With the increasingly precarious environmental situation, the world is finding itself more and more in need of alternative energy sources that are accessible to the average person and provide smart home solutions for electricity.

This has taken the form of consumer technologies that allow individuals to severe their dependency on the mainstream electrical grid, which generates power through primarily environmentally destructive procedures.

One of the foremost technologies to arise out of this new need is consumer-available solar panels. Solar power has undergone unfair stigmatization and ridicule as being ineffective. Much of this originates from outdated and misinformed rhetoric.  One of the primary complaints is that solar power is financially unrealistic, as the cost is not worth the benefit. As the technology has progressed, however, this is not the case, and using solar panels can definitively save you money.

In recent years, solar panel prices have dropped considerably, with some studies suggesting as much as 70% since 1998. This makes the initial cost of solar much more affordable for the average person, as well as businesses. In addition to this, many countries, including Australia and the United States, offer what are called solar incentives, or tax breaks given to homeowners and businesses that switch either partially or wholly to solar power.

All these incentives are, however, secondary to the primary aspect of solar that will save you money: free energy. Once the panels have been installed, all the electricity that they generate is completely free, given that you own the panels yourself. This will save massive amounts of money in the long term. While it is currently difficult to save 100% on your electrical costs by using solar, an investment that saves you as little as 40% will be a massive boost to your finances, and will continue to be so in the long term. As an investment, then, solar panels have some of the highest returns, not to mention the environmental benefits that they provide.

While no power production is perfect, solar panels offer a solution to the problems many people are beginning to recognise with traditional electrical sources, whilst giving people a way to save money while doing what they know is right for the environment. With the ever-accelerating improvement of technology, solar power is only going to improve and become more widespread and efficient. With the increasingly hazardous state of the global environment, and innovations such as Tesla’s Powerwall making solar more viable and efficient by the day, there has never been a better time to consider smart home solutions such as solar paneling, both as a means of saving money and as a way of doing your part to ease a potentially catastrophic planetary situation.