There’s no doubt that the future of energy is green. More and more, people are starting to understand the gravity of our energy situation. More specifically, we’re beginning to grasp that something needs to change, and soon.
According to recent scientific data, we don’t have a lot of time left with traditional fossil fuels used for producing energy.
In 30 years, we can expect to see oil reserves dry up. In 40 years, we will be out of natural gas. And in 70 years, there will be no more coal to mine.
This is why so many people are choosing to go green. But it’s not just about preserving our natural resources. There are a lot of reasons you should make the switch to sustainable energy.
Keep reading for the top seven.
1. Save Money on Your Energy Bill
One of the most practical reasons to transition to renewable energy is that it will save you a ton of money on your energy bills. The average American pays $115 per month for electricity. Over the course of a year, that’s nearly $1,400.
When converting your home to solar energy, you can significantly lower your monthly costs. If you invest in a large enough solar system, you can eliminate your bill entirely.
2. Get Off the Grid
Investing in solar panels isn’t just about living sustainably. Sometimes, it’s about living independently. If you buy or build a home that’s located in a remote location, getting power out to your house may not be an option. In this case, installing a solar system might be your best option.
You could also use a generator, but that will require constant refueling. If you’re not connected to a gas line, this means hauling oil or gas.
Even if you have the option of connecting to city or county power, you may still wish to stay off the grid. As noted above, you won’t have any energy bills and you won’t be vulnerable to things like power outages, surges, or blackouts.
3. Solar Energy is More Affordable Than Ever
Solar equipment isn’t cheap. Therefore, you might be wondering how to go green on a limited budget.
Fortunately, solar installation is available for homeowners, even if they can’t pay all of the costs upfront. For example, Blue Raven Solar, a solar installation company in Virginia, offers a zero-dollar installation with no payments due for 18 months.
These types of offers make it easy for people in various financial situations to convert to renewable energy.
Just as importantly, most states have a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which mandates a certain level of renewable energy production each year. As solar energy becomes more mainstream, solar companies are able to lower their prices, making it more affordable for everyday homeowners.
4. Receive Tax Credits
Your savings don’t end there. There are also federal tax credits you’re entitled to when you convert to sustainable energy sources.
Currently, when you record your solar expenses when filing your taxes, you can receive up to 26% of costs in your tax return. If your system costs $20,000, that’s a $5,000 return. This is Uncle Sam’s way of saying “thanks for caring about the environment.”
5. Sell Excess Energy Back to the Utility Companies
Did you know you can actually earn money by going green? Aside from your tax return and money saved on your energy bill, you can make money by selling energy to local utility companies.
Depending on your solar setup, you may produce more energy than your home uses. You can earn credits for each kilowatt of energy you don’t use. If you have months where you use more than your solar system can provide (like in the winter when there’s less usable sunlight), your credit will go toward your bill.
In some cases, the utility company will write you a check for the total amount of energy you sell back to them. This can be a great way to earn hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars a year.
6. Take Advantage of Awesome Incentives
In almost all cases, adding solar panels to your home substantially increases its value. However, in states where you must pay property taxes based on the value of your home, what does this mean?
Different states offer different incentives for home and business owners who convert to sustainable energy and go green. For example, in some counties in Virginia, homeowners won’t be penalized on their property taxes for increasing the value of the home. Depending on where the home is located, the added equity from a solar installation will be partially or fully exempt from your taxes.
If you plan to sell your home in the future, you can expect to earn tens of thousands of dollars more. However, the added value of your home comes down to the capabilities of the solar system.
7. Do Your Part for the Environment
Earlier, we talked about the potential energy crisis the entire world will face if we don’t start making changes soon. We simply don’t have the fossil fuels to continue down the path we’re on.
However, we haven’t talked about the effects of burning fossil fuels for energy. When we burn gas, oil, and coal to produce energy, harmful gases are released into the atmosphere. Over the last several decades, these emissions have been tearing a hole in our ozone layer.
As a result, harmful UV rays from the sun are penetrating the ozone layer and entering our atmosphere to great effect. The planet’s average temperature is significantly warmer than it’s been in hundreds of thousands of years. This may not seem like a big deal, but climate change results in:
- Destroyed ecosystems
- Species extinction
- Less viable farmland (which results in less food)
- Melting polar ice caps and glaciers
- More intense hurricanes
- Rising sea levels
- More heatwaves and droughts
- And more
If you decide to go green, it means you are contributing to a worldwide effort to reverse some of the damages mankind has done to our planet. And there is a lot of pride to be taken in that act.
Are You Ready to Go Green?
If you’ve been on the fence about investing in solar energy for your home or business, we urge you to move forward with your plans. Find the right solar company that will work with you to find an affordable and effective solution.
And if you’re looking for more home or lifestyle advice, look through our other article before you go. We have more tips about how to go green, live more sustainably, save money, and more.