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Feb 12

Residential Solar Energy Is Now a Viable Option

solar panels

There has been a loud clamor for a dependable alternative to fossil fuels for about the past two decades. Locals have prodded their community organizers, county legislators have logged complaints with the state, the state has gone federal and the United States government has turned to its scientists, hoping for a solution. And the answer has always been the same: renewable energy just cannot meet the demand required, nor can the infrastructure be put in place to make it all work. But that idea is now outdated. According to experts in California, one of the greenest states in the country, solar energy is now a viable option on the residential level.

So what is at the heart of this turning tide? It’s not one thing alone, but a state government willing to lighten its attitude, a climate that matches up well with the energy creation methods and a set of subsidies that brought it all from idea to action. A mix of tax credits from the federal government and rebates on the state level effectively incentivized homeowners to make the investment. It really took off with the enactment of the Federal Stimulus Bill passed by Congress in 2009. Included in the legislation was a 30% credit on your current tax filing, which you could claim for all of your solar power installation costs. That’s not just the panels themselves, but the hours charged by the installation techs to actually get them going.

With that sort of support on the governmental level, the utilities quickly fell in line. Homeowners can now enjoy deep rebates on their energy bill if they can claim a certain level of solar energy creation. It makes obvious sense. Population continues to grow, which means demand on the utilities expands as well. But building new power plants or expanding existing ones is exorbitantly expensive. It makes financial sense for the utilities to encourage private citizens to begin creating their own energy. And as that partnership expands, homeowners will be able to sell back any energy they generate that’s above and beyond their needs. In fact, the utilities are legally required to purchase that energy and put it back into the system. That means a homeowner who puts in the time and the money could eventually see his utility expenses plummet down to nothing, and even put some extra money in his pocket as well.

It’s an incredible breakthrough, but it has also come just in the nick of time. California is in serious financial trouble, and the cost of electricity has risen across the state more than 30% since the new millennium. That initial solar panel investment may seem expensive now, but in the coming years it will become more and more of a bargain.

The development also gives those who take advantage a certain piece of mind. Rolling blackouts may be uncommon in this country, but many pundits have declared that this could be a reality in the coming years. If you not only spend less on electricity, but can go outside and actually watch your power meter run in reverse, you know that you won’t have to worry about falling prey to that situation. You and your solar energy fortified roofing are no longer reliant on the grid. What investment could be more important than that?

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