Solar FAQs — Photovoltaics — Benefits
A: For a growing number of users, PV is the clear choice. You should definitely consider using a PV system if it operates better and costs less than the alternatives. The cost of energy produced by PV systems continues to drop. However, kilowatt-hour for kilowatt-hour, and depending on where you live, PV energy still usually costs more than energy from your local utility. Also, the initial cost of PV equipment is higher than that of an engine generator. But there are many applications for which a PV system is the most cost-effective long-term option, such as for power in remote areas.
A: People decide to buy solar energy systems for a variety of reasons. For example, some individuals buy solar products to preserve the Earth's finite fossil-fuel resources and to reduce air pollution. Others would rather spend their money on an energy-producing improvement to their property than send their money to a utility. Some people like the security of reducing the amount of electricity they buy from their utility, because it makes them less vulnerable to future increases in the price of electricity.
Other Resources: To learn more about solar energy, please visit our solar energy information portal.
A: Solar energy technologies often have a higher "first cost." This means that a person is likely to pay more money up front to purchase and install a solar system. Still, in nearly all cases, the high initial cost is recovered through substantial fuel savings over the life of the product (15-30 years).
Other Resources: To learn more about energy saving tips and renewable energy technologies, please visit U. S. Department of Energy's Energy Saver's Web site