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6 benefits of taking your residential property solar

By Andrew Bell

Millions of people around the world have taken the wise step of installing solar panels on their homes – and are enjoying a wide variety of benefits as a result.

If you've been thinking about joining them and likewise setting your residential property up with solar power, but you're still on the fence, you may want to learn a bit more about the benefits such a step provides. While some are certainly obvious to anyone, it's important to truly understand how deep those positives can go.

1) Save money on your electric bills

This is the most obvious benefit of becoming a solar household: You can certainly reduce your power consumption if you live in areas where it tends to be somewhat cloudy or shady – on average, you likely still get several hours of direct sunlight per day. And if you live somewhere that's sunny most of the year, you may be able to completely eliminate your reliance on the energy grid.

That, in turn, will reduce your energy bill – in some cases all the way to zero – allowing you to start recouping some of the cost of installation pretty much immediately.

2) Connect to the grid and actually make money

When you generate more solar power than your home uses, you have a couple of options: First, you can install batteries that store your excess power for cloudy days when your panels aren't generating much, but adding the battery hardware can be a bit expensive and not always easy. Second, you may be able to connect your system to the power grid and sell the excess energy your panels generate back to a power provider, not only canceling out your own energy costs, but actually making money from your panels.

3) Increase property value and appeal

The way solar energy is now gaining popularity throughout Australia and around the world, it should come as no surprise that installations make properties more valuable for many would-be buyers. You may be unsure of taking on solar installation costs if you're planning to move out of your home at some point in the indeterminate future, but unless it's relatively soon, the combined value of the energy savings and boost to your property value may still make such an endeavour worth the price.

4) Take advantage of tax credits and rebates

Another way to defray the costs associated with a solar installation is to check what financial incentives you may be eligible to receive. Depending on what equipment you install, there may be several options that help you recoup some of the up-front costs. It's always a good idea to do this research before you make a purchasing decision as a means of maximising your return on investment.

5) Reduce your carbon footprint

This is another obvious benefit associated with installing solar panels, but it's one whose importance cannot be overstated. For many people, this alone is a good selling point, above and beyond the financial benefits, and it's certainly something you should consider as a serious long-term benefit – not just for yourself, but the entire planet.

6) Cut water consumption

One other "green" benefit of switching to solar that you may not realise is how much water traditional power plants use to keep their generators cool. As more people switch to solar, the amount of power that needs to come from those plants – and thus the amount of water they go through – declines along with their carbon output. You can do your own small part to keep that process moving by installing solar.

Of course, everyone's use of solar installations is different based on things like geography, tax relief eligibility, personal finances and more. Look into your options to realise these benefits as soon as possible.

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