The energy-efficient home solar panels in your home can help reduce your energy bill by as much as 30%, according to a study published in Nature Energy.
And the energy-saving technologies are not limited to solar panels.
The study says the use of solar panels can reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of your building by as little as 2%, reduce the use in the production of fertilizers by as few as 1% and reduce the amount of methane in your soil by as many as 25%.
The energy savings also make the panels much more efficient, according to the study.
“Home solar panel systems can be a significant source of energy savings in both residential and commercial buildings,” said co-author Daniel D. Meeks, a research associate with the Solar Energy Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
“And with this study, we hope to help people make sense of these savings and learn more about how they can be realized.”
The researchers examined data from over 6,000 buildings in New Hampshire that had at least one solar-panel array, which includes panels that have a total capacity of 1,000 kilowatt hours, or kilowatts, or 1,200 watts.
They also looked at data from a subset of buildings with solar-paneled roofs, and the results are quite striking.
“We found that rooftop solar systems are responsible for over 20% of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in these buildings, compared to the roofed systems,” Meeks said.
“They can reduce energy use by as high as 27%, and they have been shown to significantly reduce methane emissions, too.”
Meeks said the research could help home owners learn how to use their solar panels to their advantage, such as installing rooftop solar panels where there are more windows.
The solar panels will also help to reduce energy usage by eliminating the need for a lot of water-intensive fixtures such as fans and water heaters.
The researchers said they hope the data can help educate homeowners and homeowners’ associations on how to make the most of their solar-based energy systems.
“Home solar is becoming a popular option for people who don’t want to buy a lot more expensive rooftop solar,” said lead author John C. St. Clair, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at the UMass Lowell School of Engineering.
“But we want to know more about the benefits of solar energy systems and what the pros and cons are.”
The study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the UPMC Energy Center, and MIT’s Energy Initiative.