Many of the advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels seem to present a tradeoff. Solar panel technology is still evolving and even though you will get a return on your investment, it can take a long time. You should plan to be in your home for an extended period before selling. But energy produced from solar panels is abundant, clean and renewable, and this system will continuously reduce the carbon footprint for years to come.
Benefits of Solar Panels:
- Reduced electricity bills: Using solar energy can result in financial savings. Unlike paying utility bills, paying off a solar panel system gets a return on investment. Solar energy can also be sold back to the grid, so you have the potential to earn while you save.
- Financial support from the government: Federal and state tax benefits are available when you install solar panels in your home or business. Taxpayers could potentially claim 30 percent of installation costs, with benefits varying by state.
- Energy independence: The sun is an infinite source of energy, unlike coal and natural gas, and solar panels can be installed practically anywhere. The electrical output depends on exposure to direct sunight and it allows you to have a more stable and predictable energy bill.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Solar energy is able to generate power without giving off any dangerous emissions. The energy produced from solar panels is clean and free of pollutants and it emits no greenhouse gases.
Disadvantages of Solar Panels:
- High initial cost: While a reduced electric bill is an advantage, initial costs for the equipment, panels and installation could be more than $20,000.
- Weather dependence: The most important element for solar panels is the sun. If you live in an area prone to cloudy days for an extended period, this will negatively impace how the system runs and it will be less productive in the winter than in the summer months.
- Inability to move with you: Once a solar energy system is installed on a home, it’s nearly impossible to transport without causing extensive damage to both the panels and the roof of the house. But the value of the house also increases with the solar installation, so the cost can mostly be recovered if the system is left for the new owners.
- Limitations from your surroundings: As the solar energy industry continues to grow, most solar energy companies service a particular geographic region or even one state. There could be difficulty finding solar options in some areas of the country.
Florida is the Perfect State
The installation of solar panels is growing rapidly in our “sunshine state” for obvious reasons. But there are many things a buyer should know before purchasing a home with solar panels. Some homeowners decide to lease a solar system instead of making the purchase and this makes a huge difference when negotiating a contract because a lease can be as long as 20 years. It is important to work with a solar company, specifically the one who did the installation and a home inspection should include the solar panel system. The title company will be able to ensure there are no liens on the property due to the solar system installation and will assist in making sure all is in order to close on the home.
Whippet Properties of Florida has Solar Installation Companies that we work with who can answer any specific questions concerning the use of solar panels and what to expect. And it is extremely important to use a real estate agent who knows what to ask when listing a home for sale that already has solar panels installed. If you are a buyer of such a home, using an educated realtor is the best way to eliminate issues before the closing date. Florida is the perfect state for solar, but there is a lot of research that should go into finding the right company and the right program to suit your needs.
Some information is courtesy of a recent article in the National Association of Realtors magazine.