Solar energy is not just a technology of the future. It’s also a great option for the here and now. More and more companies are offering affordable options for solar panel installation, and the practice has been becoming increasingly mainstream. Every year, it seems those black panels are a more familiar sight.

Solar panel on a red roof reflecting the sun and the cloudless blue sky

Are you considering joining the solar panel trend? Tom Hanks supports the idea. It’s certainly not a bad idea. Here are just five of the many benefits of using solar energy.

Protect the Environment

This is perhaps the most obvious reason to make the solar switch, but it’s also the biggest. As the planet warms and the rate of natural disasters increases, it’s becoming obvious that we need to change our energy habits. The burning of fossil fuels will only lead to further catastrophic damage. We need to adopt sustainable energy, and we need to do it sooner rather than later.

As with any society-wide issue, climate change must be addressed both by public policy and by the sustained efforts of individuals. You can’t single-handedly end the use of fossil fuels, but you can step up and do your part. By switching to solar energy, you stop adding to the problem and start contributing to the solution.

Set A Good Example

For solar energy to have a major positive impact, more than just the occasional person needs to make the switch. While your personal decision in itself won’t make a huge difference, it will contribute to the current trend towards solar energy.

Your decision to ditch fossil fuels will serve as an example to others. When friends, family, and neighbors see those gleaming panels on your roof or in your yard, they might become interested in making the switch themselves. As more people use solar energy, the panels will lose their exotic feel. This will only drive even more people to go solar.

Feel Better About Yourself

Studies have consistently shown that doing well by others increased a person’s sense of well-being. Giving to a charity makes you feel better about yourself, as does helping out a friend in need. There’s no reason switching to solar energy shouldn’t have the same effect.

Every day, your solar panels will remind you of all the good you’re doing for the sake of the planet. Every time you hear a news report about the latest wildfire, heatwave, or other climate change-related disaster, you can rest assured that you’re working to end these types of catastrophes. The daily boost this gives you might make it easier to overcome other trials and tribulations in your life.

Lower Your Utility Bills

As good as solar energy is for the planet and society at large, there are also plenty of selfish reasons to make the switch. Principle among them is the promise of lower utility bills. As long as you’re using traditional energy, you have to pay for the constant flow of an outside product into your home. All these bills add up to become a substantial portion of your annual expenses.

Why pay for your energy when you can harness it from the sun for free? Plants and other photosynthesizers have used the sun’s energy free of charge for millions of years. Now that we have the option, why not do the same? With your energy coming free of charge, you’ll be able to save on your utility bills. All that extra cash will certainly come in handy.

Sell Excess Energy

Is anything as satisfying as turning the tables and selling what you used to have to pay for? If you’re lucky, you could harness a surplus of energy that you can then sell back to the utility company. Your panels will provide energy not only to your own home but also to the grid at large. This leads to extra money in your pocket.