Invest in Your Future With These Financial Incentives for Solar Panels

Wednesday Oct 27th, 2021


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Invest in Your Future With These Financial Incentives for Solar Panels

By Tina Martin


Savvy homeowners know that investing in solar panels is a surefire way to save money on their monthly bills. Solar panels are the future. Realtor Danielle Russodivito explains how the U.S. government also offers several schemes to help out green homeowners


Government-backed schemes and tax credits available to homeowners

Solar loans for installing solar panels are readily available throughout the United States, and in many cases, the monthly payment on solar loans is more affordable than that of electricity bills. As with the case of certain costs associated with home offices when claiming the home office deduction, potential tax write-offs are available for solar panel installation.


Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy, or R-PACE

R-PACE is a government-backed scheme that offers competitive loans to people who want to upgrade their energy. R-PACE is particularly useful if you aren’t sure you can commit to staying in your home for a long time as the loan is attached to the property rather than the homeowner. 


Energy Efficient Mortgage program

The FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage program helps you finance many different types of eco-friendly home modifications by incorporating the cost of these improvements into your mortgage. Spreading the payments for solar installation over several years at a low APR makes the solar panels vastly more affordable.


Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Solar Investment Tax Credit provides a 26% federal investment tax credit for the installation of solar systems. 


Statewide benefits 

Each state offers varying types of benefit to those that want to invest in a green home. Look to your local authority to find out what is available in your area. 


Further loans available for homeowners wishing to upgrade their energy

The Clean Energy States Alliance details the different types of solar loans available. Lenders for solar loans can be banks, credit unions, state programs, utilities, solar developers, or other private solar financing companies.


How much does it cost to install solar panels on my home?

Solar panels can dramatically reduce your power bills, taking your electricity cost down to nothing and even allowing you to sell extra power back to the grid. Still, there is no denying that to some, the initial outlay can be high.


Solar panel installation in the U.S. can average about $12,000 for a medium-sized home and prices range from $5,000 up to $40,000 for the best panels you can buy. How much your solar panels will cost depends on your requirements.   


To estimate requirements, solar installation companies will look at the size of your home, how many people live there and any additional factors such as if you run a business from home, have a pool, or extensive outbuildings.


Are solar panels a good investment? 

Solar panels are estimated to break even after 15 to 25 years, depending on the size and type of system. The higher wattage the system has, the more electricity it will produce and the quicker it will pay off — but also the more expensive the installation cost. While the initial outlay may seem steep, you are free of power bills from the day you install them.


Solar panels are an investment in the future of the planet. Installing solar panels helps reduce greenhouse emissions, harness clean energy, and save fuel sources. The value of proactively working to combat climate change cannot be calculated. 


How do I know if I can fit solar panels on my home?

Solar panels can be installed on nearly any kind of roof, assuming the pitch isn’t too steep and there is space for the required number of panels. While asphalt and tile roofs are preferable, it's only wooden or slate roofs that prove problematic, as wood and tile can shatter. 


The process involves the following:


  • Assessment to check your property is suitable for solar panels and to calculate the size and your energy requirements.

  • Submit plans for solar panels to your local council.

  • Installation.

  • Final sign-off and approval of plans. 


Installation of panels takes between one and three days and is a simple enough process. Any modifications and pruning are done first, then mounts and panels are fitted to the roof, followed by the inverter. The system is connected and switched on. 


Government-funded loans and tax credits at current high-value rates are unlikely to be around long term. Remember that monthly loan repayments may be cheaper than your previous electricity bills — meaning, you save money from day one.


Image via Unsplash


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