Thousands of Mainers are using the sun’s energy to power their daily lives. If you’re thinking of joining them but are still trying to weigh the pros and cons, here are three reasons why solar makes sense:

Bring down your utility bills and save money.

Solar panels can last up to 35 years. Over that time period, homeowners can save tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs. Exactly how much you’ll save depends on a number of variables, from how much electricity you consume to the amount of sunlight available at your property.

Residential electricity rates in Maine are much higher than the national average, due to the limited amount of electricity we generate as a state. And utility rates continue to rise, year over year. This means that Mainers will experience greater and more rapid savings when they offset their monthly electric bill with solar.

After an initial site visit, we’ll create a custom estimate of how much solar energy your system is likely to generate. But to get an idea, we encourage you to check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s free tool to estimate the electricity production of your future solar energy system. Simply type your street address into the field next to “Get Started” and answer a few simple questions for a quick calculation.

Reduce your carbon footprint.

When you go solar, you’re helping create a future in Maine with less pollution and cleaner air and water. The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and other pollutants into our atmosphere, contributing to global warming. By contrast, solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source. It regenerates itself naturally and doesn’t consume water or release dangerous particulates into the air.

The Biden administration has committed to a plan to eliminate fossil fuels as a form of energy generation in the U.S. by 2035. To achieve this goal, we need to start moving toward 100% carbon-free electricity now. Solar is one of the simplest ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, as it doesn’t require additional infrastructure—panels can be placed on existing homes and buildings.

People often ask us about the pollution generated during the lifecycle of solar panels. Yes, this is true, but it is dramatically less than fossil fuels. There is a huge environmental and human cost to the process of obtaining oil and coal through drilling, fracking, and mining, and then transporting it. Although energy and materials are required to produce and install solar panels, once they’re in place they’re pollution free. As long as the sun shines, energy to power your home or business will be available at no cost to you or the environment—day after day.

Enjoy energy independence.

Solar is a stable and secure energy source. You’ll be able to maintain power through extreme weather and other disruptions to the electrical grid. Although most solar-powered homes are also connected to the grid, they aren’t reliant upon it. They can simply pull energy as needed, such as at night when the panels aren’t generating power.

That said, some of our customers install solar because they want to be entirely off the grid. This is another big bonus with solar: it can be installed virtually anywhere the sun shines, no matter how remote. Even the far reaches of Maine’s North Woods.

As a renewable clean-energy source, solar is also inexhaustible. The sun’s energy is the most sustainable resource on the planet. Fossil fuels, in contrast, are nonrenewable. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. As long as the sun continues to shine, we can use its power without diminishing its availability in the future.