When we picture solar-powered homes, we often get this crazy idea that they are futuristic creations that only the richest of the rich can afford. But did you know that in the past few years, solar technology has become so democratized that even middle-income-earning families and those living in rural areas have started reducing their dependence on fossil fuel.
If you think this is something that you want to explore in the future, though, you have to know what to expect when you start using solar energy at home.
So what exactly will happen when you begin tapping solar power for your residential needs:
Power bills start going down
When environmentalists started pitching clean energy to the rest of the world, one of the main challenges they encountered was convincing people to switch to a more expensive power source for the sake of the environment. Not many people were willing to bear the brunt of more responsible consumerism when there were much cheaper options like coal power.
As of 2020, though, renewable energy has finally beat fossil in the race to provide the cheapest power source. It has officially become more affordable than the cheapest coal plant. So the first thing you can expect when you go fully solar is that your power bills will start going down.
Aside from the naturally lower costs of solar power, you will most likely receive rebates and other forms of discount benefits from your utility provider (and in certain places, from the local government) for making the shift to clean energy.
You can start going off-grid
Your goal will most likely be complete detachment from the grid, but you have to be prepared that a complete pivot to renewable energy will not come easy. For starters, not many areas can provide ample renewable energy to cover all your needs, especially if you are heavily reliant on appliances that consume a lot of electricity like dishwashers, washing machines, and the like.
Completely going off-grid means losing the safety net of having your coal power plant-provided energy for days when the sun is not out shining or the wind is not out blowing.
However, if you’re really determined to go off-grid, there are ways to still utilize clean energy even on days when the source may be fluctuating. Thanks to modern technology, clean energy can now be stored on batteries for your convenience. Again, the shift is not likely to be 100% easy, but it has definitely become a lot easier now than in years past.
A lot of time will be dedicated to maintenance
If you are looking at installing rooftop or ground solar, you have to be prepared for the upkeep and maintenance it will require from you. Installing solar panels is not even half the job done. Having your own power generators means being responsible about any repair work and preventive maintenance your panels might need. In fact, it is recommended that you document the day-to-day status of your panels to keep its performance optimal.
Sure, you can hire professionals to clean and maintain the panels, but it also entails keeping a closer eye on your actual roof. Having panels might mean a couple of more chipped tiles than you’re used to fixing, so prepare for that.
Solar panel is not the only way
Now, the maintenance requirements of keeping solar panels should never keep you from trying to live in a solar-powered home, especially since technology has made it possible to enjoy solar with no panels.
You must have heard of community solar or solar farms, and it’s time to explore how it can allow you to live in a solar-powered house without the need to install and maintain your own panels. You can simply subscribe to a shared solar farm that can transmit clean energy to your home without requiring you to purchase any equipment at all.
There’s no sugarcoating the fact that making the conscious effort to consume cleaner energy is not that easy. However, when you think about the possibility of living in a solar-powered home where the energy bills are not sky-high and guilt over using coal for your electricity needs is nonexistent should make it at least worth the try.