Solar power is a hot topic. From solar systems for the home or commercial building to solar farms, this renewable, clean, green energy source is on everyone’s mind. The biggest thing we’re all probably thinking about as consumers is: How much will this save me? 

There are a variety of statistics. But the bottom line is a solar system pays back the cost of installation over time. You can realize savings on your electric bill within the first month and even get credit for the electricity your system produces! Benefits include more than just electric bill savings. Here’s what the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy and Efficiency & Renewable Energy says about the topic:

According to the Appraisal Journal, home value increases $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. So a solar energy system that saves $200 per year would also add $4,000 to the value of a home. Homes with solar systems sell faster than those without them. As prices fall, solar energy is becoming more of an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses. The biggest hurdle to affordable solar energy remains the soft costs – like permitting, zoning. Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use.

Meanwhile, the cost of installing solar has gone down in California which offers excellent rebate programs. For more information on California’s rebate programs, visit Go Solar California! The site also offers nifty calculators to help you make a decision about going solar in California.These calculators provide estimates of costs, paybacks, and electricity production for solar systems and may not be a true reflection of the costs or the pay-back period for a new solar electricity system, according to the site. Here’s the link: Go Solar California is a joint effort of the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.Here’s a quick look at how

California is doing in the solar power market:
– California leads the nation in solar projects242,957 solar projects
– 2,284 megawatts installed

Here are some other amazing solar facts, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association Web site:

“The U.S. installed 1,133 MWdc of solar PV in Q2 2014, up 21% over Q2 2013, making it the fourth-largest quarter for solar installations in the history of the market.”

“Cumulative operating PV capacity has now eclipsed the 15 GWdc mark, thanks to three consecutive quarters of more than 1 GWdc installed.”
“Through the first half of 2014, more than a half-million homeowners and commercial customers have installed solar PV.”
“For the first time ever, more than 100 MWdc of residential PV came on-line in a single quarter without any state incentive.”
“53% of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 1H 2014 came from solar.”
“Growth remains driven primarily by the utility solar PV market, which installed 625.”
“MWdc in Q2 2014, up from 543 MWdc in Q2 2013.”

“We forecast that PV installations will reach 6.5 GWdc in 2014, up 36% over 2013 and more than three times the market size of just three years ago.” “Q1 2014 was the largest quarter ever for concentrating solar power, due to the completion of the 392 MWac Ivanpah project and Genesis Solar project’s second 125 MWac phase. While no CSP plants came on-line in Q2 2014, commissioning work continues at Crescent Dunes and a total of 857 MWac is expected to be completed by year’s end, making 2014 the biggest year ever for CSP.”

Solar is a renewable source of energy. Going solar helps reduce the load on our public utilities, helps keep pollutants out of the atmosphere, and so much more. The bottom line is that a solar power system can save you in the long run.

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