These days, more and more people are showing concern about their carbon footprint. We’re doing the environment no favors when we leave all of our electronics on, and with rising energy prices there are more reasons than ever before to consider renewable energy sources. When combined with frugal energy usage, we can actually contribute back to the planet and ensure that future generations will be able to live in peace without destroying the environment.

 

One of the more drastic eco-friendly ideas that people have come up with is using solar panels. By harnessing the sun’s energy, we could potentially harvest enough electricity to power parts of our home. But for a long time, solar energy was just too expensive and impractical to use at home. However, now that the technology has had a chance to mature a bit, should we consider buying solar panels for our homes now?

 

The answer is a little more complicated than just a yes or no.

 

Solar panels are a long-term investment

 

Solar panels aren’t something that you buy and instantly see savings on. Solar panels need to be affixed to the exterior of your home and they’re fairly expensive even today. In comparison, if you just cut your energy usage, you’d probably see much better returns in terms of savings. However, if you’re dedicated to cutting your carbon footprint, then you should consider solar a long-term investment and not something that will help you make your money back within a year or two.

 

If you’re committed to a greener lifestyle and will stay in your current home for a long time then we highly recommend solar panels. However, if you’re in a rental home or plan to move out in the future, then it might be worth waiting a little bit for the prices of solar adoption to go down.

 

There are often cheaper ways to get solar

 

Thankfully, there are cheaper ways to start taking advantage of solar energy. You could potentially use services like choosesolar.com to join solar communities. Instead of buying your own solar panels and installing them, you contribute to the cost and maintenance of large solar panels that feed energy into stations which then distribute it to your local community.

 

This allows you to take advantage of the savings that come with solar, but it means you don’t need to buy and install solar panels in your home. This can be a great option for rentals if it’s offered in your area, and it’s a fantastic way to lower your carbon footprint without doing too much work yourself.

 

Even if you do install solar panels or take advantage of community solar, it doesn’t mean that you can just ignore your responsibilities of taking care of the planet. Do what you can to adopt greener practices and try to change your lifestyle so that it’s less wasteful. This will often have a greater impact than any solar panel could, though it doesn’t hurt to have a renewable source of energy attached to your home!

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Over 50 and fabulous living and writing in Appalachia

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