With the price of electricity on the rise, using an off-the-grid energy supply has a lot of appeal. Solar energy is becoming more popular as a means to provide power to homes, pools and even businesses. As a primary renewable energy source with less environmental impact than coal-powered electricity you can see why. But few people do their research. If they did, they would find that generating this sort of power comes at high start-up costs, despite its long-term money saving attributes.

Does Solar Energy Generate Enough Power For My Home?

The short answer is that yes it can, if you have the space and the money. Generating the kind of energy you will need to power your entire home will mean purchasing a great deal of solar panels. At home, we use a lot of energy every day – most homes have dishwashers and washing machines as standard, all of which add to our electricity usage. The energy we can capture using solar panels is limited. This means it will take a lot of space and money to constantly power your home with solar. When you add to this the storage of energy for very overcast days and other factors that will deplete the energy you have stored, you can see that this is a complicated business.

Is It Expensive?

Given the high volume of panels you will need to power your entire home, and the other equipment required to capture and store energy, you are looking at an extensive investment to get started – something similar to the investment to put down a deposit on a home. While this is the case, in the long-term you will save on electricity bills, and if you generate excess power, you can always sell it back into the grid and start to recuperate costs that way.

On the positive side, the warranty for materials used in solar energy systems is very high, so you shouldn’t need to worry about repair or replacement costs for a long time.

What Other Options Are There?

At this stage, with technology still being developed that will efficiently capture the sun’s energy, you are better off changing some of your home’s power over to solar rather than all of it. Services like hot water are more commonly available as solar-powered options, and this range is growing.

The Basic Pros and Cons

As with anything, there are positives and negatives. Solar power has expensive start-up costs, and is not always reliable, due to weather. While it is effective for lighting or hot water, it is not as effective for powering electrical goods. On the positive side, it is quiet, environmentally friendly, saves money in the long term and is almost maintenance free.