Solar is all about the green, and Iâ€™m not referring to that warm fuzzy earth day feeling either. Iâ€™m talking about the universal green â€“ money. If solar didnâ€™t make financial sense, no-one would invest into it. Weâ€™ve all read about rising energy costs, government solar subsidies, and cheaper solar technology. Weâ€™re all in agreement that solar power is clean, efficient, and the right thing to do. But, weâ€™ve also heard that solar isnâ€™t cheap. At least â€“ not as affordable as our electric bill. But, thatâ€™s no longer the case. With bigger and bigger electric bills, weâ€™re now having to consider alternatives.
On average, electric bills have increased over 7% each year during the last 20 years. Solar Panels have also come a long way during those twenty years as people search for alternative energy sources.
There are several factors that now play a part in determining the value a solar system has for a home or business. First, you must consider the size solar system that you would need. Just like you need a bigger garage door in your home to handle more cars, the larger your electric bill, the larger the solar system you will need. But, it doesnâ€™t stop there. While that determines the size in kilowatt hours that would you need, itâ€™s not the only factor that determines what the cost will be.
Solar prices have dropped recently for several reasons. First, the prices for the components have come down, and thatâ€™s a good thing. Second, there are tax credits and local incentives available that will help you pay for the cost of a system. There is currently a 30% federal tax credit good through the year 2016 that you can claim when you purchase a system. Of course, you need to have a tax liability in that amount or greater to claim it, but most people donâ€™t have a problem meeting that. Other incentives are usually found with the local utility companies. Last year, in Nevada, NV Energy offered unusually large rebates for non-profit organizations and when combined with the federal tax credit - it didnâ€™t cost the organization a penny - it was FREE. For homeowners the utility rebate for solar was quite a bit less. The rebate would cover about 25% of the cost for a solar installation. But, again, when combined with the federal tax credit, about 55% the cost of a system was paid for.
Now, as much as I would love to say that all these rebates are still available, most arenâ€™t. Throughout California and Nevada the rebates were exhausted, quite literally, within hours of opening the application process online. But, donâ€™t worry, thereâ€™s good news. Most utilities are gearing up for another round of rebates. When you factor that 55% the cost of solar can be paid for through these incentives, and you factor in the $1500-$2000 a year in electric savings you have, you can see very clearly how solar quickly pays for itself.