Advantages of solar power over nonrenewable energy sources include:
- Lowered energy costs Solar-powered electricity can offer a cost-saving alternative as a result of the elimination of dependence on your local utility company.
- Tax incentives Solar energy panels have become more affordable for homeowners through federal, state and local tax breaks. In 2016, homeowners were allowed to claim a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of installing a new solar energy system in their home. Taking tax incentives into account, it may be possible to recover most or all of your installation and equipment costs within five to 10 years.
- Decreasing system installation costs The cost of solar power has dropped dramatically in recent years. Many homeowners who are planning to sell in a few years could make a smart investment by retrofitting with solar panels today. Panels require almost no maintenance, since there are no moving parts to break down. Plus, newly designed solar panels have slimmer profiles and sleek trims that blend much more seamlessly with traditional roofs.
- Environmental benefits Solar energy produces no pollution. Solar power reduces reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas, thus lowering harmful gas emissions that affect the safety of air, water and soil. The sun’s power offers an unlimited source of energy that does not strip the landscape or harm the ozone layer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends switching to renewable energy sources – since these systems emit lower carbon emissions.
- Promotes fuel independence Domestic oil reserves continue to decline, so alternative energy sources are becoming more important than ever. Solar power reduces the nation’s critical reliance on foreign oil, which is subject to dramatic cost fluctuations, and diminishes the risk of power shortages caused by disruptions in overseas oil supplies.
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