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Solar Panels - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Thinking of how you might save a little money in 2023? How about cutting some energy costs? In our region, where the heating season can be rather long, we must cut back on electricity, gas, or heating oil use to realize cost savings. Although it's not easy to save when the weather is cold, there are various means to reduce energy bills. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to cut down on electricity use is by adding solar panels.

Wait a minute! You thought solar energy was just not viable in our climate because of cloud cover. People who live in the northern United States are often surprised to learn that solar panels are a viable, energy-efficient option. Our real estate agents will explain how that works.

What Is Solar Energy?

Homeowners can harvest the sun's energy by placing solar panels on their roofs or, if they own a field nearby, out in the open. The panels are made with photovoltaic (FV) cells containing semiconductor materials, including silicon, that absorb photons from the sun. The photos release electrons from the semiconductors. The electrons flow within the cells, creating an electric current that can be directed to the circuits.

Typically, homeowners place solar panels wherever there is sunlight, such as on roofs or in an open field. The more light, the better. 

One of the main questions Long Island residents will want to know is, will solar panels work on a cloudy day? The answer is yes: Light can be gathered depending on how deep the clouds are, albeit with diminished efficiency. Fog, clouds, and tree shade will inhibit efficiency, so be careful where you place your panels. 

Benefits of Solar Panels

Yes, installing solar panels can be expensive, so you may wonder if it's worth it. Here are five benefits of solar energy:

  1. Energy independence – A home with solar power can function off-grid, particularly if supplemented with a solar battery system to maintain power through non-daylight hours. Solar systems can work as emergency backups during a power outage.

  2. Save money on utility bills – Harvesting the sun's energy is free. Be advised that the cost of installation can be hefty; however, you won't be paying for electricity afterward. Homeowners generally recoup losses over time— on average in six to 10 years. 

  3. Tax credits – You can get renewable energy tax credits for installing solar energy systems through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

  4. Low maintenance – Under normal circumstances, solar energy systems are low maintenance after installation. Yes, damage can occur from weather, but otherwise, there will be little need for maintenance other than keeping panels clean and free of debris.

  5. Benefit the community – Homeowners may generate excess electricity with their solar panels. This allows them to sell excess electricity back to the utility company, not only reducing their electricity bills but also participating in net metering by providing energy to the utility company. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels can, in turn, benefit the environment by reducing carbon emissions. What's more, the homeowner is reducing his or her carbon footprint by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Need more information on solar panels or buying/selling a home? Contact us today. 

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