The Pros and Cons of Going Solar
With talks of rising energy costs, alternative fuels and lower emissions, sooner or later, we all consider the prospect of going solar. What’s not to love? Just stick a few solar powers on your roof and voila, free clean, renewable, reliable energy… …as long as there’s no rain… or clouds… or an eclipse.
Okay, true, solar energy probably isn’t for everyone, at least not yet, but there are plenty of adventurous, young homeowners out there who would greatly benefit from going solar, and hey, if it’s imporant to you, we’ll get it covered!
So, let’s say you are a homeowner, young OR old, ready to take the plunge. Your first thought is probably something to the tune of, “What will happen to my insurance rates?”
Short answer: They’ll probably go up.
Long answer: Installing solar panels on your home isn’t as simple as, say, re-shingling your roof. First, the home needs additional electrical wiring to function as well as the perfect angle for sunlight. This is not a DIY weekend project and requires well-paid trained professionals to do it properly. Second, solar panels are finely tuned (read: expensive) electronic devices exposed to the elements on top of your house. In the very likely event that something happens to one of them, it will need to be replaced. This discounts other mischief like theft and arson, of course.
Reliability is always a consideration as well. Solar power requires hours of direct sunlight to store enough power to be effective. The amount of solar radiation that reaches the ground is called “insolation”. Living in a low sunlight area in New England will require more panels and, thus, a heftier investment than the intense insolation of the mid-west.
However, with solar energy comes considerable cost buffers. For instance, government subsidies exist that incentivise solar panel installations. Living off the grid also greatly reduces monthly energy costs. Some users have even reported being owed small earnings for feeding extra power into the grid, but results aren’t typical. Solar panel installations also increase the property value of your home which means possible tax breaks as well as greater re-sell value should you decide to move.
In the long run, the return in savings will very well be worth taking out a larger policy to protect your investment.
Great strides have been made to bring solar energy to the mainstream, but until then, we can certainly help early adopters get the coverage they need.
First Baldwin Insurance