If you own your own home and you’re considering buying or leasing solar panels, you have a lot of information to consider before making any commitments. It’s great that you want to save money, reduce your environmental impact, and make your home more efficient, and solar panels will help will all of those goals. In order to avoid disappointment, though, you need to understand the current limitations of solar power.
Why Going “Off The Grid” Is Super Expensive
For some homeowners, the primary appeal of a solar power system is the possibility of becoming truly energy independent, i.e., meeting all of your electricity needs on your property. The truth of the matter is, this is not a realistic goal for most homeowners to have. An “off grid” solar system is considerably more complicated and expensive than ordinary residential solar panels. It requires more panels, a bigger power inverter, and a very large battery backup system. The financial and space requirements put this option outside the reach of many homeowners.
Savings Vary With The Seasons
While solar panels generate power whenever the sun is shining, their overall productivity is heavily affected by both short-term weather and long-term climate. Storms and overcast days will significantly reduce production, and the total amount of power produced is much lower in winter. This is due to the shorter days rather than the cold temperatures, (solar cells are actually more efficient when they’re cold) and there’s really no way around it. For many residential customers, solar power only offers significant savings during the spring and summer months.
The Problem With Leases
Solar leasing companies are increasingly common, and they offer you the opportunity to get panels on your roof with minimal upfront costs. You need to be extremely careful about assessing the savings potential of leased systems, though. Leasing companies will charge you a fixed monthly cost for your panels. While the goal is always to install a system that saves you more money through reduced utility bills than it costs in lease payments, not all companies can actually deliver. You may be stuck with a system that saves you money one month and costs you money the next. Do your homework and stick with solar companies that have strong records for customer satisfaction like Solar Panels Perth.
Don’t get discouraged by these basic limitations of residential solar panels. The good news is that solar equipment is constantly evolving, and it becomes more powerful and more efficient all the time. This means the price of solar power is constantly falling while the cost of energy derived from fossil fuels is always going up. Even if solar power doesn’t fit your needs right now, it may be a great option for you in the very near future.
For more information on solar energy, read here.