Saturday, November 19, 2016, AM | Leave Comment
The number of Americans who have installed solar panels is still at an early adoption level of about 1 percent, as per a recent report from CNBC.
More Americans than ever are interested in getting on board with this alternative to nonrenewable energy resources, however, 30 percent of the total population of the U.S. could very well live in homes heated by solar energy by the year 2020.
Concern about the environment is certainly one reason why so many are making such a green conscious decision. Solar power for homes, however, is becoming popular because it’s more budget friendly.
Savings vary depending on different factors. Differing energy costs from state to state is just one reason why, but there’s no question that using solar energy is just more cost effective.
Lower Electricity Costs
Data from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center shows that it’s cheaper to go solar than be on the grid in 42 out of the 50 states.
The research in their report proves that 9.1 million Americans would spend less on energy if they had solar powers installed. New York, for example, a state where utility bills are higher than average, is an ideal location for a family to use solar energy.
It’s important to realize that a home solar power system lasts about 25 years during which cleaning and maintenance costs are minimal and don’t recur on a monthly basis.
The price of the equipment and the expense of installing it will make up the bulk of what a homeowner who uses solar energy will ever spend.
Courtesy of the federal government, there are a number of different benefits available to Americans who use solar energy, income tax deductions.
Installing solar panels enables the owner of the property where they’re installed to claim a 30 percent income tax deduction that can include the equipment as well as labor. That’s the equivalent of being reimbursed for a good part of the expense of having solar panels mounted on your roof.
Utility companies in states such as New Jersey, Ohio, and California will pay homeowners for the solar energy they produce but don’t use since regional power companies are required to generate alternative forms of energy in order to comply with the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS.)
In other words, homes that produce solar powered electricity can sell it to the power companies in their state.
The Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) system is not at all complicated. There’s a platform with which the selling process as well as the amount earned in sales to utility companies can be tracked.
In New Jersey one SREC credit is worth up to $690. The average homeowner part of the program makes $550 per credit, which is not bad for passive income. Selling 7 credits a year can result in $3,850 in profit.
Can Up Property Value
Owning property with solar panels installed on it gives it greater value. Home ownership is expensive. Buyers have never been savvier or responsive to homes with features that will lower the overall cost of living in them annually.
Making a piece of real estate stand out on the market often requires extensive renovation work be done, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
The return on investment in having new sinks, tiles and appliances put into a home is estimated to be at about 60 percent, but a property owner who has installed solar panels can make as much as $20,000 more as a result of their property being solar powered.
There’s just so much enthusiasm about solar energy now that there’s never been a better time to consider adopting it. If the lower costs of using it are not an impressive enough reason for you to get on board, the fact that it reduces your home’s carbon footprint definitely should be.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.