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how are solar panels for homes financed?

One of the most popular methods people use to finance solar panels was home equity loans. Although not many people have equity in their homes today, the people who do have an extreme advantage since interest rates are at historic lows, therefore people with good credit and equity in their homes can borrow money for cheap and invest it into a solar electric system which will lower or eliminate their electric bills. Solar electric systems generate cash flow for your home, therefore the ideal situation would be to replace your monthly electric bill with a fixed monthly payment on a loan for a solar panels for your home, wouldn’t you agree? Companies like New Resource Bank are offering a zero down solar energy loan for people to avoid the upfront investment it takes to get started with a clean energy system. This is a great strategy for a small community bank like New Resource Bank to get started in a rapidly growing industry, although it seems like the large conglomerate banks are not offering any loans specialized for consumers to purchase solar energy, why do you think that is? Why is it in this country, it’s so easy to get financing for a car (an asset that depreciates the second you drive it off the lot) but its almost impossible to financing a solar electric system for your home (something that acutally appreciates in value and creates instant cash flow) What a country we live in, I tell...

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will homeowners pursue energy tax credits?

The Obama administration has offered unprecedented incentives to U.S. homeowners who install solar energy, wind turbines and efficiency products to save energy. Now through 2010 as part of the economic recovery package, homeowners together can reap billions of dollars in tax credits as an incentive to at least take a second look into green energy technologies. A recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation concluded that millions of U.S. homeowners intend to take advantage of the generous tax credits offered for energy upgrades in 2009. According to the survey respondents, saving money in general was the primary reason people consider energy efficiency upgrades. 40% of the respondents said monthly savings on their utility bills was the key reason for planning upgrades to save energy. 30% of the respondents stated that energy upgrades would improve the comfort of their home and for those respondents that is why will take advantage of the tax credits this year. Only 13% of the people surveyed said they would be investing into green energy technologies to reduce their carbon footprint. I suppose U.S. consumer care more about the green in their wallet over protecting the environment since saving money is the most important motivator in making a decision in buying energy upgrades. Even though many of the respondents agreed that the 30% federal tax credit was a great incentive to look into installing green energy this year, a total of 41% said the tax credit would need to exceed 40% of the final purchase price to encourage them to pursue a home energy efficiency upgrade. In my opinion, the most interesting piece of information reviled by the survey was that 72% of consumers had no idea how to apply for the federal tax credits, state incentives and other rebates offered by local utilities. I think this is our biggest barrier in terms of getting people started with green energy, making the process easier for them so consumers don’t have to think about it. Currently it seems like the process is too complex which holds back the adoption rate of green energy technologies. If your interested in learning more about tax credits, rebates and other incentives you’ll receive for investing in check out DSIRE, it’s the most up to date database to learn about what is available for you. You can always give us a call, we help consumers figure out how much in incentives they will receive if they invest in green...

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is your city offering you financing to install solar?

AB 811 is a unique piece of legislation which allows borrowers to pay back investments in solar panels through property tax payments over a 20 year period. Rather putting residents through the pain of obtaining the upfront cost to go solar, more cities are encouraging their local residents get started with green energy by offering low interest loans that removes the largest barrier to entry and increases the adoption rate of solar panels. Since homeowners are used to paying their electric bills on a month to month basis, buying solar panels is nontraditional because the homeowner has to prepay their electric bill for the next 30 years. This is where the financing solves that problem by giving the homeowner the ability to make month to month payments on a solar electric system on their rooftop. Berkley, Palm Desert and Sonoma (cities in California) already have programs in place to provide financing to its citizens. Now San Diego has jumped on the AB 811 bandwagon, their program is going to start in July of this year. What do you think about more cities offering financing for solar panels through property taxes? Would you purchase a solar electric system if your city offered financing? Do you think this financing method will catch on to more cities around...

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reduce your tax bill, invest in solar panels

April 15th, the most dreaded day for Americans since its the last day to pay off the IRS. How much did you pay Uncle Sam this year? Some Americans paid less to the IRS this year by taking advantage of the generous tax credits given to homeowners and businesses to install solar panels that generate electricity or heat water. Before 2009, individuals were capped at a $2,000 tax credit maximum, but this year was historic in terms of how much money people are receiving for installing renewable energy. Individuals and corporations can take a full 30% of the final installed cost of the system as a tax credit against your tax bill. Deductions, reduce your taxable income, tax credits on the other hand are a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. It’s quite simple to claim the investments you made in solar panels or wind turbines, take a close look at the Tax Credit section on the 1040, you’ll notice a renewable energy section in which you can enter the credit you qualify for. If you’re interested in learning more about the tax credits you qualify for installing renewable energy check out...

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simple calculation for solar pv payback

Too many people call us everyday and ask how the figure out the payback period of an investment in a solar pv system. Today, I wanted to focus on showing you how to simply calculate how long it will take you to break even on a solar electric system you maybe considering for a home or business. (Total system cost after incentives) + (Maintenance costs x Equipment lifetime)—————————————————————————————————-(Annual system kWh production) x (Your electric rate cost per kWh) Maintenance costs = $0.02/Annual system kWh productionEquipment lifetime = 25 – 30 years You can forecast annual system kWh production using PVWatts Check your electric bill for your cost per kWh, if you can’t figure out what your average cost for every unit of electricity you consume, then it’s going to be impossible to forecast a payback period for your investment in a solar electric system. Get to know your electric...

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is solar for your home a smart investment?

To estimate if solar would make a smart financial investment it takes a handful of key variables which include location, weather, orientation, slope of your roof, and obstacles that could cause shading as the path of the sun changes based on the season. Green Power Labs has created an online tool called SolarRating which helps you determine if you have a suitable location for solar panels. What I like about the online tool is the website explains why each variable is important in calculating the feasibility of solar panels. When I talk to interested consumers they typically say, “I have a lot of sun on my roof” and assume solar panels would be a smart investment but sometimes a house may not be suited for solar power. SolarRating OnLine gives your home a color-coded rating and helps you determine if you have a good location for solar panels by asking you questions about your project site. At the end of the process you can buy a custom report for $9.95 which will indicate your “solar score” which should give you a good idea if solar panels are worth pursuing for your home. what do you think about online tools that help you figure out solar...

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