Solar panels never looked better!

By
Real Estate Agent with Steinborn & Associates Real Estate

Solar PanelsConverting the sun's energy into electricity isn't for everyone. However, roof-mounted solar panels need exposure to sunlight at least five hours a day to be effective and the skies over Las Cruces are a perfect fit. If your electric bills are high, and your home gets plenty of direct sunlight, then solar panels might be a sustainable, clean, efficient resource for you to consider. With a fairly-recent expanded federal tax credit for solar panel systems, installing a system has never been more affordable.

Prior to the updated tax incentive, the average cost of installing solar panels was $29,120 and even cheaper in places like Arizona and California where electricity is expensive, sunshine is plentiful, and solar power has gained more traction, but the tax credit was capped at $2,000.

Now, after an increased tax incentive, any system installed between January 2009 through December 2016, is eligible for tax credit equal to 30% of the cost. This means that the tax credit for an average system is now just over $13,000 vs only $2,000 prior to 2009. That is an extra $11,000 in savings and this does not include any local and state incentives. You can search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency for state and local incentives.

The tax break can be applied to a solar-panel system installed at your primary residence or second home. Take the credit for the tax year the system becomes operational. Use IRS Form 5695. The credit can't exceed the total amount owed in federal taxes for that year, but it can carry over to future years. Save receipts and certification statements.

A typical residential system should lower your electric bills by 25% to 50% and the average household pays about $100 a month for electricity, according to the Energy Department. This means a solar-panel system should save you between $300 and $600 a year!


The payback period will vary greatly depending on where you live, the size of your system and its post-incentives price tag, and future swings in electricity costs and consumption rates. Plan on it taking anywhere from six to 18 years. Solar panels have a life span of 20 to 30 years.

Producing excess energy can accelerate how quickly you'll recoup your investment. A battery can store extra electricity for later use, or you can sell surplus energy back to the utility company in a practice called net metering. Many cities have net metering in place, but check with your utility company before you install solar panels.

Installing solar-panels has a pretty steep upfront cost so before considering a system you should try smaller, less-costly solutions to make your home energy efficient first. If you still want save money on bills and buying an entire solar panel system could be overkill for you. We have created a Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit for you to help you out in this regard.

For those in the Las Cruces area start your solar power journey with Positive Energy.

 

 

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  1. Debbe Perry 06/19/2012 08:43 AM
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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
New Mexico
Tags:
renewable
green energy
photovoltaic
solar panels
las cruces

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Rainmaker
540,617
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate

These do look good, more and more people are starting to use solar in this area as well.

June 19, 2012 08:29 AM
Rainmaker
524,327
Curtis Van Carter
Napa Valley's Broker Extraordinaire in Yountville
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, Yountville Napa Valley

Evelyn

Good post and good read. Unfortunately, when I re-roofed my house a few years ago I researched installing panels and my electric usage was not high enough to make economic sense. cheers cvc

June 19, 2012 08:44 AM
Rainmaker
563,524
Chris Smith
South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta
Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage

Evelyn, what a great incentive.  In Ontario, the government signs a contract to buy electricity at an above market rate guaranteed for twenty years...

June 19, 2012 09:03 AM
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Rainmaker
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Evelyn Bruder

CRS, GRI, ABR, E-PRO
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