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Solar Benefits: The Technology, the Savings or Sustainability?

When key members of the solar industry gathered several weeks ago to talk about the best ways to promote the solar message, a debate emerged. What do solar consumers care about more:

  • The technology (or the “Wow” factor of a solar PV installation)
  • The cost savings on their electric bills
  • Doing something good for the environment?

It’s hard, even for the top members of the industry, to guess what the number one reason for a solar PV installation might be.

Solar for the Technology
Technology “early adopters” want to be the first on their block to have the latest new toy. With solar PV arrays that can be monitored via iPad, smartphone or tablet, and the high-tech look of those blue panels on a rooftop, solar is definitely one of the coolest tech toys a family can add to their home.

Solar Energy to Save Money
But the cost savings is undeniable, with most arrays paying for themselves in about four years. (Use our solar savings report generator to find out the average payback time for your home, based on current federal tax credits and local incentives in your area.) Who doesn’t want a lower electric bill?

Solar for Sustainability
Finally, you have the positive effects on the environment. Solar energy reduces our dependency on dirty coal and can, in some cases, also reduce our dependence on foreign oil. More importantly, families with a solar PV installation tend to become more eco-conscious after they see the benefits of sustainability as they enjoy clean, free electric power from the sun. You don’t have to make any changes to your lifestyle as solar homeowners, but you may discover it’s fun to find additional ways to reduce your electric bill, and then your water bill, and then save money and reduce stress in your household by reducing, re-using, and recycling every thing you can.

See why it’s so hard to choose a “favorite” reason to get a solar PV installation on your roof? All the reasons (these are just the top three!) are compelling, and as varied as solar customers.

Promoting Solar to Your Friends and Family
If you’re already a solar convert, you’re probably just like us; you want to share the good news about solar energy everywhere. The best way to do that is find out what your family and friends find most appealing about solar.

First, mention one of the many benefits of a solar PV installation. For instance, you might say: “Wow, my electric bill was only $10 this month!” or “My son loves tracking the output of our solar panels on his iPad.” You can mention any of these points casually, until you get a reaction of legitimate interest. Then elaborate on the topic of interest, sharing your enthusiasm for solar, focusing on the area they seem to like best, and answering questions honestly.

Imagine how many more solar PV installations we’d see if everyone decided to share what they love best about solar energy?

What’s your motivating factor for purchasing (or considering) a solar PV array? We’d love to hear your answers in the comment sections below.

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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