Homeowners use solar energy for many reasons, but two of the most common are saving money and protecting the environment. Whether your motivation for choosing solar is economic, environmental, or both, here is a list of benefits to consider when considering solar.Financial Savings: How Using Solar Power Can Save You MoneyMost people who use solar energy in their homes or businesses do so primarily for financial gain. There are four main ways to think about solar energy in terms of financial benefits:Using solar energy greatly reduces or even eliminates your electricity bill. Electricity bills can be a large part of your monthly expenses. With a solar panel system, you will generate free electricity for the entire 25+ year life of the system. Even if you're not generating 100% of your energy consumption, solar energy can still reduce your utility bills, which means you'll save a lot of money.Using solar energy can help avoid rising energy costs. Every year, electricity prices continue to rise across the country. By investing in a solar system now, you can lock in the electricity price you pay today to prevent future electricity bill increases.Using solar energy will increase the value of your property. It's simple: Homes with solar power sell more than homes without solar power. When you consider that solar power can allow you to reduce or eliminate your electricity bills, it's easy to see why: Don't you want to live somewhere without monthly utility bills?Using solar energy can give you a great return on your investment. At the end of the day, solar energy is one of the best investments you can make. The average return on investment (ROI) for U.S. solar buyers is 20% or more, and most solar panel systems pay for themselves multiple times over their decades-long life cycle. Try to get ROI from stocks!Why Solar Energy: Environmental BenefitsThe second main reason people install solar energy is for environmental benefits.According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the power sector accounts for 27% of U.S. carbon emissions. Fossil fuel power plants generate carbon emissions and contribute to local air pollution in areas near the power plants.By installing solar power, you can reduce your own personal environmental footprint. When you install a solar panel system on your property, you avoid buying carbon-emitting electricity from the grid and instead get it directly from your solar panels. Even if you don't use solar power directly, you can offset the need for carbon-emitting power by connecting solar power to the grid. At the end of the day, a typical residential solar panel system will reduce carbon emissions by three to four tons per year \u2013 the equivalent of planting more than 100 trees per year.For businesses, using solar energy can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability, improve employee morale, and also demonstrate sustainable value to potential customers.