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Solar panels vs. electricity – which is better? Most homeowners in Michigan and throughout the rest of the United States get their home energy through traditional grid electricity. But solar power is becoming an increasingly popular option. And as that popularity increases, the benefits continue to get more pronounced, which could in turn attract even more potential solar customers. 

If you’re interested in saving money, improving sustainability at home, or decreasing your reliance on third party energy providers, switching to solar should be at the top of your list. Here’s how the landscape is changing and what you should know about the difference between these two different energy sources. 

Solar Installation Is Trending at an All Time High – Are You Ready?

Solar power has experienced an average annual growth rate of 50 percent. This means that every single year, more and more homeowners and businesses are taking advantage of all the benefits that solar power has to offer. The increase in popularity, which early on has been driven mainly by environmental benefits, has had an impact on both the price and efficiency of residential solar panels. This could make them an even more attractive option for homeowners with practical concerns.  

As the popularity of residential solar panels for the home has risen, prices have dropped by about 70 percent over the last decade. This makes them even more affordable for homeowners that want to take advantage of all the other benefits of sustainable energy.  

Additionally, solar panel efficiency has also increased through the years as more homeowners have taken advantage of the technology and manufacturers have had time to innovate. So today’s homeowners have access to more affordable systems that can also generate more power than ever before.  

The industry is constantly evolving. But it’s clear that solar power is a more attractive option now than it ever has been before. The longer you have solar panels on your home, the more you can benefit from these sustainable systems. So for homeowners who have been dragging their feet waiting for the right time to invest in solar panel installation, it may be the perfect time to finally take the leap. 

Home Solar Panels vs. Traditional Electric – A Comparison

Most homeowners are very familiar with traditional electricity. With this system, you’re connected to a grid of other homes and businesses in your area and you receive electricity from a provider like DTE Energy or Consumers Electric. You receive a monthly utility bill with rates that can rise and fall depending on your usage and the expenses of your specific provider. Aside from decreasing your home’s energy use, you don’t have much control over how much you pay. 

Solar power, on the other hand, gives you a bit more control over your home’s energy. The panels on your roof or elsewhere on your property can generate all or most of the power you need to use throughout your home. So once you pay to have them installed, there’s very little ongoing expense involved. You can still stay connected to the grid so you have access to power if your panels don’t generate enough on any given day. But you shouldn’t need to pay much extra for electricity in those instances. 

Stats on Residential Solar Panel Ownership

Solar power makes up about 1.6 percent of total electricity generated throughout the U.S. So there’s still plenty of room for growth. But it’s still growing significantly each year. So that number is constantly going up. 

In fact, the U.S. just surpassed 2 million solar installations. And the industry is looking to get to the 3 million installation mark by 2021, which would represent even faster growth than we’ve seen in the past. 

In Michigan specifically, there’s enough solar panels installed to power more than 25,000 homes. However, only 0.21 percent of the state’s power comes from solar panels; it ranks just 31st out of 50 in terms of solar adoption. So there’s certainly plenty of room for improvement throughout the state. 

Solar Power Is Cheaper Than Electric in the End

Of course, cost is a major factor for most homeowners who are considering making the leap to solar power. The initial purchase and installation can be an investment. But there are tax credits, grants, low interest loans, and other incentive programs aimed at easing the financial burden. Once you have the panels installed, you can expect to see your monthly energy bills go down significantly or potentially even avoid them altogether if you have a battery storage solution. 

Over time, the savings you realize on your energy bills will almost certainly cover the initial investment and then some. Of course, the exact amount you save depends on your energy usage and the type of system you choose. But almost all solar panels last for decades. In fact, any of them come with warranties of about 20 years. But of the early adopters who have solar panels from the 1980’s, many are still working at about 80 percent efficiency or more. So you shouldn’t need to pay much extra for maintenance, repairs, or replacement over the long lifespan of your system. But some homeowners in the U.S. have been able to recoup their investment in as little as three years. 

If you’re interested in making the switch from traditional electricity to solar energy, The Green Panel can help. With more than a decade of experience in the solar industry, we offer a wide array of efficient and sustainable solutions for homeowners throughout Michigan. Our team works with homeowners to develop customized solutions. We can even walk you through every step of the installation process, from financing your system to actually getting it up and running. If you’re ready to make the jump to renewable energy for your home, contact us for a free solar evaluation. We’ll visit your property and help you determine the best solutions that fit your specific needs, so you can save money, become more efficient, and end your reliance on traditional grid electricity.