Now is a great time to install rooftop solar panels in Baltimore, Maryland. A number of factors make solar power an attractive prospect for Baltimore homes & businesses, including generous state & federal government subsidies, the falling price of solar panel installations, and the widespread availability of solar leasing programs. This article takes a look at some of the reasons that a Baltimore household might consider going solar, as well as one of the key questions that home will need to ask itself: whether to purchase or lease their solar system.
The benefits of installing solar panels in Baltimore
All across the US, homes generally decide to go solar for 2 reasons: To save money on their power bills and to take action to reduce the environmental impact that their electricity use has.
Saving money with solar panels in Baltimore
Any Baltimore household that has solar panels installed will be able to generate at least a portion its own electricity. This means that less electricity will need to be drawn from the electricity grid, translating into smaller bills from their utility. At the same time, electricity generated by solar panels is now cheaper than electricity from the power grid (spread over the course of a solar system’s 25 year+ life), and anyone who has solar panels will receive credits on their bill for excess solar power that they ‘export’ to the grid. All of this adds up to significant savings on power bills, whether the person who has the system on their roof decides to purchase or lease it (see below).
Helping to clean up Baltimore’s electricity mix
Standard electricity fuel mix for Baltimore, MD. (Chart via EPA.gov)
The electricity that powers the average Baltimore household (which isn’t signed up for a green power program) comes primarily from nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Natural gas also plays a small role. Hydropower & other renewables currently come in last place. In most cases, households would prefer not to rely on electricity from the non-renewable sources that are the mainstay of power generation in the US, but feel that they have little choice in the matter. Having solar panels allows households to give less money to the utilities that use these technologies, as well as increase their energy independence.
Learn more about how clean your electricity mix is.
Is it better to lease or to purchase a solar system?
Solar panel leasing
Solar panel leasing arrangements have enabled thousands of homes across the US go solar. The essence of a solar leasing program is this: A solar leasing company and its financiers install panels on a roof at no or very little cost to the homeowner. This company then owns & maintains the system and sells the electricity that it generates to the household in question at a lower rate than could be purchased from the local utility. The end result, as the image to the right indicates, is lower power bills–all without the household having to pay to have the system installed in the first place.
Solar panel purchase
There are currently numerous federal government, state government & utility-specific incentives for going solar across the country. Combined with the plummeting cost of solar power installations, these make purchasing a solar system an excellent and safe investment. Those who have the money to invest in a system will see payback periods as low as 5-7 years. Because solar systems have an expected lifespan of 25+ years, after the payoff point the home will continue to produce its own, free electricity for around another 20 years or more.