The Cure For Nuclear Disaster – Solar panels on your roof

Go there and buy some.

Residential solar energy the top investment

Residential electricity rates have grown by an average of 25% over the last 6 years.  This is one reason that residential solar energy is growing rapidly.  The new 30% federal tax credit has created a dramatic boost to the residential solar energy market.  Falling solar panel prices have also added to the financial incentives.  In some locations, with combined federal, state and local incentives, the payback on the initial residential solar energy investment can be as short as 6-10 years.  Since the beginning of 2009, residential solar energy installations have grown by 50%.

The economics of residential solar energy

With electric utility rates increasing substantially every year, estimates are that the average homeowner will spend over $100,000 in the next 25 years on electricity.  With costs that high it makes sense to turn that expected cost into an investment that yields numerous dividends.  Returns on a residential solar energy system can be as high as 20-25%.  This figure reflects the lower cost of investing in a solar energy system now – combined with the increase in value to your home.  According to the National Appraisers Institute, the value of your home increases 20x the annual savings in electricity. So if you save $1,000, your home value increases $20,000 without increasing property taxes.

Net-Metering and feed-in tariffs

Most residential solar energy systems will be connected to the grid through a meter enabled for net-metering.  This means that when your solar panels are generating more power than you are using, the excess power will be fed back into the grid and your meter will actually spin backwards.  Your electric utility will give you credit for the energy you generate, deducting money from your bill.  In some locations that are using feed-in tariffs, the utility company is required to pay consumers up to 300% more for the power generated.  While feed-in tariffs are not currently widespread, you can see the impact they have on consumer demand for residential solar energy.  Ask your solar installer if there are feed-in tariffs working in your area


More tomorrow.


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