The pros and cons of solar energy in 2023 (2023)

It's been almost 40 years since they took up residence in the White House. Despite their long history, installing solar panels is still a big investment, and it's only natural to consider the pros and cons of solar before taking the plunge.

We've compiled a list of the pros and cons of solar energy to help you decide if this is the right year for you to jump on board.

Benefits of switching to solar energy in 2023

The cost of solar energy has fallen sharply in recent decades

When considering the pros and cons of solar power, many homeowners realize that the cost of solar power is cheaper than ever. But how much cheaper? FORStudy 2018found that the cost of solar panels has been reduced by 99% over the past four decades.

Since there is no marginal generation cost since solar panels require no energy other than sunlight, the only cost most homeowners need to consider is the price of the solar panel and installation.

2023, comrising energy costsjTime-of-Use Charges (TOU)If you get even more extreme, you can save even more by using solar energy.

The pros and cons of solar energy in 2023 (1)

Image via the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Solar energy is a hedge against energy inflation

Energy inflation has become a kitchen table topic in 2022 as the national average price of electricity is poised to rise16% from September 2021-2022.

While electricity costs increase over time, solar energy secures your electricity price by around 7 cents per kWh over the 25-year lifespan of the system.

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In other words, when you switch to solar energy, you getcontrol and independenceon your electricity price, something you will never get from an energy supplier.

Solar energy is much cleaner than fossil fuels

solar energy isnot just renewable, produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour of electricity than fossil fuels.

With reference toLife Cycle Emissions– including manufacturing, operations and end-of-life processes – rooftop solar power is approximately 12 times cleaner than natural gas and 20 times cleaner than coal.

The pros and cons of solar energy in 2023 (2)

Solar energy on the roof is not only a means to drastically reduce CO2 emissions, it has othersenvironmental benefitsAlso.

For example, rooftop solar does not require additional land and can be large-scale solar systemscombined with agriculture(agrovoltaics) to increase agricultural and livestock production andlaid over bodies of water(Floatovoltaic) to reduce water loss through evaporation.

Solar panels and warranties last longer

like himLifetime of the solar moduleIncrease and the duration of manufacturer and installation guarantees. Most major solar power manufacturers, including REC, SunPower and Panasonic, offerGuarantees guaranteeing a certain level of productionmore than 25 years, and some companies are starting to offer 30-year warranties.

A typical rooftop solar system pays for itself in 10 to 15 years, giving solar homeowners 10 to 15 years of free energy long as the panels are still under warranty.

And remember, solar panels don't disappear when they reach the end of their warranty, their production capacity slowly decreases over time.

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With solar technology advancing by leaps and bounds, it wouldn't be surprising if guarantees continued to increase.

State sun tax credit is 30% through 2032

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the solar tax credit from 2022 to 2032 is now 30%.

For many homeowners looking to get the most out of their investment, this could be the most compelling reason to switch to solar in 2023.

while manystate and local governmentsoffer their own incentives, the Federal Solar Tax Credit is eligible for any homeowner who owns their system and has tax obligations.

The tax break currently allows homeowners to claim 30% of the gross cost of their solar installation through 2032. Learn more about howRequest the federal sun loan here.

Solar energy enhances your home

There is a wealth of data showing that solar home improvements really work.It is worth it.

Laut ZillowHouses with solar panels are sold 4.1% morethan houses without. This adds an additional $18,052 to the nationwide median home selling price of $440,300 in the second quarter of 2022.

Zillow also found that energy-efficient features are important to 80% of homebuyers.

And Zillow isn't the only organization reporting on the benefits of solar energy to home values.

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A 2015 study by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories found that homebuyers in California pay up to $4 per watt for installed PV, while homebuyers nationwide pay about $400 per watt, $3 per watt. That equates to about an additional $15,000 for a home solar system.

Related reading:5 benefits of solar energy

Disadvantages of switching to solar energy in 2023

Withdrawals of the net measurement

Under Net Energy Metering (NEM), energy suppliers credit solar panel owners for excess generation that is fed back into the grid. While many utilities still rely on NEMs, some have started using NEMs for a variety of reasons including market maturity and the cost of supply as part of the system.

However, many housewives, solar industry officials and lawmakers are fighting backlash. For example, Connecticut passed a 2018 law attempting to reverse the NEM. Although,four new lawsThey're trying to "at least slow down, if not overturn," the bill's goals.

For states that have returned to NEM, other programs with similar recovery methods are emerging. For example, some utilities are introducing a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) scheme. In this system, owners sell SREC to their dealer at market prices. As demand for renewable energy grows, prices for SRECs could increase in many utility areas.

Learn more about the new version of Net Metering, NEM 3.0, coming to California.


sunburstshave long plagued the industry, hurting consumers and big solar companies alike.

But that's no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Harnessing solar energy through a reputable and licensed installer is a way for millions of American homeowners to get clean, affordable electricity.

Batteries are still expensive

Batteries are not necessary for solar systems, but can help maximize the value of a system. Homeowners can rely on stored solar energy during grid peak times, avoiding higher electricity bills. While battery costs continue to fall, the overall cost remains significant.

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Homeowners who want to use solar energyIn 2023 you can claim the Clean Energy Residential Credit, which can be applied to the storage of batteries up to more than 3 kWh. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, this credit is currently 30% by 2032.

High acquisition costs

Even with local and state incentives, solar energy still has oneHigh acquisition costsfor owners paying cash.

Luckily there isno down payment options for solar loansthat spread costs over time and enable savings from day one.

In general, solar energy should be considered as onesafe long-term investment. Not only does it immediately reduce electricity bills, but it also protects homeowners from tariff increases.

Related reading:Best and worst times for solar power in 2022

Solar panels do not move with you.

Unfortunately, solar panels will not pack or move with you. They are a long-term investment. So if you're planning on moving in the near future, it might not make financial sense to buy a system now.

As mentioned earlier, solar panels are notHelp sell houses faster and for more money. Even if you move, you'll likely recoup the cost of your solar installation through the added value it brings to your home — and maybe even a benefit.

Related:Is solar energy worth it in your golden years? A retired NASA scientist evaluates

The pros and cons of solar energy in 2023

The pros and cons of solar energy are constantly changing as the industry evolves. If the 2022 Anti-Inflation Act, perhaps the biggest climate law in history, is passed, it will add much to the pros and cons.

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Not only will the solar tax credit be 30% between 2022 and 2032, but large investments in solar manufacturing will further reduce the cost of solar energy for homes.

However, solar energy is a long-term investment. While the future for residential solar is incredibly bright, it's best to start early to reap ROI sooner.

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