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solar power as an investment

Edward Simburger, an electrical engineer and owner of a grid tie solar electric system on his home published a research paper called, “Residential Photovoltaics; An Investment Vehicle for Retiree’s II” which answers the question if solar power should be part of everyone’s investment portfolio. In his paper, Edward compares an investment in a solar electric system to financial indexes and concludes that in investment in photovoltaics provides a better return since it’s low risk and has built in inflation protection. Edward collected the data for the solar electric system from the system installed on his own home in California. As electric rates continue to increase the rate of return on a solar electric system also increases. With rebates, tax credits and other incentives given by local, state and federal governments, today solar power is a much safer investment than the stock market, wouldn’t you...

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solar panel installs on the raise as prices decrease

We’ve all been bombarded with news about doom and gloom in our economy. Although it seems like people now more than ever have a interest in installing solar panels. There has been a lot of buzz in the marketplace that solar panel installations are still increasing amongst homeowners. I think the combination of the 30% federal tax credit, the dropping cost per watt for solar panels, and many more states across the U.S. providing incentives for solar panels is creating a new demand for solar panels even though some other parts of the economy are hurting. The reason for the cost of solar panels being reduced is that there are many more manufacturing offering solar panels today, more than ever, that is creating downward pressure in the price of solar panels. Also due to the credit crisis, many very large solar panel farms projects are sidelined, therefore it caused an oversupply of solar panels in the market which is why we are experience record low prices for solar panels. In times like these, its a buyers market for people looking to buy solar panels. What do you...

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progress energy increasing solar rebates

Progress Energy, a utility company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina which serves over 3 million customers in the the Carolinas and Florida is aggressively encouraging it’s customers to install solar panels through a solar rebate program. The program would offer $1.50 to $2 a watt per watt installed for residential customers. For commercial customers Progress Energy promises to pay a premium per kWh (kilowatt-hour) contributed to the grid. Payments will be based on market prices although limited details have been disclosed by the company. With more utility companies offering rebates, federal tax credits at an all time high and the cost per watt for solar panels dropping like a rock, it creates the perfect storm for a great investment in a solar electric system this year. Would you...

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looking for solar panel rebates?

DSIRE (database of state incentives for renewable energy), a website dedicated to display rebates, incentives and tax credits for consumers who produce energy from renewable resources. Recently DESIRE released a new website dedicated completely to highlight financial incentives for consumers who install solar energy systems. Its simple to search for solar rebates for both photovoltaics (solar electricity) and solar thermal (solar hot water and space heating) by using the state-by-state map. The website is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program, to help consumers find the information they need to make effiective invesment decisions into solar energy systems. If your’re wondering how much the governement will pay you to install solar panels, you got to start your research on DSIRE Solar. check it out:...

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green mountain energy paying retail rates

Net Metering is the term which describes your utility giving you a credit when you send extra electricity generated back into the grid. Green Mountain Energy based out of Austin, Texas is an environmentally friendly electric utility that focuses on generating electricity through renewable energy such as solar and wind power. Today the company announced they will be buying electricity generated from a customer’s solar panel rooftop at retail rates. This means customers receive a credit equal to the amount they buy electricity for per kWh (kilowatt-hour) up to 500 kWh. A customer will receive half the retail rate on any electricity contributed into the grid over 500 kWh. New electric meters that have increased functionality can measure both inflow and outflow at any give time of a building which allows electric utilities to pay solar customers a rate closer to the wholesale price of electricity. A couple customers have already signed up for the pilot program, do you think programs like this will encourage more people to install solar...

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demand charges explained

Demand charges are a significant cost on your overall electric bill but very few people understand what a demand charge really is. I recommend everyone who is considering to do energy efficiency upgrades or install solar panels and wind turbines start with analyzing a 12 month history their electric bill first. Understanding the rate you are being charged per kWh and other elements of your billing is important for you to make effective energy reduction decisions. Demand charges are a cost on your electric bill which are based on the greatest amount of electricity used in any half hour period during the billing period. The charges are represented as a dollar per kilowatt (kW) and is applied to your maximum kW demand also know as the highest rate at which you required energy. Demand is the rate of how fast electricity is delivered to you over a half hour period of time. For example, if you have all your appliances running at your house at the same time your electric meter would spin forward really fast therefore your demand charges would skyrocket. Demand charges represent the rate of how fast you are consuming...

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