Solar System (Electric)

In addition to U.S. federal government tax credits of up to $2,000 for this system, there are other state incentives that ― in some cases ― may cover more than 65% of the cost of the system! Learn more!

As the world focuses more and more on global warming and carbon emissions, homeowners are left wondering how to best do their part to help. While energy-efficiency almost always makes more sense as a first step, renewable energy sources, such as generating electricity from the sun is an option for those who want to go deeper. And solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are reliable and popular.

A PV system includes a series of panels (or shingles or new films) mounted on the roof of your home, garage or outbuilding. These panels convert sunlight directly into electricity with no moving parts, no fuel, and no pollution. Is a solar PV system right for you? GreenHomes America can help you decide by examining the pros and cons.

Biggest Negative of Expense is Offset

The biggest negative is that PV systems are somewhat expensive — an average of $20,000 to $30,000. Fortunately, federal and state government incentives and tax credits have been established to help pay up to 40% of your PV system, and more legislation is being passed every year to continue to increase this amount.

The Benefits Far Outweigh Any Negatives

The benefits of solar are many and tend to outweigh the negative. Financially, solar systems provide several short and long term advantages:

  • You produce electricity, so you do not have to pay power companies.
  • Once you pay off your system, the electricity you produce is yours, free of charge.
  • If electricity prices rise, as most people expect they will, your system cost stays the same, increasing your return on investment and saving you even more.
  • A solar system adds value to your home — studies show that for every dollar you reduce your energy bill, your home's value increases up to $20.
  • Some insurance companies are starting to offer discounts on premiums for customers with solar.
The Environmental Results Are Most Impressive
  • Solar power leaves the air as it is, contributing no radiation, carbon, or other air pollutants, as does burning coal, gas, or oil, or nuclear
  • Solar can help fight global warming and reduce the need to build new power plants (most people don’t realize more than 50% of U.S. electricity is produced by burning coal!)
  • Solar produces no noise or waste in its production
  • Solar does not use a lot of land, since it is usually mounted on top of buildings

To magnify the benefits of a solar PV system, the first thing you should do is figure out how to reduce your energy use. The more efficient your home, the smaller PV system you will need. Call an experienced contractor like GreenHomes to get a complete home energy assessment— they will provide you with an honest set of recommendations.

So, the bottom line is, if you want to watch your utility meter spin backwards, protect the environment, or just be more energy independent, solar PV just may be right for you!

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