The major benefits fall into two major categories: environmental / health and financial.
The environmental and health benefits include a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Solar energy also reduces the air pollutants caused by fossil fuel energy production like sulfur dioxide and an array of air particles that cause health and respiratory issues.
The financial benefits of going solar include saving money on electric bills both now and against increased rates in the future. Through "net metering," power companies may credit your electric bill against electricity that your solar panels put back into the grid (this varies state by state). In addition, going solar substantially increases your property value if you own your home.
Solar panels absorb the sun's rays and convert it to direct electrical current (DC). The electricity in your house is alternating current (AC) so solar electricity is passed through a power inverter, which converts DC to AC. The DC current from solar panels can also be stored in batteries, car batteries for instance, for use at a later time.
A common question is "What if the sun isn't out? Do my solar panels still work?" Either direct or indirect sunlight is needed to create solar power. So while no power is produced at night, cloudy days can still produce significant electricity. Even if you don't live in Florida, solar can be a smart decision.
Solar panels are made of durable tempered glass and require little to no maintenance or even cleaning, within their 25-35 year lifespan. Most solar panels are also covered by warranty, although terms may vary.
There are a number of options available for acquiring a home solar panel system which provides a range of flexibility in terms of cost or financing including $0 down options. Solar systems can either be bought or leased, with buying typically having the best long-term return on investment. Solar loans, both secured and unsecured, are also available as are tax credits at the federal and state level, depending on where you live.