With energy costs on the rise and the health of the environment in decline, homeowners and businesses all across the U.S. are turning to solar energy.
That's right, rooftop solar panels are helping to save the environment and as well as helping to save people money.
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Solar energy movement in the United States
The cost to power homes and businesses is only going to increase in the coming years.
As a result, many homeowners and business owners just like you are turning to solar panels to not only reduce their energy costs, but also to reduce the environmental impact of energy consumption in the United States.
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According to a recent report by the Solar Energy Industries Association, nearly 475,000 homes in the U.S. have solar panels installed on their rooftops. This number is projected to increase by 325,000 homes by the year 2020.
In addition, a growing number of businesses are also going the solar route when it comes to their energy needs.
According to the same study, nearly 1,200 corporations across the country have installed over 600 MW of solar capacity including Walmart and Macy's.
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With numbers like these, you're probably wondering how solar panels can benefit your finances and the environment.
Cost benefits of solar energy
There are a number of different cost benefits that go along with installing solar panels on your home or business.
For starters, a solar panel system costs a little over three dollars a watt. This is significantly cheaper than traditional energy costs and can save you thousands of dollars a year on your energy costs.
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In addition, solar panels are very low-maintenance.
The article What's bogging down your solar panels? mentions that annual washing and tree trimming is all it takes to ensure a solar system is running at maximum capacity. Minimal maintenance is always a benefit for both home and business owners.
The government is also offering homeowners and business owners solar investment tax credits, which help offset the costs of solar panel installation. These tax credits can help reduce your income taxes by 30 percent just for owning a solar-friendly property.
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Environmental benefits of solar energy
Solar panels offer long-term environmental advantages that far exceed any of the cost benefits mentioned above.
For example, the solar panel systems that are already in place in the U.S. will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 180 tons over the next 30 years.
Likewise, solar energy is helping to reduce the hundreds of thousands of pounds of coal that's burned in traditional energy production. This is cutting airborne particulates and nitrous oxide in half, which is hugely beneficial to the ozone layer.
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Finally, because the sun shines everywhere, solar panels are helping to make the United States and other countries energy independent. This is decreasing oil and coal-based energy production across the planet.
If you're considering whether to install solar panels on your home or business, let the benefits of solar energy mentioned above help inform your decision.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including solar energy and the environment.
Click here to read the October 2015 edition of Energy Digital magazine!