Solar panels are a wonderful investment for many people. They can help you cut utility costs (sometimes even earning you money in addition to covering your monthly energy usage) and help you develop more independence and resilience which can have a positive effect on your mental health. Feeling capable and confident in your ability to handle crises is a big component of mental wellbeing that has been ignored for far too long. Many people are discovering the inherent insecurity in relying on others for their income, their energy, and their daily needs like food, clothing, and shelter.
Solar panels are just one way that you can help combat these sources of insecurity and put your comfort and wellness back in your own hands. The following will explore a few tips on installing solar panels as well as share some details about why you might want to do it.
One of the big draws to solar panels is, of course, environmental support. At the moment, solar is one of the cleanest energy sources humans are aware of. The batteries used to store this energy have a lifespan and need to be properly handled as batteries are not great for the environment (this applies to electric cars too, folks), but even taking that into consideration, solar seems to be one of the least invasive ways to generate energy and electricity.
Rising Utility Costs
Another major pull to solar panels is the rising cost of utilities. People all over the world who could previously afford a comfortable living are now finding themselves faced with food insecurity and energy insecurity; some economists predict this trend will continue as the full impacts of the covid-19 pandemic have not been felt in financial and economic sectors yet. Solar panels can significantly cut your energy costs and, if you store enough energy, will even earn you money as your local utility provider will often pay for excess energy.
More people than ever are less confident in governments and corporations’ abilities to provide for them. Taking energy production into your own hands means that any mismanagement or faulty decision-making from policy crafters doesn’t have to affect your ability to keep your home at a good temperature and run your appliances.
Battery Connection Is Key
If you’re using a solar energy system, you need a battery supply connected to the panel(s) to store the energy for use when the sun goes down. Installing a battery incorrectly can damage your equipment, so it’s important to take the time to ensure you know how to connect a solar panel to a battery before beginning. If you’re not confident in your ability, reach out to a local professional.
Another benefit of installing solar panels is dependent on your location: some governments will provide tax breaks or other benefits like subsidies to those who take their energy efforts in a green direction. If you’re already considering solar panels, it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research to see whether there’s a financial incentive hiding somewhere for you. It’s also common for no-interest or low-interest loans for people who want to buy solar panels.
Calculate Your Energy Needs
Before purchasing solar panels, you’re going to want to calculate your energy needs. This will help you figure out what size of solar panels you need. Be sure to keep a record of your monthly bills including the cost of energy used and the actual wattage of energy used. Take this information to a panel provider and figure out how many panels you need.
Learn About Placement And The Sun In Your Area
Typically, you’re going to want your solar panels facing south. You can use a free online calculator to figure out how much energy a panel in your area will provide given your proximity to the equator. You might have them free-standing in a yard or field or attach them to the roof. If attaching to the roof, you want to be sure that the extra weight can be supported. It’s a good idea to speak to a local roofer if you’re not sure.
Avoiding a grid connection might be the very reason you’re seeking out solar panels. If that’s the case, ignore this point. If it’s not, consider connecting your panels to the local grid so that you can send the excess energy to the grid earning your money or energy credits. This action can also help reduce utility costs for everyone by contributing to a surplus of energy.
If you’re focused on the financial side of things a quick calculation can help you out. Simply compare the cost of your panels (purchasing, shipping, and installing) with your average year or month’s utility bill. Most people find that solar panels pay for themselves in five years or less.
The above information should help you understand why solar panels are becoming so popular as well as guide you in regards to setting them up. Solar panels can easily be a DIY project or they can involve an installation provider.