(BPT) - October is National Energy Awareness Month, and you can celebrate by exploring opportunities to create a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly home. With renewable energy solutions gaining momentum with homeowners, the latest energy technologies are more efficient, affordable and let you take control of your energy needs. Until recently, many homeowners perceived solar power for a single home as too expensive, difficult to install or unsightly. As technology has evolved since the advent of the green energy industry, attitudes have too.
Solar power is one of the greenest ways of generating electricity, taking advantage of the sun’s rays in a quiet, clean and consistent manner. Switching over to solar puts the homeowner in control of their energy by providing a new level of performance and flexibility for those seeking to save on their utility bills and take positive steps for the environment.
Thinking of installing green energy solutions? Here are the top reasons that could help seal the deal:
Any homeowner knows that their utility bills have only increased over the years, and the unpredictability of these bills can be tough on a family’s budget. Thanks to major advancements in solar panels and energy storage systems, homeowners have the potential to store the power harnessed from sunlight for use during peak hours, when traditional electricity is more expensive. An individual home’s cost savings will vary depending on its energy usage and the amount of sunlight the home receives, but most homeowners will see a reduction in their utility bills overall.
In addition, the cost of solar panels and their installation has decreased in recent years, making it much more affordable for the average homeowner. Additionally, those who install a solar power system can also take advantage of tax credits and financial incentives on local, state and federal levels. For example, for 2019 a federal income tax credit can be claimed for 30 percent of the cost of a solar system (on an eligible property), when the installation starts before the end of the year. So, if your installation costs $15,000, you would actually save $4,500 through a credit on your 2019 income taxes.
Ease of installation
Recent advancements in technology have dramatically changed the way solar power systems look, as well as their size and configuration. For example, the new NeON R ACe solar panel from LG Electronics uses a much smaller "micro-inverter," which integrates the inverter (the part of the system that transfers the energy from the solar panel into the home) into the frame of the solar module, rather than being a separate unit.
While traditional solar power systems need to use a large inverter that has to be separately installed on the outside wall or inside the garage of a home, this micro-inverter is tiny and out of sight, directly behind the solar panels. This technological innovation not only saves homeowners money, since they don't have to pay for a separate inverter, but also makes the installation process much faster and simpler.
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Unlike older solar modules that come to mind for consumers when talking about solar power, newer panels take up less space and are more attractive from an overall design standpoint. Newer panels, like mentioned above, have a sleek aesthetic, with no metal electrodes on the front and no clunky inverter box to mar the outside of your home (and no need to drill damaging holes). With a flexible, seamless array design, they can be configured in a variety of ways to best suit the appearance of a home’s roof, and to take advantage of the optimal angles to capture the most sunlight.
Increased efficiency and smart monitoring
Today's solar panels are also more efficient than ever. For example, NeON R ACe panels offer the highest level of conversion efficiency — 97 percent — based on California Energy Commission standards. The panels produce direct current power output up to 375W.
This solar power system also provides a user-friendly, app-based monitoring service system called EnerVu. Installers and homeowners can use this app to monitor the system's energy usage from any location. If any technical issue arises, customer service is alerted to address the problem remotely. And combining these solar modules with an energy storage system allows for even greater control over energy decisions. The new Energy Storage System from LG uses a world-class battery to store excess solar energy, letting you use it when needed the most.
While change can be daunting, there are many resources available for homeowners to reference throughout this process. Homeowners looking for more information on equipment quality and ratings for top solar panels can use the newly released EnergySage Buyer's Guide to help guide the decision-making process from the get-go.
If you’re thinking of making the switch and unsure of where to start, reach out to a local solar panel installer for more information. To learn more about solar options, visit lg.com/us/solar.