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Solar Energy Facts: Get Educated

Like any investment, you need to know what you are getting into before you make a purchase decision. Same goes for solar energy. Here are 10 solar energy truths:

1) Every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year. (National Geographic)

2) Despite the drawbacks, solar energy use has surged at about 20 percent a year over the past 15 years, thanks to rapidly falling prices and gains in efficiency. (National Geographic)

3) With tax incentives, your solar power investment can often pay for itself in five to ten years.

4) The average price of a solar panel has declined by 51 percent in the last year. (Solar Energy Industries Association)

5) Solar energy can not only be used to heat your home, but also to heat swimming pools and power outdoor lighting and RVs. (About.com)

6) If every house in the United States had solar energy, the national savings would reach $147 billion annually.

7) The National Renewable Energy Lab reported in 2010 that homes with solar energy sold, on average, 20 percent faster than non-solar homes.

8) According to Rochester Solar Technologies, one 10 kWh solar system can prevent 4,237 lbs. of sulfur dioxide and 1,364 lbs. of nitrogen oxides entering the air over the system’s lifetime.

9) The lifetime of solar panels (photovoltaic panels) on average ranges between 20-25 years – different solar panel companies may give different guaranties for the performance and operation of their solar panels. (Renewable Energy Power)

10) The annual energy bill for a typical single family American home is $1,255, resulting in $144 billion spent per year for 115 million U.S. households. The amount of money you save by going solar depends on many different factors. Energy prices fluctuate by state. The national average per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is $0.117. (One Block Off the Grid)

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