4 Big Reasons Why Solar Panels are a Smart Investment for Your Home
As the sun rises each day homeowners coast to coast are saying goodbye to high utility bills in favor of solar panels and the future couldn’t be brighter. In fact, more than 2,000 mega-watts of direct current were installed in the solar market in Q1 2017 alone. But what may be surprising to some is that utilities accounted for approximately half of all solar panel (PV) installations. And if it’s a smart investment for the utility companies then it’s a smart investment for homeowners too.
Big Reason #1: Get a Big Federal Tax Credit
The biggest reason why solar panels are a smart investment is that good ‘ol Uncle Sam is willing to pay for a big chunk of the installation cost. Taxpayers who install a solar PV system before December 31st, 2019 will be able to deduct 30% of the total cost directly from their Federal income taxes. And if you don’t expect to owe any taxes in the year of your solar panel installation, you can roll over the federal solar tax credits to the following year. The solar energy tax rebate reduces in subsequent years to 22% and the program expires on 12/31/2021. There are also other incentives which vary by region, and are determined by local legislation and utility regulations.
Big Reason #2: Reduce Your Electricity Costs with Net Metering
Depending on your solar PV installation, there may be sunny days when your system generates more power than you can consume, and conversely there may be cloudy times of the year when you are consuming more power than can be generated. Net metering helps homeowners maintain low utility costs while ensuring uninterrupted access to the electricity they need to power their home.
When your solar PV system is generating more power than your home needs, the surplus power is automatically sold back to the power grid operated by your local utility. When this occurs, your electric meter may run backwards and a credit will appear on your energy bill. On the other hand, if you need more electricity than your system is generating, your local utility will supply the additional electricity your home needs and a charge for the amount of power it provides will appear on your bill.
Big Reason #3: Solar Panels are at their Lowest Price
Improvements in technology and economies of scale among solar panel manufacturers, has led to reduced prices of solar panel systems and it has never been a better time to invest in solar energy. The cost of installing residential solar PV systems is now less than half of what it was just a few years ago. Since 2009, the average cost of a solar panel installation has dropped by roughly 60%. Moreover, the ongoing federal, state and local rebates and tax credits have made solar renewable energy systems more affordable. While California leads the way with the most residential solar PV installations, North Carolina ranks #2 in solar electric capacities, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Also, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York rank among the top 10 solar producing states.
Big Reason #4: Increases the Value of Your Home
Another major reason why solar panels are a smart investment is it can increase the value of your home. A recent study conducted by the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program partner, and the Green Label Rebate Program in California found that homes with energy efficient upgrades sold at a 9% higher price. This illustrates the increasing demand for energy efficient and green energy homes and homebuyers are willing to pay a premium. Solar PV systems can make your property much more appealing to prospective homebuyers. And since most solar systems include a 20-25 year warranty, this type of investment will benefit you (and any future owners of your home), for far longer than most other home systems or appliances.