Energy efficiency is on the minds of most these days, but many want to ensure there is a payoff for renewable energy. We discussed our top 5 reasons to go solar in our blog, where we pointed out the great benefit for the environment (switching to solar water heating from electric water heating, for example, can help offset anywhere from 40% to 100% of carbon dioxide emissions of a typical commuter car). Beyond the environmental benefits, solar pays off in big ways financially.
So, what is the big payoff?
- Right now, the government is helping you pay for your solar system. Tax credits at the federal, state and local levels are helping homeowners offset the cost of going solar. A federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) for both residential and commercial consumers is available for both photovoltaics and solar water heating systems through 2016, giving a full 30% of the system as a tax credit. (For more information, look at this FAQ on Sec. 25D of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).)
- Electric Rate Structures – Some municipalities have variable rate structures including peak time of use hours and tiered rates for electricity. Solar-friendly rate structures exist to further incentivize solar owners.
- Increase in Property Value – Solar electric systems increase property value by decreasing utility operating costs. It is estimated that a home’s value is increased by $20,000 for every $1,000 reduction in annual operating costs from energy efficiency with the simple rationale that a reduction in operating costs can be spent on a larger mortgage with no change in the monthly cost of ownership. To the borrower, the total monthly cost of home ownership is identical; it’s just that Instead of paying the utility, the homeowner pays the bank, but the total cost out of pocket doesn’t change.
- Financing is available – Financing options make the purchase of solar panels and a solar system affordable for more homeowners.The savings on the electric bill can more than compensate for the cost of the loan, making the decision to go solar less expensive than keeping your electric system as it is now.
If you have any questions about the benefits of solar, how a system would work for you, or just to learn more, contact Aztec Solar! (916) 853-2700