What Can Solar Panels Do for Your Home?

From on August 29, 2011 in Green Remodeling

modular-solar-panels

It’s common knowledge that remodeling increases the value of your home. Yet, when it comes to renovation, you may not immediately consider installing solar panels, which not only produce clean, renewable energy from the sun, but can add a staggering 30% to your home’s resale value.

How much does it cost to go solar?

Advances in solar technology, generous incentive programs and creative financing options have made solar power dramatically more affordable. Today, a variety of solar power applications are available, from a single self-sustaining panel that provides light to your garden shed, to a full-scale system that powers your entire home – with excess energy sold back into the grid, earning you money.

To find out how much you can save with solar power, click here.

What has changed in the solar market to make it more affordable? First, advances in solar technology have made solar panels more efficient and cheaper to manufacture.

Second, as the nation seeks to become less dependent on fossil fuel, the government has implemented rebate and tax credit incentive programs at the federal, state and local level. The federal rebate alone can pay for up to 30% of a solar system’s cost.

Third, across the country, utilities are now required to invest in green energy. Many states allow utilities to partially meet these mandates by offering additional incentive programs, as well as buying excess energy produced by residential solar power systems. Today, it is not uncommon to reduce the upfront costs by 50% or more, depending upon where you live.

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Creative financing options

Solar installers have become more imaginative with financing options as well. The fastest growing segment of the solar market is solar leasing. The solar company purchases the panels, then either installs it or arranges to have it installed for you. The solar provider maintains and insures the system. In return, you either pay the company a flat rate, or the amount equivalent to the energy the system produces.

Either way, the monthly expense is typically less than what you paid for your monthly electrical bill.

Another misconception that homeowners may have is that installing a solar system means having an entire roof covered with panels. Solar panels are constructed by linking solar cells together. It is a modular technology. Many companies in the construction and home improvement industry are coming up with creative ideas for smaller applications.

The most familiar of these are solar water heating systems, used either to heat water for the home or for a swimming pool. Other products include self-powered ventilation fans, ceiling fans, LED skylights and solar roof shingles. Most of these products are eligible for rebates and tax credits.

Green home remodels are not only good investments for your comfort and pocketbook, they are investments in the future, too. Solar helps us do our part toward providing our children with a greener, more sustainable world. There’s no better time to go solar than now.