Head of Sales & Operations
Director of Installers
Solar Energy – Pros and Cons
April 20, 2019
In today’s livestream, Patrick and Rex go over the pros and cons of solar panels. These factors can also be considered the pros and cons of solar energy.
What Are the Advantages of Solar Energy?
- One of the biggest advantages of using solar energy is the savings on your electricity bills as it is possible to meet your energy needs with the electricity generated by your solar power system.
- With Net Energy Metering (NEM), you would be able to give the surplus energy back to the grid and can also get it from the grid when it is needed.
- There is also a possibility to receive payments for the overproduced energy that you export back to the grid which can be accounted for bill credits.
- However, there are some utilities that don’t allow NEM. In these scenarios, it would be difficult to save money on your utility bills.
- With sunlight being the source, solar energy is considered as true renewable energy. We can harness solar energy every day in all areas of the world and is available as long as we have sun and its sunlight.
- It is the cleanest form of energy when compared to other fossil fuels. Opting solar energy on a wide scale can significantly decrease one’s carbon footprint.
- Sunlight enables you to produce your own power and makes you independent from the grid.
- Along with installing solar panels, many homeowners are setting up home battery storage systems. These battery storage systems serve as micro-grids and as a source of local power.
- In scenarios such as forest fires, blackouts, etc., people are often cut from electricity from the grid. By depending upon solar energy, you can access power from your solar and home battery storage systems.
- You can access solar energy’s advantages to the fullest if you choose to install a home battery system. Solar energy system installed on your roof coupled with a battery storage system can give you more freedom and flexibility while addressing your energy needs, as it makes you independent from the grid.
- Due to the recent advancements in the batteries that made them more reliable and cost-effective, it is worthy to invest in a battery storage system.
- Incentives such as the Self-Generation Incentive Program and the 30% Federal Tax Credit on the battery system that is installed within a year of installing solar panels can help people to have their own storage system.
- Utilities have recently introduced Time of Use (ToU) rate plans which helps its customers shift their loads from higher priced On-Peak times to lower-priced Off-Peak times.
- With the ToU rate plan, you can produce energy in the morning when the rates are lower and can save that energy in your battery by not sending it into the grid. During nights, when electricity rates are usually higher, you will be able to export this energy from your battery storage system. This will minimize the stress on the grid and can save you money in the super peak hours.
What Are the Disadvantages of Solar Energy:
- Going solar can be considered as a construction project on your property. It might seem daunting as you might have to deal with a lot of unfamiliar concepts such as selecting the right equipment, finding a good local installer, financial options, incentives, and tax credits.
- With expert solar guidance, you will be able to find a solar power system that suits your roof better.
- Roof penetrations are one of the biggest client concerns when it comes to solar panel installations.
- The panels have to be steadily placed on the roofs with the help of mounts that have to be drilled into your roof’s rafters. And again installation practices vary by your roof type and material.
- While working on clay or stone tiles, some tiles may need to be removed and cuts may need to be made to install the mounts and flashing. Wood shake roofs are easier to have panels installed but require flashing that extends underneath the row of wood shakes.
- Roof with asphalt composite shingles is easy to work with as they need just rafters to be installed. Also, standing-seam metal roofs require no heavy penetration as the solar mounting clamps can be attached directly to the seams.
- But with mounting equipment and warranties, homeowners are protected against any physical damages on their roofs. Choosing the right installer that provides a good workmanship warranty can protect in scenarios where you notice a leak. Make sure to check with your installer if they are covering roof penetrations within their workmanship warranty.
- Considering a solar panel system is an unfamiliar construction project for a lot of homeowners. Salespeople might want to take advantage of your situation by forcing you to sign an agreement that might not be in your best interest.
- These unfamiliar processes coupled with high-pressure sales can give you a bad buying experience.
- Salespeople may sometimes guarantee overestimated system production.
- It is important to educate yourself on the concepts around solar power system before making a decision. Nowadays, there are many online solar marketplaces that act as your energy advocates, educate you on these concepts, and help you choose a system that is best for your property.