Green remodeling might be the popular thing lately, and the Economic Recovery Act is certainly supplying excellent incentives to home owners who modernize to energy efficient heating and cooling options, but will ï solar power really make sense for my home? How can I know?
Everything I have heard about solar power is that it is really expensive to install.
There are several variables in deciding whether solar power is the right option for your home. Here are some of the initial things you’ll need to know:
- Are there restrictions in the building code for your area that prohibit solar panels on your home? These could be local or state building code specifications.
- Are there local zoning restrictions that prohibit solar panels on your home ?
- Are there subdivision or neighborhood covenants that prohibit solar panels on your home?
- If there are such restrictions, have they been challenged by other homeowners?
- Are solar panels allowable , but restricted in terms of where they can be positioned (such as, for example, on the back side of the roof only )? Does it make sense to position panels in these locations ?
These inquiries will help you determine whether you should even consider solar power for your Edit this text . The next thing you need to figure out is whether solar power makes sense for your particular house , positioned exactly as it is and located where it is. You might need help from a licensed contractor to consider some of these issues.
- Will the planned placement area receive enough sunlight throughout the day, every day?
- Are there obstructing trees, roof lines , etc?
- Does the house have adequate wiring to support the system?
- Can you install appropriate heat exchanges?
- Could your system convert sunlight during most of the year?
- Do you live in a hot or cold climate area?
- Would you be replacing propane, electricity or oil heat or electric air conditioning?
- Do local building codes require a back-up or supplementary system?
- Does your property insurance or mortgage lender require a supplementary or back-up system?
- Do you have the cash or the financing for the initial expense of the system and installation?
Current estimates place the cost of a solar system capable of providing for the power needs of the average sized home of about 2500 square feet between $25,000 and $30K . Available rebates, tax credits and other incentives vary by location, depending upon state policies and utility company incentives . Other incentives (depending on utility company and state ) might include all or any of the following:
- Sales tax exemption (at 4% = $1,000)
- Real estate/Property tax exemption of the added value of the home
- State income tax credit ($2,500)
- State rebate program ($1,000)
- Utility company rebate
Contact a local contractor to get answers to all these questions, and to learn if a solar power system is truly a good option for your particular home and property . Use this free online construction cost estimator as a useful tool.