Everybody knows that Florida is “The Sunshine State.” All of that glorious sunshine is just one of many reasons Naples is such a great place to live. The abundance of sun offers more than just opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors. It also provides a clean source of electrical energy—if you can capture it. Is it a viable and reliable source that you can tap into? Are they worth the investment? What's the deal with solar panels for Naples homes?
Is Solar Energy Still Trending?
Trends and fads come and go. Is solar energy simply something that sounded good but has no staying power? According to an October 2017 USA Today story, solar energy was the fastest-growing source of power last year, accounting for almost two-thirds of net new capacity globally. China accounts for almost half the expansion, but the United States is the second-largest market. Meanwhile, Wikipedia reports that solar power in Florida has increased as the cost of solar power systems using photovoltaics (PV) has decreased in recent years.
CNBC.com reported that in 2016 there were some 1.3 million solar installations across the United States and that installations in 2016 were nearly double what they had been in the previous year.
Are the Savings Worth It?
Compared to many other states, Florida has relatively low electricity costs. If financial savings are your only concern, it may take quite a while to recover the cost of installing solar power.
For instance, using our showroom in Naples as an example, one solar savings estimator shows that a monthly electric bill of $153 would be reduced to $24 (reflecting a savings of $129 per month). Over a 20-year period that amounts to a savings of roughly $31,000. That, of course, will be offset by the upfront cost of approximately $24,000. It still results in a savings of about $7,000—but that saving occurs over a longer period of time.
There is also the environmental impact to consider. In Florida, approximately 61 percent of electricity is generated by burning natural gas, with close to 23 percent being generated by burning coal. Solar power eliminates the emissions that come from those sources.
Another thing to consider is that as prices for solar installation continue to drop, effectiveness improves. Solar is a rapidly advancing industry. Even figures from a year or two ago can’t reflect some of those advances, and new developments are surfacing all the time.
A case in point is the solar installation available from Tesla (yes, the electric car people!). Not only does their installation come with a warranty that never expires, but they are also offering something that makes solar panels even more attractive.
Tesla and Home Depot have announced that they are working together to offer Tesla’s rooftop solar roofing along with the Tesla rechargeable battery technology for homes.
Not only will you be able to capture solar energy and reduce your electric bill, you’ll also be able to store it. In addition to providing you with additional opportunities to use solar energy, it can be a boon during hurricane season when power outages can be an issue.
After Hurricane Irma, Florida residents couldn’t use solar power in the wake of the storm. However, homes that have a battery system can still use stored power even if there is a power grid failure.
Is solar power right for your Naples home? It depends on your specific home and your expectations. If you’re looking for quick savings, solar may not be the way to go. If you’re looking to lessen your impact on the environment—and achieve savings over time—it’s worth doing more research because solar power is getting more efficient and affordable all the time.