Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity

The affordability and popularity of renewable energy methods have soared rapidly. Large organizations and residential homes are adapting to this change. Government rebates, long-term benefits of investment, and energy independence are forcing us to think differently. Renewable energy sources like wind, hydro, and solar have gained global attention and investment. 


Solar energy stands out as the best choice for residential use. Learn about the potential benefits and challenges of implementing solar electricity in your home.

What is solar electricity?

Residential solar electricity uses photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert sunlight into usable electricity. The core of PV panels consists of silicon cells arranged in modulus. When sunlight hits the cells, photons interact with these silicon atoms, producing an electric current. 


This direct current (DC) passes through the inverter and converts it into alternating current(AC), the type of electricity we use in the home.

Financial Benefits

One noticeable benefit of installing solar panels is the reduction in electricity consumption. Generating your own electricity decreases your reliance on the grid. 

The US government offers a 30% tax credit on the cost of a solar system, reducing the upfront investment. The credit is expected to decrease in upcoming years, so using it now can be wise. 

Solar panels with battery backup systems benefit during power outages. This electrical independence keeps the home functional and saves from expensive generators. Many states offer net metering programs that allow you to sell excess electricity generated in your panels.

Studies show that homes with solar panels sell for a premium compared to non-solar homes. This increase in resale value can be a financial benefit when selling your property. 

Solar panels are highly durable, lasting 20 to 25 years or more, with minimal efficiency loss. Routine maintenance is limited to occasional cleaning, like removing dust and debris.

Environmental Benefits

Generating your own electricity reduces dependence on fossil fuels and associated environmental impact. Solar power helps fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 


Fossil fuel combustion results in air and water pollution. Solar energy improves air quality and aids in the water conservation process. The minimal land usage compared to coal mines and hydropower saves from negative impacts on land ecosystems. 

Installation and Maintenance Costs

Understanding upfront and ongoing costs matters in a final decision. Here is the breakdown of installation and maintenance expenses.

Installation Costs

  • The size of solar system measured in kilowatts is a major factor in installation costs. Larger systems generate more electricity but require more panels and higher upfront investment.
  • The type and quality of solar panels, inverters, and other components influence overall costs. Premium brands offer higher efficiency but come at a higher price point. 
  • The cost of installation labor and obtaining permits vary depending on location and installer. 
  • Get quotes from multiple installers to find the best deal for your needs.

Maintenance Costs

  • Solar panels are designed to be durable and require minimal maintenance. 
  • Occasional cleaning (usually less than $10 per panel) might be required.
  • Regular visual inspections are recommended for optimal performance. Some installers offer maintenance packages that include cleaning and inspection.

Return on Investment

Solar electricity investment yields a 10% ROI. We have already discussed the benefits of electricity bills, net metering, and government incentives. Let us check the factors influencing the payback period. 


  • The upfront cost of purchasing and installing solar power systems. 
  • Higher electricity rates lead to greater savings and shorter payback periods. 
  • The efficiency of solar panels and inverters can impact amount of electricity generated. 
  • Geographic location and amount of sunlight your property receives influence performance and savings. 
  • Although minimal, any maintenance costs should be considered in overall ROI calculations.

Factors to Consider Before Going Solar

Ensure your roof is in good condition and can support the weight of solar panels. It is best to address the necessary repairs before installation.  The angle and direction of your roof impact the efficiency of solar panels. South-facing roofs with a tilt angle matching your latitude provide the best performance. 

Assess the shade your roof receives from other obstructions. Solar panels require steady sunlight to generate electricity efficiently. Areas with more sunny days per year are suitable for solar power. 

Customized design systems that consider the suitability of roof conditions maximize efficiency. Research local permitting processes to avoid unexpected paper delays. 

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provides solar radiation maps to asses the solar potential of specific locations.  Solar calculators also help find savings, system size, and payback periods based on your location.  

Government Incentives and Rebates

Governments across the world recognize the benefits of solar energy. Ensure you do not miss the benefits the US government provides for adaptation to renewable energy. 

As of 2024, the ITC remains at 30% for solar systems installed through 2032. The ITC then phases down to 26% for installations in 2033 and 22% for those in 2034. 

The current 30% ITC offers the best financial benefit for your solar investment. Given potential reduction in credit percentage in coming years, it is better to utilize current benefits. 

Many states and even some electric utility companies offer additional subsidies. 36 states offer property tax exemptions for homes with solar panels. This results in long-term savings on annual property tax bills. The Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency(DSIRE) is a trusted source for finding incentives specific to your locality. You can also consider exploring the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) website.

Winding Up

An expert solar installer can conduct a site assessment and help you get started. Compare quotes between installers and research all available financial incentives. Don’t let upfront costs bother you; remember, long-term benefits are better than temporary savings.

By adopting solar energy, you are contributing to a sustainable future. You can also enjoy financial benefits beyond cost savings. We already discussed protection from rising energy costs and the potential for additional income. 

Don’t lose yourself in second thoughts. Talk to your friends and family who have already implemented solar to get direct experience. There are solutions for every common challenge listed in implementing solar. Reputable installers can help you with every step of the process. 

Let the sun, the source of all energy, bless your home! Good luck