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Residential Solar Energy More Viable Than EverContributing Authors
Solar energy installations, both residential and commercial, are increasingly apparent across the state of California. A combination of climate and a progressive government attitude toward renewable energy has made California one of the biggest players in solar energy development. For example, the California Solar Initiative remits rebates to homeowners that “go solar.”
Property owners that combine those state rebates with available federal tax credits and utilities rebates will find solar energy to be a better investment than ever before. When Congress passed the Federal Stimulus Bill in 2009, the legislation included a 30 percent federal tax credit on the full cost of a solar installation, including both materials and installation costs.Utilities promote solar energy by offering rebates be abuse they need to reduce peak energy demand. Expanding existing power plants is very expensive for the utilities. By encouraging the development of alternative energy sources, utilities can avoid such costly projects.Homeowners with solar energy systems insulate themselves against future rate increases. In California, electricity rates have risen by about a third since the year 2000. If an investment in solar panels is cost-effective today, it will be even more so in the near future.
Homeowners with solar installations benefit in another way. By law, utilities are required to “buy back” excess electricity from such homeowners. Therefore, one profits from the sale of electricity whenever ones solar panels produce more electricity than is needed. Many a property owner has delighted in watching their meter actually run in reverse. After years of paying ever-higher utility bills, many such homeowners enjoy this immensely.
Residential solar energy also offers peace-of-mind. Citizens feel more secure knowing that they are not as subject to power outages across the grid. Storms and transformer failures have often been the sources of these interruptions. Today, concerns over cyber-attacks add another potential reason for a loss of power. Refrigerated food can spoil during power outages. Many feel more anxious in houses darkened by the loss of electricity. Solar energy offers an alternative to such scenarios.
Residents who invest in solar panels often enjoy another less tangible benefit. They often feel like they are better stewards of the planet. They know that they are reducing their carbon footprint by cutting demand for fossil fuels.
Finally, today’s solar panels are the most efficient ever. That is, they convert the sun’s energy into electricity at less cost than ever before. “Going solar” has never been a better investment. Numerous factors are converging to make residential solar energy installations profitable for more and more homeowners.