Kaitlin LindrosAugust 9, 20194060
While we all love energy savings (and probably hate electric companies), there is way more to solar than just electricity. In fact, you could argue that home solar owners are actually investing in their community at large.
Here are some of the other, less obvious reasons people go solar.
Most solar owners don’t buy solar just to reduce their electricity bill (though that is a big factor). They buy solar because it is clean, sustainable, renewable energy from the sun.
By switching to solar, homeowners can cut down on carbon emissions, even eliminating them entirely in some cases (check out net-zero energy homes!). Solar cuts pollution, reduces greenhouse gases, and eliminates the need for more harmful energy sources like coal, fossil fuels, gas, and nuclear power.
This doesn’t just help you, it helps everyone who lives on Earth, by contributing to a green future. It keeps communities healthier by reducing pollution and the health problems it causes.
People who go solar are people who care about green living and the impact they have on the environment. By installing solar, they can make a direct change that has a big impact, right now.
Solar energy doesn’t just benefit your own home. It benefits your neighbors, too.
Extra energy produced by your solar panels can be fed back into the grid. With something called net metering, the excess energy you produce is bought by the utility company, and you are compensated with energy credits to your utility bill. But you’re not the only one saving money in this exchange.
By selling power to the grid, you reduce the strain on the grid during heavy electricity use periods, like heat waves, when everyone has the AC on full blast - and when your solar panels are producing at peak performance.
This means that utility companies won’t need to invest as much in costly peaker plants to meet demand, keeping electricity costs for everyone else low. So you’re not only saving on your energy bills - you’re helping your neighbors save on theirs as well.
Home solar can also make the entire energy system more resilient, helping to prevent wildfires from breaking out due to malfunctioning power lines and aging infrastructure.
In the event a fire does happen - or if utility companies turn out the lights as a preventative measure - solar can act as backup power source to keep your lights on. You can invite your elderly or disabled neighbors over in a power outage to help keep them safe during trying conditions and make your house a safe haven for all.
Aside from personal savings, solar systems save governments money and boost the economy, too.
For example, if more people adopt solar, that means there is less demand for gas, coal and nuclear power plants. Which means we no longer need to invest money in these costly operations.
Solar also helps the US find greater energy independence by reducing our dependence on fuel sources imported from other countries. How many wars have been fought over resources like gas, oil, and coal? How many wars could we prevent if we no longer needed them? Something to consider, for sure.
Also, by reducing carbon emissions and pollution, solar helps keep everyone healthier, which means our government spends less on healthcare. To give an idea of the financial cost of pollution, premature deaths from pollution in 2013 are estimated to have cost the global economy about USD $225 billion in lost labor income alone. Not to mention the cost in human lives.
Solar creates jobs, boosting our economy. According to a 2019 IRENA report, solar is the leader in new jobs in the renewable energy sector, with over 3.6 million people working in solar PV worldwide in 2018. The US had 242,000 solar jobs in 2018.
The Solar Foundation has found that solar jobs in the US have increased by 159% since 2010, growing 17 times faster than jobs in the overall economy in 2016, with one in every 50 jobs being in the solar industry.
Solar also employs 26% more veterans than the rest of the US workforce, helping them find jobs when they return from service.
In short: adding solar to your home can boost your community, and the world as a whole. The benefits of installing solar are endless.
Want to be a community leader in your neighborhood? Make the switch to solar today.
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