Sustainable Living: How Does Solar Power Save on Your Electric Bills?

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It’s ironic that the great state of Texas has the potential to harness more solar energy from the sun in one month than all the oil ever pumped out of its land.

When it comes to sustainable living, you can save on your electric bills by installing a solar array. The more people realize they can harness free power from the sun the more people are embracing a solar installation crossover.

PV Quality

Solar power began in the 1950’s as photovoltaic electric power or PV. Since then the technology has advanced so much that installation no longer takes days but in many cases, just hours.

The PV panels are made up of cells which are larger versions of what you might see on a solar powered calculator. These cell packed module panels are specifically positioned on top of an aluminum racking system to catch maximum sunlight according to their geographical location. They can be installed on a roof or even on the ground like many vast solar farms, spread out over large patches of desert.

The Nuts and Bolts

Figuring out if solar power will save on your electric bills and create sustainable living means understanding the inner workings of this ‘future-in-the-making’ technology.

Solar power has minimal moving parts, making it a mostly silent application. Once the panels are in place an inverter is installed. The inverter takes the energy stored in the solar cells as direct current (DC), like in batteries, and converts it into alternating current (AC), that’s it.

This converted AC energy acts like your personal electric company, distributing it throughout your home or business just as your conventional supplier would. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything other than the solar panel contract you’ve chosen.

Investment Output

The fee for a solar panel installation can vary in range. This will determine how you will save on your electric bills.

  • Purchase – You can purchase a unit for up to $15,000 or more. Most units have a 25 year warranty and the inverter may be covered for 30 years. Note: If you decide to purchase a unit make sure your roof is up to date or you may have to remove the whole thing in a few years and put on a new roof.
  • Lease – There are monthly leasing contracts where some companies will install and maintain the panels for free as long as you pay a monthly lease.
  • PPA – Other companies will set up a power purchase agreement (PPA) which does not charge you for installation or maintenance but acts like a solar electric company. A PPA sends you a bill for the amount of solar power you use.

The Bread and Butter

How does solar power save on your electric bills so you can validate such a sustainable living investment? Okay, here’s the bread and butter of it.

CNBC reported on a retired police officer who needed to save money, so he decided to go solar. He describes how his per kilowatt hour energy was expected to go from 20 cents with his regular electric company down to 13 cents using solar. Overall it’s an estimated 25% savings off his electric bill. This a PPA setup which most people find to be the easiest crossover.

There are also government tax incentives that can be applied when switching to solar. In some cases you can get back a 30% federal investment tax credit of the cost of the system. That means if you spend $15,000 (this can be a large set up) you could get back $4500. Plus, some electric companies will actually buy back the energy you convert from solar but do not use making your investment a potential money maker as well.

Step up your sustainable living by installing solar power to save on your electric bills while helping the environment, at the same time. It’s a win-win for you, your pocketbook and your planet. JOIN US today and become a visible partner in our sustainable living community.

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