to site the energy and materials consumed during the lifetime of the system and the energy and materials to demolish, recycle or refurbish the system at the end of the life cycle.
Going solar has an appeal in the sustainability picture because the only cost is mainly in the one-time manufacture and installation; the longer it remains in use, the more it saves on the cost of utilities that rely on the continuous consumption of finite resources and that continuously produce polluting emissions.
Getting Help With The Initial Investment
Because of the potential environmental benefits, there may also be subsidies or grants in your area that you can apply for, to help with the cost of going solar. You are not going to see an instant benefit in the investment but over time the savings in electricity may improve your position. This may be increased over time as new technology is being researched and developed all of the time.
You can lease the equipment now. An innovative approach to solar is the introduction of leasing arrangements that help homeowners avoid the high up front investment. In return, they receive metered energy at a reduced rate compared to the local utilities. Although there is a periodic energy bill it saves money and also gives the benefit of making a positive contribution to the environment.