Why Not Go Solar?

The other day I read a comment on an article about finding new ways to create energy so we wouldn’t have to use oil. One comment was more about how to reduce the use of electricity. He said if there was a new law that was passed that all new buildings built had to run on solar energy, that would solve a lot of future problems our world (or country) would face.

Technically I think that would be a law that each state would have to pass, but either way, I agree that going solar has a lot of benefits. Not only does it help the environment, but it also saves the owner of the property money in the long run.

Yes it costs some money to get started, but it’s an investment, and if you make payments on your new solar equipment at first, eventually you won’t have any payments at all, and you also won’t have an electric bill.

Baker Electric Solar provides eco-living power to those who want to go solar, save the environment, and save some money in the process.

If I was in my forever home (which has yet to happen) I would definitely put a few solar panels up on my house to reduce (or remove) the cost of electricity per month. In a house in southern california, it is typical to spend at least $100 per month on electricity. When we owned our house, I think our smallest electric bill was around $50, but that was the smallest. Imagine saving about $100 per month? That adds up to $1200 per year! And that means $24,000 after 20 years. Imagine if you invested that savings in a CD or something? You could end up with a much better retirement simply by going solar.

And like I said before, it’s better for the environment.

The sun is already there, we might as well use it! ;)

Thanks to Baker Electric Solar for making this post possible. We couldn’t do it without people like you!

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10 Responses to 'Why Not Go Solar?'

  1. Kara says:

    You say that you won’t have any payments eventually, but the batteries requires to store solar energy are lead-acid. Two issues there: lead-acid batteries are extremely damaging to the environment to make and extreme cold or extreme heat causes them to fail more frequently and therefore need to be replaced at high cost. Solar is awesome, but it’s not the answer for everyone in every climate.

    • Lisha says:

      well, there you have it then. I’m sure it’s not the answer for everyone. And I suppose there are pros and cons to everything. The real solution would be to try to reduce the amount of energy we need to use period.

    • While batteries are an option, the overwhelming majority of the installations we have seen and done are grid-tied systems that do not require batteries, because energy generated by the solar power system goes back to the existing energy grid.

  2. kelly says:

    Cool post! I hope the cost of using solar panels goes down so it makes it more feasible for people in less sunny climates to use them!
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    • Lisha says:

      I bet solar costs will go down over time, just like all technology lowers in price once it’s been around for a while :)

  3. The cost of solar panels is also offset by tax incentives and federal grants, which can significantly reduce the upfront cost of solar panels. Plus, SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) also help homeowners with the cost of solar, because your utility company will pay you for producing electricity (this depends on local policies and renewable energy goals, and the price for SRECs is subject to change).

    Another thing that we have found to be very popular is solar leasing, which is where homeowners lease the solar panels for a term (for example, 20 years), during which time all parts and maintenance are covered. At the end of the term, the solar power system can be purchased at market value, leased for another term, or removed.

    In response to the other comment, it is actually interesting to note that solar power works even in cloudy weather. True, the sun exposure is a little less on cloudy days, but just look at Germany, where the market saturation of solar power is very high, but the weather is not known for being particularly sunny.

    Additionally, sometimes people believe that hot, sunny climates are ideal for solar power. This is not entirely true. Locations like deserts, for example, are great because of their sun exposure, which is helped by the fact there are few or no trees to create shading. However, the heat has nothing to do with it. In fact, solar panels become less efficient as the temperature rises. In the areas that we serve in the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern states, we have many customers that get plenty of sun exposure (and therefore enough solar power generation to meet their needs) even though we are not known for particularly warm and sunny weather.

    I’d be happy to discuss this further with anyone who has questions, either here, or on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/solarenergyworld)!

  4. kara says:

    I have to disagree with you that this is a one-time investment. Currently the technology in storage is limited to lead-acid deep cycle batteries. Those do have to be replaced periodically, plus extremes of temperature (like living in Phoenix or Minneapolis or any other place where it gets extremely hot or extremely cold) will dramatically affect the lifespan of the battery. And these batteries are EXPENSIVE. These aren’t your $120 car batteries. They range anywhere from $300 – $900 each. And you can’t have just one battery. Most home applications to supplement “on the grid” electricity require a bank of 10-12 batteries to store up enough power to be functional.

    Also keep in mind the environmental impact of making these batteries – out of lead and caustic acids. My ex works for a battery manufacturing company and we’ve discussed in depth the impact of making batteries as well as disposing of them when they fail (and they will fail).

    Solar power is a good thing and I know a lot of people who are supplementing their home grid power source with it, especially here in the south where we get a lot of sunlight. It can be even more beneficial if you live in an area that allows you to sell-back excess power to the utilities. But it’s not always a cheaper alternative to grid power, and it’s not always a better environmental choice.
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