As energy costs escalate and finite fuel resources dwindle, the use of modern attractive solar panels to generate energy offers an increasingly affordable and viable option for consumers. In the past, solar photovoltaic arrays once met with consumer resistance on several fronts. High costs and the lack of aesthetics were two areas that caused concern. Thick, large, rectangular, and elevated for all to see, these units were the object of ridicule and even the occasional lawsuit by homeowners’ associations.
Times have changed and today’s attractive solar panels can actually enhance the appearance and value of homes and businesses. They blend perfectly with diverse architectural designs while providing a much needed alternative to traditional energy sources. New forms of the units, such as shingles, slates and canopies are becoming increasingly available to architects and contractors. Today's photovoltaic systems are sleeker and more affordable than ever.
Solar energy has been available for over 40 years and is a clean energy source with a time-tested delivery system. Even so, cost considerations once kept people from purchasing these systems. Often, people opted to lease the units thinking they were saving money when they actually were not. Thinking like this only helped the profit margins of the leasing company. Photovoltaic array leases often increased on an annual basis and leases were usually for a long contract period. These annual increases made leasing solar panels more expensive than regular energy bills. In this type of lease agreement, the customer did not even have the possible resale or trade-in benefits since they didn’t own the equipment.
Today, it is a much smarter investment to purchase attractive solar panels from a reputable dealer than to lease them. Once thought to be a luxury item, photovoltaic array costs have decreased to the price level that just about anyone can afford to purchase them. As costs continue to decrease, the installation of both financially and aesthetically attractive solar panels will pay for itself, as more than 150,000 homeowners who currently own a photovoltaic system have discovered. As utility costs rise over time, the energy costs of sun-generated power remains constant.
In the past, it was believed that solar panel installation was time consuming and complicated. However, with an average installation time of 1.5 days, rooftop installation of photovoltaic arrays is often much faster and far less complicated than having to run lines to connect homes or businesses from a traditional power grid. Since many units have a long service life (in some cases as many as 40 years), they are an excellent long-term investment for the home or business owner.
As new photovoltaic technologies are developed, the initial investment will continue to yield both financial and power dividends. The amount of money currently spent on a monthly electric bill versus the amount of electricity generated by the arrays being used are two factors that determine how much money will be saved on current and future electric bills. In addition, the amount of money saved due to the use of photovoltaic arrays will vary by region. Some regions have higher electricity rates than others. In addition, some regions have more direct sunlight than others. Although both factors help determine how much money can be saved by utilizing today’s attractive solar panels, the end result is that these units actually do save home and business owners money.