Despite the proven benefits of using solar energy,and the options to finance or lease solar panels for your home, solar power still accounts for less than .05 percent of energy consumption in the United States. While that percentage probably seems alarmingly low, it actually reflects a 20 percent increase in solar energy usage over the past 15 years!
Homeowners who invest in home solar panel systems do so, first and foremost, to reduce energy costs. After paying an average of 2,000 and 4,500 dollars for residential solar installation, the typical solar energy systems can replace up to 80 percent of the energy needed for heating. For an average sized home, this reduces heating costs by, roughly, 300 dollars per year.
Of course, there are other variables to consider, as well. The most important of these are square footage, number of floors, and how much heat is used in the household. While 300 dollars may not seem like a lot, for some homeowners, that is the equivalent of tearing up one to two heat bills each year. Furthermore, the advantages of solar energy are not limited to reduced energy costs and the environmental benefits of solar energy. Investing in residential solar panel systems can add to the value of a home, and can also earn homeowners tax credits.
In October 2008, George W. Bush signed into law the Emergency Stabilization Act. The new law was intended as an incentive for increasing investments in green energy. Also, certain sections of the Emergency Stabilization Act are aimed directly at investors of solar energy. In February of 2009, Barack Obama helped to establish The American Recovery and Reinvestment act, which offered further tax credits for renewable energy investments.
After hydro and wind power, solar energy is the third most renewable energy source in use today. The reason for its renewability can be attributed to the fact that 120,000 terawatts of solar power reaches the earth daily. This translates to 120 trillion kilowatts. To give you an idea of just how much energy that is, a single kilowatt is enough to power one solar panel.
When it comes to solar energy, the amount you will save depends on several factors. Regardless of those variables, your savings can be significant. Although the cost of installation is not cheap, the many opportunities to finance or lease solar panels for your home makes solar energy affordable for almost any homeowner.