Solar Power: Is it Really Worth It?

solar panels on roof of house

Perhaps you’ve had a solar power company contact you recently and attempt to sell you on solar panels for your roof. You’re wondering if it’s really worth the investment. Will it save you money in the short-term? What are the long-term benefits and risks? These are all valid questions and should be considered before you decide to pull the plug on your home’s current regular source of electricity.

We interviewed an electrical contractor in Greenville SC to get the scoop on solar, and he gave us a few pros and cons. Keep reading to learn the benefits and disadvantages of solar energy.

The Benefits of Solar Panels

It’s a money-saver. How much money depends on a number of factors, all of which are unique to your situation. Whether you have an unshaded roof, and whether you decide to get a lease or a loan, will depend on how much ROI you’ll really get from a solar power project. Either way, you’ll still need other clean sources of energy for those times when the sun’s not shining. As we all know, the sun doesn’t shine 24/7 so keep that in mind when making your decision.

It’s better for the environment. Cutting carbon emissions is crucial for protecting our environment, which is constantly affected by global warming. Solar power is key to doing this; it also cuts down on environmental pollution and helps to preserve our freshwater resources, both of which are key players in conventional electricity generation. (Check out this post for more info.)

It’s a reliable source of energy. If a terrorist were to attack our power grid, the more solar power distribution we have, the better off we’re going to be as a nation. We all know the sun will continue to rise and set despite global warfare, so using the sun as a source of energy helps ensure our security in the event of a major disaster.

It helps to create more jobs. The manpower required to produce and install solar panels means more jobs and more money for middle-class workers. This is less true for coal, natural gas, or nuclear power, which relies on selling fuel—the profit from which largely ends up in the hands of a few big corporations. If you want to distribute wealth more equally, opt for solar power and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

If you’re mainly concerned about saving money, and you want to know how much you’ll save over time, check out this solar savings estimator.

Now for the cons…

Disadvantages of Solar Power

It’s hard to really think of disadvantages of solar power. I’d say the benefits outweigh the risks, especially when it comes to saving money long-term. But here are a few things to consider before you install solar panels on your home or office building.

It’s more expensive than wind power. Wind and solar kind of go hand-in-hand, and since we all need multiple sources of clean energy to keep the lights on, you may want to look at both as an option for your home or business, instead of just one. Check out this post to learn more about wind power.

Solar energy becomes a challenge at night. And nighttime is when most of us are looking to turn on the lights and use electricity for things like cooking and running water. This is why, as we mentioned, it’s important to mix up your energy sources so you always have a way to keep things running no matter what time of day it is.

How to Find a Good Electrician

electrician

If you’re searching the web for an electrician in your area, it can be challenging to find a company that is reputable and will provide you with an affordable, clean source of electricity. Electrical companies have a monopoly on this highly essential resource, and often, you must utilize a specific local company to service your main daily power source, as there aren’t many who can provide it. However, if you’re looking for someone to install or rewire the electricity in your home or place of business, you’ll want to make sure you find a well-qualified, experienced professional.

But how do you determine whether a company is right for the job? The first thing you’ll want to do is search for a provider in your area. So, for example, if you live in Greenville, South Carolina, you might type “electrician greenville sc” into Google and see what pops up.

Once you have some results, use the criteria below to determine which provider is best for the job you’re looking to fulfill.

#1. Longstanding Business. How long has this company been around? Are their electrical technicians qualified? Do they have all of the necessary certifications and experience required to perform electrical jobs in the are? Learn as much as you can about their experience and qualifications before you decide to hire.

Usually the longer the company has been around, the higher up it will appear on a search results page. That’s because Google tends to rank older, more authoritative websites above newer websites with little content. If the company you search for turns up in the #1 spot, there’s a good chance it’s been around for a while.

#2. Good Reputation. Read some reviews on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, homeadvisor, and other reputable review sites. Be aware that many reviews can be faked, but you can usually tell if they are sincere or not. Real reviews tend to tell more elaborate stories about the customer experience and will sometimes even name the person or people at the business (especially if it’s a small business).

#3. Good Customer Service. How can you tell this if you’re not a customer yet? Simple. Call them up to request a quote, and see how they treat you on the phone. If they answer the phone right, that’s a good sign. But you can get an even better idea of their service level when you initiate a conversation. Ask them questions about their business, tell them your needs, and see what kind of phone service you get and how eager they are to receive your business. If they seem lackadaisical toward you as a potential customer, they may either be too busy to take on another project, or they aren’t great at customer service. Either way, you’ll probably want to avoid them.

Locating a good electrician doesn’t have to be hard, especially in this day and age where virtually everything can be found online. You can also ask your neighbors and friends on social media for recommendations. Following these steps will ensure a good experience all around.