Marianna Vis' Blog
If you have driven around any American neighborhood lately, you may have noticed a big addition to many houses, particularly if you look up. Solar panels have been soaring in popularity the past few years. As of 2015, 784,000 U.S. homes and businesses have gone solar, according to Solar Industry Data. So what is driving all of these home and business owners to go solar? For one, the world’s recent consciousness of the environment, and the upswing of renewable energy sources has certainly had a big impact and can be seen more in mainstream media and advertising (i.e. the hybrid car). But solar companies and the government are making solar panels even more appealing with incentives, and with the promise of savings. Homeowners who utilize solar energy save thousands on their energy bill every year. There are many incentives that could also aid in saving money. As of 2015, the government offers a 30% Federal Tax Credit for homeowners who add solar panels to their homes. Many states have their own programs that reward anyone for going green. For example, Massachusetts has a program called the RPS Solar Carve-Out II, which is an incentive to support residential, commercial, public, and nonprofit entities in developing new solar installations across the state. Massachusetts and New Hampshire offer Energy Certificate programs which allow homeowners to sell their solar energy, generating many dollars in tax-free income. Because of these incentives, and also the quick payback, solar panels can be a sound investment. Most homeowners can be revived from their investments within 10 years. You can compare that to any other utility upgrade, such as an air conditioner, which costs money to install, and then more money to run. For anyone thinking about moving soon, solar panels will actually increase the value of a home. According to a study done by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), homes sell 20% faster when solar panels are installed. Since solar energy seems to be an upward trend, it could be appealing to the housing market. Solar panels are also a guaranteed performance. Because solar panels create energy from the sun’s rays, it will never run out. Compare that assurance to the unreliability and fluctuation of other non-renewable utility companies. As for maintenance, solar energy requires little to no upkeep for the homeowner. Once it is installed, there is nothing to do but soak up the sun! Aside from being a trendy look for homes, there are many benefits to adding solar panels to your home. All else aside, decreasing your carbon footprint can be a sunny incentive for all of us.