Renewable energy sources such as solar power or generators are rising exponentially in Texas. Solar panels and generators are the most prominent options for ensuring a reliable energy supply.

Each has distinct advantages and considerations, making the choice dependent on various factors, including cost, environmental impact, reliability, and specific energy needs.

This blog aims to comprehensively compare solar panels and generators to help you navigate the best fit for your Texas home.

Generators

Residential house natural gas backup generator. Choosing a location for house standby generator.

Generators are backup power systems that provide power during an outage by running on liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel. A freestanding generator sits outside the home and is turned on manually or has sensors that detect outages and turn the generator on automatically.

Generators are more affordable on the front end but require regular maintenance and a minor recurring cost. It also needs weekly or monthly self-tests and continual refueling during outages.

However, generators produce a sound when running and exhaust gas, which harms the environment.

When a generator is maintained regularly, it can last for 10+ years, providing a reliable power source during emergencies. It is easy to connect a generator -especially if your house has an existing gas line.

Solar Panels

Solar panel household green energy corrugated concrete tiles

A solar battery system is a system that uses solar power to generate electricity and stores excess energy in a battery for later use. Experienced solar companies provide the latest solar panel technology for homes nowadays.

It consists of solar panels, an inverter, and a battery, which can be single or multiple. The solar panels convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. An inverter then converts this into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is used to power your home and business and store excess energy in the battery for later use.

Solar-powered battery backup systems will draw stored energy from the batteries to power your home without interruptions or downtime. The systems operate almost silently and run entirely on renewable energy, reducing your carbon footprint and creating a cleaner environment.

An installed solar system increases your home’s daily solar consumption, and it increases the value of your home. It has a high upfront cost, but federal and state taxes are available for some systems. Battery backup systems require low maintenance and have a long lifespan.

Solar Panels vs. Generators Comparison

GeneratorsSolar panels
Source of energyInternal combustion engine running on gasoline, propane, diesel, or natural gasSolar energy – batteries store this energy
Cost$2,000 – $10,000
Regular refueling required
$15,000 – $30,000 (before incentives)
Federal and state tax rebates (up to 26%)
Financing programs available
Power capacityHigh: Needs continuous supply of fuel
5 – 20 kW
Limited: as long as the sun shines or there is stored energy in batteries
3 – 10 kW
Performance365 days of the year – when refueledExcellent in areas like Texas with lots of sunshine
DurabilityMachine exposed to wear and tearStationary panels, inverters, and batteries – long-lasting
NoiseLoud while running
70 – 90 dB
Almost inaudible
25 – 40 dB
InstallationEasy to connectRequires professional installation
$5,000 – $10,000
MaintenanceRegular oil changes and filter replacement
$150 – $300 per year
Low maintenance
Requires regular cleaning
Batteries degrade over time
Lifespan10,000 hours
5 to 10 years
High-quality batteries last about 20+ years
Solar panels 25 to 30 years
Carbon EmissionsHigh carbon footprint
~1.6 kg CO2 per kWh (diesel)
Run on renewable energy
Zero emissions
Home ValueIncrease the home value by 3% – 4%

Consider the best option for your Texas home

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Choosing between solar panels or a generator involves careful consideration of several factors:

  • Energy Needs and Usage: Assess how much energy your household consumes and identify any peak usage times. This will help you determine the best system to meet your specific energy requirements.
  • Local climate and sunlight availability: Evaluate the average sunlight your area receives throughout the year. Locations with consistent sunlight are ideal for solar panels, while areas with frequent cloudy or stormy weather might benefit more from a generator.
  • Budget and financial incentive: Consider your budget for initial installation and ongoing maintenance. Also, explore any available federal, state, or local incentives and rebates that could offset your costs.

With more and more households in Texas switching to other energy sources, it is time to consider doing the same. Consider your options, contact Frontline Home Solutions for the best advice on home efficient installations, and make a well-informed decision about a reliable and sustainable energy supply for your home or business.

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