Home Solar Energy Systems – Financial Windfall Pays For Itself



Home solar energy systems have come a long way in recent times. In just the last twenty years, we have seen the efficiency level of the average commercial PV panel rise to a steady 15%. While that may not sound like much, green plants do only a 3% efficient job turning water, CO2 and sunlight into their life-giving chlorophyll, so 15% for us dumb humans is pretty impressive. And what used to require half of a football field full of solar collectors now can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost, and in a much smaller size.

Thanks to innovations in solar cell construction, heightened insulating technologies, and the previously mentioned improve efficiency, most homeowners can get all the energy they need from about 100 square feet of solar panels.

Home solar energy systems can also be set up to tie into the local power grid, and produce not only free energy, but revenue for excess energy that, up to a certain production level, your local utility is obliged to purchase. And did you know that through Federal and local tax breaks, deductions, incentives and outright grants, you can recoup up to 50% of the cost of your solar power home plan?

As you can imagine, qualifying for these bureaucratic back slaps requires very precise paperwork filing, but there is even help there. Solar-knowledgeable contractors now abound, and in an effort to win your business, many reputable firms will offer to handle the paperwork for home solar energy systems in return for the job. Haven't ever filled out solar rebate paperwork? Trust me, if you find someone offering to handle it for you, take them up on their offer, even if it means a little more cost. You want to capture every possible rebate and tax break, and a simple error here could delay or negate any incentives you qualify for. The peace of mind and wallet-stuffing rewards you get from allowing a seasoned pro to handle this area of home solar energy systems implementation can't be beat.

So, we know that home solar energy systems can be financially rewarding and hands-off-easy to set up, but were you aware that you can shelter yourself from rising property taxes by employing a solar power plan in your home as well? Many states allow you to exclude up to your initial solar investment on any future property tax increases. So if you spend $10,000 on your initial solar energy plan, the next $10,000 in property tax rate increases don't apply to you. And that is in addition to any Federal or local incentives you have already received.

As if that were not enough incentive to get started, home solar energy systems also raise the value of your home. That's right, by acting to responsibly lower your negative environmental impact; you receive the amazing side benefit of increasing your property value. For a standard $2,800 solar hot water heater setup, you can expect around $48 of savings on your utility bill a month. (National averages for usage and rates for a single family home were used.) National averages show that in this typical situation, a solar water heater will pay itself off in around 44 months. That means roughly $600 a year back in your pocket, and free utilities after roughly 3 and half years!

But what if you decide to sell your home 5 years after installation? That still means your system would have paid for itself, not including any incentives or rebates, and you still enjoyed 14 months of free energy. And since the standard 125% appreciation for new install home improvement rule applies, your $2,800 expense that has been more than repaid already, adds $3,500 to the value of your home. Just one more of the many reasons that home solar energy systems have become so attractive in recent years, and definitely demand some serious consideration from just about every homeowner.


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