The Home of the Future is Now, and It Is Powered by Solar
Solar panel technology has been around for decades, but according to professionals, solar energy is going to be the driving force behind the homes of the future.
Roughly two million homes in America have solar panels, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the total of 90 million single-family homes. Nevertheless, solar energy industry leaders share a vision where solar energy will power all the homes of the future.
The Solar Panel Landscape is Changing
A few variables are contributing to the positive outlook for solar and its role in America’s future housing stock. Justin Baca who serves as VP of Markets and Research at the Solar Energies Industries Association points to the affordability of solar panels and new government policies as reasons why we will see a significant uptick in the use of solar panels. California recently passed legislation requiring solar panels in all new housing construction.
It’s Not Just the Sunshine States
Solar companies are not confining themselves to the sunshine states. America’s largest residential solar installation company, Sunrun, is expanding its market reach in Illinois and Wisconsin. New England and middle-Atlantic states have also become fertile ground for residential solar panel companies.
Will the Homes of the Future Be Off-Grid?
Today’s technology allows excess energy created by solar to be deposited to the electrical grid. When solar power is weaker, electricity can be withdrawn from the grid. It’s a perfect system, maximizing solar energy consumption and minimizing energy costs for consumers.
Vivant CEO David Bywater says that 100% off the grid is not out of the realm of possibility, but homes still need a backup. The key to optimizing off-grid energy use is storage. Consumers should use a large lithium-ion battery that plugs into the solar panel system. Solar energy produced during the days when it is sunny can be stored in the battery. When the days are cloudy, the battery becomes operational.
The future of solar energy is exciting, but not without a few hurdles still in the way. Permit and inspection regulations continue to be cumbersome and time-consuming. The lengthy process can cause consumers to give up.
Ultimately, residential solar panel systems will become an integral part of the smart home infrastructure, regulating energy use and saving precious natural resources.