Top 5 Benefits of Solar Energy

Not in the solar fan club yet? You are not alone, for sure. But this fan club is gaining followers fast – it’s going viral.

And here’s why.

Over the last few decades, harnessing solar power has taken off, with global Governments actively supporting renewable energy initiatives.

This increase in solar uptake has led to a substantial reduction in installation costs. The initial outlay for solar panels, inverters and even batteries has decreased substantially. According to PV Magazine, prices for a  solar power system have dropped 78% since 2010 in Australia.

Transitioning to solar energy does not just make economic sense, though; you are also doing something good for the environment.

The sun is a POWERful energy source – pardon the pun! Did you know that the sun sends more energy our way in one hour than the world consumes in an entire year? And that energy is free, renewable and clean.

Read on to find out the top five reasons you should seriously consider switching to solar power for your property.

Reason 1: Great return on investment

Yes, you heard right! It’s the ultimate win-win. Homeowners and businesses that have opted for grid-connected solar power can generate their own electricity and save about 20c for every kilowatt-hour (kWh). Plus, the energy you don’t use yourself, you can sell it right back to the grid.

When your solar system sends unused electricity back to the power grid, you will typically get a credit on your electricity bill. This credit is called a feed-in tariff (FiT) and is a rate per kilowatt-hour. How this tariff is calculated and administered varies from state to state and also depends on the power company you are with.

Some changes are afoot as part of the Government’s Smart Solar Reforms, so it’s worthwhile to check eligibility and FiT. There are some excellent resources to find out what’s happening in your area, but we recommend you discuss your options with a professional, certified installer.

Whether you already have solar power but are looking to upgrade or whether you are looking to install a new system, our team will always be happy to provide professional advice.

Reason 2: Increased Home Value

A house with an already functioning solar PV system and heavily reduced electricity bills will be way ahead in the property market game in most instances.

But whether you are thinking of selling your property or not, solar panels are a safe bet to increase the value and sellability of your home. This is because solar panels provide your property with a secure source of energy for the lifetime of the system.

Upfront costs have also decreased drastically, and you may even be eligible for a benefit under the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). The scheme helps businesses and households with the purchase costs of small scale solar, wind and hydro energy systems.

Innovation has also advanced the quality and longevity of your solar parts and is really starting to deliver on the pledge for a cleaner energy future.

With regular maintenance, solar panels now last up to 30 years and solar inverters around 10 – 15 years.

Batteries have also improved and can have a lifespan of anything between 10 and 15 years. However, as a rule of thumb, once the battery’s storage capacity falls to 60%, it is considered to have reached the end of its useful life. We also don’t usually recommend a battery for grid-connected residential properties, as the up-front cost is still usually an unnecessary addition.

Reason 3: Energy Independence

Another point to consider, is that solar produces energy locally at the point of use. This can potentially defer or avoid construction of new plant and connections and reduce network losses, particularly when PV system generation coincides with peak demand periods such as from air conditioning use.

It reduces energy lost in transmission of electricity over long distances between power stations and homes or businesses. By using existing roofs, it avoids the use of land leaving it available for other purposes such as food production.

Also, since we are talking about batteries: They can be a great backup plan that gives you both increased energy independence and energy supply security. If that’s what you’re after?

How much electricity you use in a day depends mainly on where you live, your lifestyle and the size of your household. But whatever your daily power use might be, an Australian home typically uses one-third of it when solar panels actually produce electricity.

The other two-thirds of the day is where a battery can make a real difference. You can either use this stored electricity when needed, usually to power your property at night or on cloudy days.

That being said, we recommend that you chat to a solar professional before deciding to add a battery, because in many cases they end up costing more than they help you save.

Installing a PV system can give you energy independence in remote areas. In fact, remote properties are one of the few examples of when we would recommend a battery. Hooking up to the energy grid is usually more expensive in more sparsely populated parts of the country, and you will also have fewer options when it comes to pricing and price hikes.

Reason 4: Reduce Air Pollution

Renewables such as solar power are increasingly replacing ‘dirty’ resources such as fossil and coal in the energy sector. They offer us a future with lower carbon emissions and other types of pollution.

This decrease in pollution is not just vital for our environment. A push for cleaner air is also essential for our health. Data on the impact of air pollution from various energy sources on our health is quite sobering. In Australia alone, almost 5,000 people annually die from exposure to air pollution. It shows us, that from a well-being as well as a climate perspective, we must change our behaviours and patterns. And one way to do that is to cut our non-renewable energy use.

Reason 5: Cut Your Non-renewable Energy Use

Even Thomas Edison, Godfather of electrical illumination had his dibs on solar:

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” (Thomas Edison  1931)

We reckon he was spot on in his assessment and hopefully would be happy with the progress we have since made.

There have been some fantastic, innovative advances in technology. But more importantly, there’s been a noticeable shift in mindset when it comes to looking after our planet; it’s the only one we have after all.

Our behaviour has become more mindful of our environment. We seek to reduce our own footprint by minimising our waste, making smarter food choices, reducing our energy consumption.

Our choices have shifted. We consider different aspects when we build a house for example. Our expectations of a home have evolved. Renewable energy has become a valid and reliable option.

A good example is the increased demand we are now noticing for Electric Vehicles (EV). Solar systems provide free, zero-emission charging options for EVs (among other emerging technologies), enabling property owners to become more environmentally focussed while maintaining low electricity costs.

So if you are keen to make a change, if you need more details or would just simply like to work through your options, then let’s talk solar!.

Interesting Related Article: “What’s the Cost of Solar Panels?