Why install solar?

Financial Benefits

Why install solar panels?

A commercial array of 450 solar panels, installed on a movie theater.

Installing solar is a long-term investment. It is the investment in producing your own energy, and you will reap the rewards accordingly. For many, the financial side of solar can make good fiscal sense. For a typical residential installation in Virginia, the payback time for investment is about 9 – 12 years (6-10 years for commercial). Each solar panel is guaranteed to produce electricity for 25 years, meaning a minimum of 13 years of free energy, in addition to the value of the equipment itself. As an example, a system that costs $18,000 should generate more than $40,000 in tax benefits, electricity savings, and SREC sales over a 25 year period.

When considering financing options for solar, the savings on electricity bills may be more than the cost of a loan payment. In addition, you get free energy for the rest of the life of the system, and a completely carbon-neutral source of energy. While solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, research has shown that many systems installed in the ’70s are still producing over 80% of their rated power. Homeowners who install solar can expect a return of 2-4 times the cost of investment over the life of the system. For those who choose to install solar, the financial and environmental benefits can span generations.

Environmental Benefits

We try to present the financial benefits of solar because money is important to our society, but the environmental benefits are equally strong, if not stronger. We at Virtue Solar believe that moving to clean energy is the right thing to do.

The costs of oil, coal, and natural gas are not just reflected in our pocketbooks, but in the environment, the atmosphere, and our health. Moving towards wind and solar energy is the way of the future. We believe in creating a sustainable planet, where energy and technology help develop a healthy natural landscape, clean water sources, and pure air for everyone.

The health concerns of fossil-fuel energies are substantial. Research has shown that if the health and environmental impacts of coal were factored into the price, it would be more costly to use coal to generate electricity than solar, even if the coal itself was free. Natural gas has recently stepped up to fill an energy gap, but the impacts of fracking are not without notice. Seismic activity, contamination of ground-water, and release of large amounts of methane gases are only a few of the concerns associated with natural gas. It is also a fuel that is limited in supply. As with all other fossil fuels, prices are destined to rise as the supply decreases.

Our goal is to bring as much solar to Virginia as possible, and to reduce our State’s reliance on unsustainable fuels of the past. We are excited to work towards goals we are passionate about, and hope to share that excitement with every individual we encounter along the way.

A few solar facts

  • The fuel for solar panels is unlimited, free, and releases no emissions.
  • A typical residential solar array (6kW) will offset more CO2 annually than 200 trees (EPA).
  • A typical net-zero home saves more CO2 per year than four vehicles will produce annually (NREL).
  • The sunlight striking the Earth’s surface in one hour delivers enough energy to power the world economy for one year.
  • Global use of solar to generate electricity is expanding by 50% every year
  • The carbon emissions from manufacturing solar panels are offset within the first 1-2 years of usage.