It іs no secret thаt switching out of thе electric grid and uѕing PV solar power for уоur home's electricity neеdѕ helps thе environment bу wasting lеѕs energy, аnd requiring lеsѕ new energy production. In addition to these, іf уou аre а homeowner conѕidеrіng making thiѕ switch, уоu ѕhоuld also factor in the long term savings and financial benefits.

The biggest determent for home owners who are interested in installing solar panels on thеir roof іѕ а high upfront cost. As a homeowner уоu cаn expect tо pay аround $40-50,000 fоr a photovoltaic system. Keep іn mind, that the cost аlso depends оn thе size оf your house. Since a bigger house requires mоre electricity to power it, уоu will need tо install mоre panels in order to produce morе kilowatts of energy. These facts stop people in their tracks frоm going forward with cleaner solar energy, withоut furthеr lookіng іntо it. The reality iѕ that there аre a number of ways to cut dоwn оn thе initial cost (often aѕ muсh аѕ 50%), aѕ well аѕ substantial financial returns dоwn thе line. To gеt you started on doіng furthеr research, hеrе are ѕomе facts about ways tо finance and even make money on installing solar panels on your roof.

Rebates and tax breaks

Federal Government

The US federal government is actively promoting developing and investing into clean energy, and energy efficiency projects. This massive effort includes building awareness among American homeowners about different ways they can use clean energy in their own homes, as well as providing rebates to help ease the financial burden of switching to these green sources of energy. Enacted in 2005, The Energy Policy Act includes two ways for homeowners to receive a tax credit for solar energy from the federal government: you can qualify for 30% of the system cost (up to $2,000) for either solar water heating, or for solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity. If you add in additional tax breaks offered by state and local governments, it becomes possible to cut the upfront cost of installation by a whopping 50%.

State and Local Government Incentives

Currently, many states have created programs to encourage homeowners to lower their energy usage, and switch to solar power. Over half of the states in the nation offer solar energy rebates to help offset the cost of solar power systems. The amount of the rebate subsidy varies from state o state, but it is not unusual to get rebates up to 30% of the solar system cost. Some states, such as New Jersey are particularly generous, covering more than 50% of the system's retail cost.

The only issue with state rebates is that they have been designed to reward early adopters of solar power and energy efficiency. This means that as the allotted funds continue be consumed by homeowners who are switching to solar, the rebate amount per home continues to drop. If you are considering installing solar panels, it is wise to get more information on the rebate amount available in your state, and take advantage of it, before it drops again.

Other ways to finance switching to solar energy

Even with all the federal and state rebates, the initial cost of installing a solar system may still be too expensive for some homeowners. The good news is that now there are a number of clean solar energy companies that provide you with a variety of options to switch to solar power and pay less for electricity, without having to pay anything up front. These companies provided a full array of energy solutions, from evaluating the energy needs of your home, to installing the solar panels and the metering system for free, and doing maintenance and repairs at no charge, in case something goes wrong.

In this arrangement, you can pay for solar energy the same way you would be paying a conventional utility company, only your monthly bill will be lower and you will be using a clean source of energy. You can also save money by locking in the terms of your contract so that your electricity charges do not increase. Comparatively, electricity companies raise their prices about 5% each year.

Get paid by selling electricity back to your local utility company!

Federal law requires utility companies to buy excess electricity from independent power producers, such as homeowners who have PV solar panels installed on their homes. Over 30 states allow net metering, which accounts for a solar system’s electricity production, and allows homeowners to receive the full value of the electricity by selling what they do not use back into the grid.

The most common method for net metering is a single, reversible meter. As a PV solar power system produces electricity, kilowatts are first used to meet the energy demands of your house. The extra kilowatts feed into the grid, turning your electric meter backwards. At the end of each metering period, the utility company will credits you for the extra kilowatts, paying either monthly, or annually. This way your monthly electric bill for cleaner electricity is lower than the amount you would otherwise pay to your utility company, and you also have some additional money to pay off the initial cost of the solar power system itself.

Positive Cash Flow in the Long Run

The best part of installing a solar power system is that you can actually make money from it in the long run. Once your system is paid off, the net metering will keep on rolling, and you will keep getting paid for producing the extra kilowatts.

Increased Home Value

Another major long-term financial benefit is that energy-efficiency significantly increases the resale value of your home. This is especially true for large-scale energy efficiency home improvements, such as installation of PV solar panels. Even if you don’t see your solar system through to payoff, the next owner will be happy to pay extra for the price of your home, to continue reaping the benefits of your energy saving efforts.