Adding solar power to your home can be costly if you are paying for it out of your own pocket. Depending on the system you purchase, it can cost several dollars per watt of electricity produced and can take several years for the investment to pay for itself. There are programs and incentives in place in the U.S. to offset the costs involved with installing a solar energy system and even allow you to get your system at no cost if you know where to look and which forms to fill out.
Why should you add a solar power system to your house? There are several reasons why solar power is a great addition to any house. Long gone are the days of low power solar and battery systems that tended to be more of a headache than anything. Most houses these days have electrical utility service, modern solar systems are designed to work with these services and not instead of them.
Besides the earth friendly aspects of using solar power, one big reason to install a solar system that appeals to most homeowners is the savings on the utility bill. Solar power systems can drastically reduce the amount you pay for electric service by reducing the utility usage of your house. They can also offset your electric bill payments completely and even force your utility company to send you a check every month by providing more power than is consumed in the home. When your solar system is producing more electricity than you are using, the excess energy is channeled back into the grid making your electric meter spin in reverse. When your electricity production becomes higher than your electricity consumption, your utility company will send you a check for the difference buying that energy from you and providing it to other homes on the grid.
A good, low maintenance solar energy system can increase the value of your home. Any well thought out home improvement can significantly increase your homes value more than the amount you spend. Solar power makes your home more desirable to potential buyers and makes the house more energy efficient making it cost less to live in. You can consider it a good investment that pays off instantly when done properly.
How do you get a solar energy system for free? Well, first of all you can get a federal tax credit for adding one to your home. The federal government wants us to use renewable alternative energy sources wherever we can to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and they are willing to pay you to do it. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6, Sec. 1335) established a 30% tax credit up to a maximum of $2000 to help offset the purchase and installation of residential solar electric systems. This alone won’t completely pay for the system but there are other programs in place such as state tax credits and utility company sponsored rebates that will help make your solar system free. In states such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, Florida, and Texas the credits and rebates provided by the government and local utilities will offset the cost completely on some or maybe all systems.
In states where the rebates won’t completely cover the system, they will make it significantly cheaper to install and the increased value to your home, as well as the energy savings, still makes it essentially free when factored into the equation. Check with your local utility commission for information on rebate incentives specifically for your area and check with your state government if you pay a state income tax on top of the federal tax. For the IRS form 5695 to file for your federal credit go here. For more information on tax credits, rebates, grants, loans, and more visit this site. Some solar installers will file all the rebate paperwork for you so ask before you buy and it may become much easier to get it all done.
Solar power is the right thing to do for the environment as well as for your wallet, check into residential solar systems and don’t pay more than you have to. Take advantage of the savings these agencies are offering and transform your house into an energy producer and cash saver instead of an energy money pit.