Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 5:32 AM

 Solar power has been a promising energy alternative for many decades. The ever-present sun generates abundant, continuous energy that is easily stored using technology, like solar panels. And it is cleaner, safer and much less expensive than the more widely used alternatives currently available. Nearly everyone can benefit from using solar power. Those, who are not yet convinced that a solar power system will benefit their home or business, should consider some compelling information about the benefits of using solar energy.

 
One of the most important factors to consider with regard to solar power is its cost. As a natural resource, sunshine is free. It has been warming the earth and its inhabitants, continuously, for as long as they have existed. But, as the earth rotates daily on its axis and revolves annually around the sun, its temperature varies, from hot to cold and back. During the last century, solar power collection technology was developed to capture and save the sun's energy for rationed use on cool nights or during frigid winter weather.
The one-time purchase of solar hardware, containing this technology, plus the cost of labor to install it, are the only expenses the consumer has to pay out-of-pocket. For some solar power systems, federal and state governments enacted tax incentives, rebates and subsidies that further reduce how much citizens have to pay. Unless homeowners take out a loan to finance the purchase of their solar power system, they won't have any monthly solar energy bills.
 
Another benefit of using solar power is that it reduces or eliminates the need for other forms of energy. Although some households are powered exclusively by solar energy and nothing else, most consumers use solar power to offset their use of coal or petroleum for electric or gas utility power. During months when the home consumes less solar energy than what it collected, the excess can be sold back to utility providers for use by other consumers, so none of the energy is unused. Coal and petroleum based energy resources are dwindling and cannot be replaced. They also create pollution. An increase in the use of solar power means the potential decrease in the use of these polluting, non-renewable, sources.
 
In addition to saving money, solar power creates no waste and therefore does not pollute. Generally, the response to pollution often includes expensive and inefficient attempts at clean up, or modifications to fuels that make them burn in a less polluting way. Combustion of coal and petroleum is the defining factor in creating the carbon footprint every human has been challenged to minimize.If everyone had solar panels and solar power use became a primary source of energy in most households, taking action, in response to the presence of pollution, would no longer be necessary.
 
The visual appearance and care of a solar power system is also a necessary consideration. Just as much attention has been given to the functional efficiency of solar panels, as has been given to the convenience they add to the lives of consumers who purchase them. A variety of available designs give homeowners multiple attractive options that will add to their home's curb appeal. Cleaning and maintenance of hardware in a solar power system is no more demanding than periodic gutter cleaning, which has also improved in recent years, and can be done at the same time.
 
Choosing to use solar power is a wise decision for many reasons. Fiscally, it benefits not only the homeowner with immediate financial savings, but the utility and other consumers also benefit when one home sends surplus energy back to their utility. Ecologically, the cleanliness of the sun's energy allows the accumulated waste from the burning of coal and petroleum to dissipate or be cleaned without adding additional pollution. Aesthetically, solar panels and collection hardware come in a variety of designs that fit with any architecture and are easy to maintain. Everyone should use solar power.