With over 1.8 million residential solar systems installed and growth per annum still going strong, it is evident that people see the real benefits of going solar. So what are the benefits?
- Solar Power can save you money – Installing Solar power enables you to generate your own electricity. By using your own electricity rather than buying it from your electricity company, you will save money as every kW/h of electricity you can use from your solar system is a kW/h of electricity you do not have to buy from your electricity company.
- Environmental Benefits – By using electricity generated from solar panels, we reduce the need to generate electricity from fossil fuels like coal and gas which create carbon dioxide (CO2). This can reduce the potential for global warming and can create a more sustainable cleaner energy mix, as long as the solar panels will last a long time.
- Energy Independence – By owning your own Solar system, you have the capacity to create your own electricity. This reduces your reliance on the electricity grid and electricity retailers etc and increases your control over your future electricity needs, expenses and lifestyle especially if you add batteries to your system in the future.
- Property Value – there are increasing studies that show that installing a quality solar system on a home may increase property value. Home buyers are increasingly recognising that a home with quality solar panels installed will have lower electricity costs.
- Energy reliability – High-quality solar power systems are a reliable power source. The sun rises and sets every day, while the sun shines, solar panels will make electricity. While the weather and the seasons will vary, the amount of electricity that the panels make are predictable. You can also increase the financial benefits of your solar system by changing the times you operate your household appliances. For example, turning your washing machine on as you leave the home in the morning and avoiding washing your clothes at night allows your solar system to power your machine during the day. With the help of lithium-ion batteries, which are becoming more affordable, one can also harvest solar power during the day and use it at night
Buy or upgrade now with the future in mind
A few years ago, many buyers of residential solar did not consider the efficiency of their panels. If they wanted a 5kW system they could buy 20 panels with 250W or 23 less efficient 220W panels. Most customers never imagined they would in the future need more than 5kW of solar and in many homes around 20 to 32 panels will fit on the roof. That was the old solar.
But with the emergence of battery storage as a smart way to harvest the light during the day and then to use this electricity at night, panel efficiency has become a very important consideration.
Considering that the future of electric cars is coming fast, with most vehicle manufacturers announcing electric car models in a few years; you might want to expand your solar system in the future to power the electric car. The worldwide CO2 reduction could be enormous if we are able to utilise our roofs to generate some of the fuel for our cars. In short in the future one might want 5kW+ of solar system for day use and 1-2kW of solar for the batteries to use at night and then to fuel the car one would need another 4-6kW of solar to power the car(s) via solar. Overall suddenly there is the need for a 10 -12kW system. With 275W panels this would mean one needs to fit at least 36 panels.
So, it is important today to buy a system with future expansion capability in mind, both for batteries and future Electric Vehicles.
The same applies if you are looking to upgrade your current system, and this may be brought about by system failure or the changing needs of your family. Rather than just replace inverters and panels based on your original need (which may be 5 to 8 years ago) look ahead to the future (more kids, less kids at home), and the opportunity to embrace new technologies (batteries, electric cars)
Find out more about how Energy Stuff can support your future solar needs.