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Solar…All The Energy Efficiency Rage…Is It Worth It?

The upfront costs of buying and installing a solar system can be expensive, even with government rebates. So, when is it worth it to go solar at home?  When:

1. You’re home gives ‘great roof’. A section of your roof faces south with few obstructions, such as tall buildings or trees.

2. You can achieve excellent ROI. The cost of a solar system that suits the size of your home as well as the interest rates, tax savings and other factors will determine how long it will take to make back your investment.  In essence, this is how long you need to stay in your home.  Note that if you have enough solar panels, you might even be able to generate more power than you need. In some states, this means you can run your electric meter backwards and the electric company ends up paying YOU and the extra electricity benefits the rest of the community.

3. Energy Rebates Make it Affordable.
Check the availability of solar system rebates and incentives for cutting back on power use, lowering prices for materials and/or offering the option to sell excess solar electricity back to the utility from rooftop solar systems plugged into the electrical grid as they can be significant. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (http://www.dsireusa.org/) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Log on to see what’s currently available in your area. Also, check with your local utility company.

4. Leasing still makes sense if you are unable to buy. According to the Department of Energy, an average solar-panel installation on single-family residence can cost at least $20,000…even after incentives. If buying a solar system is out of your budget, consider the leasing alternative.  When leasing, the system is installed at no cost to you, and you are billed monthly. However, while your cost of electricity may be lower, you won’t own the system.

5. You can find experienced, qualified, and licensed solar contractors. To take advantage of the available rebates and other incentives be sure to hire a licensed contractor with experience installing solar systems in homes.

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