There is one obvious way you’re going to save money once you have solar panels installed: your power bill will get much smaller. But you may not now about some of the other benefits, like net-metering (where you get paid for extra energy) as well as renewable energy credits (which pay you just for having solar).
The average American electricity bill is pegged at around $170-190 a month, with a 4% estimated annual increase, forever. With regular hike in price and taxes, this amount could one day reach astronomical proportions. Want to cut your power bill in half? Try installing a relatively small 3.9kW solar array. You don’t have to eliminate your power bill to realize substantial savings. Don’t take our word for it, try out the solar energy savings calculator here.
In a bid to encourage the use of renewable energy sources, the IRS introduced the energy tax credit in the year 2009. This created the Federal Solar Energy Tax Rebate of 30%, which is available if you purchase or set up an energy saving system at your home or establishment. Certain states allow sales tax and property tax exemption and state income tax offsets over and above the federal rebate.
SREC’s are green energy credits earned by producing energy from renewable sources. They can be traded with utilities and businesses which need adequate green credits. 1 SREC is said to be produces when 1 megawatt-hour of solar energy is generated.
SREC’s are very valuable since many states now require that utilities to either produce energy from alternative sources or purchase equivalent amount of SREC’s. SRECS are traded on an open market, so their value can fluctuate (although some states of introduced price floors)
Net-metering is basically when your utility pays you for producing extra power. For example, when you’re at work and the panels are still generating electricity, that energy is just fed back into the grid and your meter spins backwards.
While not available everywhere, net-metering can really make going solar a great financial proposition. You can also see if net metering is available through this solar savings calculator.