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BENEFIT & AFFORDABILITY
What impact does a solar energy system have on my house value?
Energy conservation and renewable generation adds value to a home. Results from a study conducted by the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory* showed increased home values that ranged from $3.90 to $6.40/watt of PV with an average of $5.50/watt. Assuming the average US residence would require a 5 kilowatt (kW) system, homeowners could realize approximately $15,000-$20,000 in value added (using Texas as the example).
Simply put, solar energy is one of the best home improvement investments you can make.
*U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Clean Energy States Alliance; http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/emp/reports/lbnl-4476e.pdf
What happens if I need to move after I install solar on my home?
A US Department of Energy 's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy study* reports home buyers are consistently willing to pay more for a property with solar across a variety of states, housing and solar markets, and home types. Average market premiums of homes (~$3-4/watt). Premiums are durable; remain consistent through housing market fluctuations.
*US Department of Energy 's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; https://emp.lbl.gov/sites/all/files/selling-into-the-sun-jan12.pdf
The benefits of solar energy are clear. Can I afford it?
The prices for the components of a solar energy system have dropped significantly in recent years making them more obtainable for residential and commercial customers. In an energy environment where annual utility company rates are increasing faster than the rate of inflation, the affordability of solar power is bolstered by a generous 30% tax credit offered by the US Federal Government.
In addition, financing methods can reduce or eliminate up-front costs (ie, out-of-pocket expenses). Meaning, you simply install solar panels and begin to pay less for electricity starting on Day 1.
What is a payback period?
The payback period is the amount of time (years) required for the savings produced by your solar energy system to accumulate such that your initial investment is paid off. Thereafter, further savings from your system are realized as returns on your initial investment. One particularly noteworthy benefit is that these returns are 'after-taxes' unlike traditional investments.
What is Net Metering?
Net Metering is the ability to get credit for solar-generated electricity by sending (exporting) it back to your utility company’s electric grid. Your electric meter literally turns backwards so you get credit for every kilowatt hour generated by your system. In essence, you are using the grid as a battery.