May 05, 2022

What are the benefits of a Home Solar System?

Residential Solar System

To go solar, or not to go solar – that is the question many homeowners are asking themselves today.

Although the decision can seem daunting, buying solar for your home may be the perfect solution to rising electric bills.

Let’s look at all the financial, environmental, and other long-term benefits of a home solar system.

The Economic Benefits of Residential Solar

As an alternative to utility electricity, installing solar power at home can help save property owners a significant amount of money on ongoing energy expenses.

With a residential solar system, clean electricity is generated onsite, thereby dramatically reducing the amount of power a homeowner needs to buy from the utility each month.

And to compensate for times when solar energy cannot be produced, areas with favorable net metering policies allow PV owners to virtually replace their entire utility bill. This is done by installing a system that generates roughly the amount of power equal to a home’s annual electricity consumption.

Lower Electricity Costs

In the United States, a combination of rising utility rates, declining PV installation costs, the Federal Investment Tax Credit, and other incentives have contributed to a residential solar boom in the last decade.

By generating electricity with daily free sunlight, home solar systems can potentially lower a property’s total energy costs both in the short and long term.

Although not applicable to all homeowners, heavy electricity users financing solar panels may be able to save money on their ongoing electricity expenses within the first full month of PV production.

Almost always, however, solar energy systems are designed and sold with long-term financial savings in mind. Often expressed as a “break-even point,” solar panels can “pay for themselves” when the system’s adoption costs are equal to the amount of money that would have been otherwise spent on utility electricity bills.

As an asset that will continue to produce electricity long after it has paid for itself in avoided utility expenses, long-term contracts and outright system purchases make it easier for solar-powered homes to stabilize their energy costs with protection against future rate increases.

And because modern solar panels work efficiently for decades without excessive maintenance expenses, residential solar is designed to save homeowners more money over the lifespan of a system.

Increased Property Value

Picturing solar as a long-term investment, some potential buyers fear that they will not live in a home long enough to reap the financial benefits of installing a system. And although frequent movers may not be present to see a multi-year break-even point in electricity expenses, several studies have shown that solar panels increase a home’s property value when it is put up for sale.

According to the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, homes with solar panels typically sell at a premium. Likewise, a 2019 Zillow study found that homes with solar sold for 4.1% more than similar properties without a system, equating to a national median of $9,274 above purchase price.

Knowing this, property sellers can recoup a significant chunk of their system costs after a short stay or unexpected move. Even better, in both studies, homes with solar were also found to sell more quickly than properties without panels.

Based on this information, today’s home buyers recognize the benefits of residential solar. Therefore, an installation can be seen as an asset and selling point, rather than a disadvantage in the modern real estate market.

Other Advantages of Solar-Powered Homes

With on-site, clean power generation a reality anywhere the sun shines, solar energy systems provide homeowners with several benefits beyond simply saving money.

Environmental Impact

Most obviously, a solar installation can help homeowners embrace a more sustainable lifestyle than traditional power sources. In areas where electricity is supplied by coal, natural gas, and other combustion-based energies, new solar-powered homes can reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.

As PV panels and systems operate completely emission-free, reductions in local pollution levels can indirectly translate into cleaner air and water. For this reason, to combat climate change, solar power generation at all capacities has been one of the prominent driving forces of international renewable energy development.

With sustainability at the core of our business, Enphase products have helped offset over 20.8 million metric tons of CO2e as part of solar installations in over 130 countries around the world.

Energy Independence

By replacing utility electricity with self-generated power, solar systems for homes directly lower a property’s dependence on grid-supplied energy.

However, it is important to recognize that ordinary grid-tied solar systems are not able to function without the support of local electrical infrastructure. Instead, homeowners can only achieve energy independence with the addition of IQ batteries for solar storage.

With continued access to electricity and self-sustaining power generation, homeowners with “solar plus storage systems” can be prepared for both short and prolonged grid outages related to weather, climate, wildfires, line maintenance, and more.

By adding an IQ Load Controller, homeowners can also conserve their energy by only powering life-sustaining appliances like refrigerators, lights, and necessary communication devices.

Of course, even when it is not an emergency, a battery and intelligent inverter enables homeowners to seamlessly switch between grid and self-produced power. With a smart energy management system designed to maximize self-consumption, homes can use the solar power produced and stored throughout the day both overnight and during time periods in which utility rates are higher.

Once thought to be too expensive to consider, the price of electric battery storage has lowered in recent years, and is expected to continue decreasing over the next few decades. And while adding a battery backup may increase initial project costs, designing and building an off-grid-ready solar-powered home is now more economically workable than ever.

Built for the Future

Looking into the future, widespread electrification and renewable energy development across all sectors is beginning to transform the energy grid as we know it.

As people, businesses, and large organizations work to achieve net-zero goals with fossil fuel deviations, electric vehicle sales are skyrocketing and more drivers are plugging in their cars, rather than heading to the gas station.

Here, residential solar panels and EV chargers go hand-in-hand. With rooftop power generation and home solar batteries, EV owners can literally charge their vehicles with the free and infinite power of the sun.

Plus, with smart management systems, homeowners can control their entire electric life – from charging vehicles, to powering the air conditioner and beyond. Smart-home ready and designed to help consumers make more informed energy choices, today’s advancements in residential solar technology empower homeowners to have complete control over their property’s power.

A true home energy solution

So, what makes a home solar system smart? Beyond the most basic task of providing clean, renewable electricity, a smart solar system will provide the homeowner with real-time performance monitoring, data visualizations, and even some control over how the system is working.

Mobile app

The ability to monitor and track a solar panel system should be paramount for homeowners. For example, the Enphase App allows you to know how much power you’re making, using, and saving both in real-time, and as it fluctuates over time. You can even share your progress with family and friends.

Software updates

Just like your smartphone, a smart home solar system should always have access to the latest software and features. Enphase Energy Systems are actually smart enough to update themselves automatically over your home’s internet connection.

Outage-ready

Until recently, battery backup was just a dream for homeowners. Now, it’s in reach and your solar energy system can work seamlessly with battery backup. With an Enphase solar system with battery, you can keep your power flowing even when the grid has a bad day by combining Enphase microinverters with the Enphase IQ Battery.

Panel-level resiliency

With a traditional string inverter system, if one panel goes down, the whole system can go down with it. With an Enphase Energy System, every solar panel is equipped with its own microinverter, so if one panel slips into the shade or experiences a rare glitch, the other panels keep generating power.

Future-oriented technology

A smart solar system should be able to adapt and grow over time. That’s why Enphase Energy Systems are built on a distributed architecture platform. This modular microinverter design means you can quickly and easily expand your system as your needs grow.

Questions? Contact us. We'll help you build your system, today.
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