We have solar panels on the brain! And, as we just made the down payment, will soon have solar panels on our roof! Everyone has been talking about solar panels lately so I was shocked to find out just how few people, even those in the green movement, actually have them. With our home's location on a Landmark street, we had to get approval, but with the low profile panels (installed horizontally), you can’t see a thing from the street!
Have you thought about solar panels? If not, you may rethink after you hear about the benefits and the payback time. With a 30% federal tax incentive, a 30% DCEO state rebate, and often with manufacturers’ rebates to boot, the paybacks really can hit the 5-7 year period. After that, every kilowatt you produce is free energy! Plus, you get to feel good about the fact that you are using clean power instead of coal (cough, cough) or nuclear (toxic waste, anyone?).
So what about the worries that many people have? Here are a few honest answers.
-Will the incentives stick around? Probably for a while -Will panels get more affordable? Yes, but the incentives may wane simultaneously. -Do I have to be a multi-millionaire? No. Some installers even help with financing. -Is panel quality going to improve? Possibly, but most panels now come with a warranty stating that in 25 years, they will still be operating at 80% efficiency. Not too shabby.
Solar panels do require a down payment, which is probably the primary reason that most people don’t move ahead. But if you do have a few bucks lying around, instead of investing back in the wildly unpredictable market, consider investing in our planet. As energy prices continue to rise (and they will), your investment will pay back quickly.
And, of course, don’t forget about the best feature of solar panels… bragging rights!