In the United States, the most traditional source of energy is electricity, and most homeowners decide to take this route. While it’s easy to follow the trends and do what the majority of other people are doing, it doesn’t always mean it is better. 

People who choose to go the electric route will face unique challenges and obstacles such as having no control over how efficient their energy is or how much it costs. Solar energy sources on the other hand allow homeowners and business owners to have more control and a better understanding of how their energy source works. Solar power as an energy source is expected to grow in the coming years in the United States. 

Today’s article is all about what the main differences are between electric and solar energy sources.

What is Solar Power?

In simplified terms, solar power is generated by sunlight. The sunlight is collected and converted into energy through the use of solar panels. The good thing about solar energy is that it is powered by a renewable source, meaning that we will never run out of it. The source in this case is the sun, and the sun is here to stay. Renewable energy sources help aid the climate crisis as there is much less pollution produced and released into the atmosphere. As a whole, solar energy is very environmentally-friendly and an amazing way to power a business, home, car, and more.

What is electric energy?

Electric energy is the most commonly used form of energy at the moment. It is created through huge power plants by burning different types of fuels and gas. The energy is then transported to substations through various transmission lines before getting distributed to buildings in the form of electricity. The fuels and gasses we mentioned before that are needed to create electric energy are considered to be non-renewable resources. This means that we only have a limited supply of them until they’re gone. Though popular, electric energy is very harmful to the environment as a lot of pollution is created and released during the process of creating energy.

The differences between solar energy and electric energy

Aside from solar energy being more efficient and environmentally friendly than electric energy, these two energy source options differ in other ways too, with the cost being the main one.

One way that solar energy differs from electric energy is that you can own solar energy or solar power. Electric companies on the other hand will rent their customers their power for a monthly charge. The issue with this is that you never truly know how much you will have to pay. These electric companies are free to change their prices whenever they want which is why you may have experienced some energy bills being much higher than previous ones out of the blue. Solar power is different because you are not having the energy transported to you. Instead, you would have professionally installed solar panels up on your roof collecting and converting the sun into energy without it ever leaving your home. People tend to notice cheaper energy bills and a consistent rate using this method.

One reason that people tend to be hesitant about going the solar energy route at first is the price to start. Having solar panels installed is an investment as you are paying both for the labor and the technology. This investment though is almost always paid off within the first decade at some point, saving you money in the long run and helping the environment along the way.

Wrapping it up

Electric energy is traditional and still used by the majority of the United States today. That doesn’t mean that it will stay that way though. Solar energy is becoming more and more popular every year, appealing to many for its consideration of the environment and cost-effectiveness. When it comes to the issue of money, you have to make the best decision for yourself. You’re either spending money renting energy from a company, never knowing how much you’re going to be charged each month, or you pay more money upfront to have solar panels installed and save money in the long run.

If you are still torn, we suggest you continue doing your research as you are right now. There are countless articles and blog posts full of information on solar energy compared to electric energy that may help you make up your mind. 

Each energy source comes with its own set of pros and cons, but so does everything in life. We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of what solar and electric energy is along with their main differences.

We are here to help!

Are you ready to stop renting your electricity and instead create your own energy at home? At Liberty Roofworks we professionally install solar panels on shingle, metal, tile, and flat roofs. All of our solar panel installations come with a Panasonic warranty as well as a battery storage system so that you can store your collected solar energy. All of our contractors are experienced, licensed, and insured. We are a family-owned business that has proudly been serving Charlotte, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas for the last 20+ years. 

Are you interested in taking the first steps of becoming a solar-powered home? Please contact us today for information on a quote or to schedule your pre-construction consultation with us. We are here to help! 

Frequently Asked Questions

With solar power being relatively new, it’s normal to have some questions about it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear and our answers. Is your question not answered here? Please contact us and we will be more than happy to personally answer it for you! 

Do you want to learn even more about solar energy and its benefits? Check out our Learning Hub where we post new roofing and solar energy content on a weekly basis.

Q: Can I install my solar panels myself?

A: While technically you can, we strongly advise you not. Solar panels are an investment, and unless professionally trained, you run the risk of improper installation which can damage the panels themselves and even your roof, ruining your investment and costing you more money. 

Q: How long do solar panels last?

A: Solar panels can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years when installed properly and in good condition.

Q: What type of maintenance is required for my solar panels?

A: While there is not a ton of required maintenance for solar panels, there are some things you should be mindful of. If you want to get the most out of your solar panels we suggest making sure they are kept clean and free of any debris such as leaves and dirt. Anything that blocks the solar panels will impact how much energy you are able to produce and store. We also recommended that you have at least one annual inspection just to make sure that everything is working properly and cleaned off.

Q: Do solar panels work in the shade?

A: Yes, solar panels still work in the shade and even on cloudy days. However, there will be less energy generated during these times. That is why sunny climates typically get the most out of their solar panels.

Q: How many hours a day do solar panels tend to work? 

A: Solar panels tend to work best when the sun is fully out, meaning you are likely to get 5-7 hours of use throughout the day depending on where you live and what time of year it is.

Q: What is a solar storage battery?

A: A solar storage battery is basically a bank for energy that has already been collected. The energy is then stored until needed later on during times such as power outages or when the sun is down for the night. 

Q: Is solar energy better than electricity?

A: No energy source is named better than the other. We will however say that solar energy is better for the environment and cheaper in the long run. Deciding which type of energy to use for your home comes down to your lifestyle and the situation you are in. 

Q: Can I run my entire house using only solar energy?

A: Yes you can! Now, not all houses are the same size. This means that some homes would require more solar panels installed than others and the same goes for solar battery storage.

Q: How much do solar panels cost?

A: The price for solar panels can vary based on types, amounts, and other factors. The average price for solar panels right now is around $15,000 dollars. However, there are different types of solar panels with prices varying from $3,000 anywhere to $35,000 or even more. The cost and panel type is something that should be discussed with your contractor at your consultation. 

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