Everyone knows that solar power is good for the environment. This clean, green, alternative energy source produces none of the carbon emissions that are partially to blame for accelerating climate change. By going solar, homeowners can cut their carbon footprint and help to keep the planet healthy for future generations.
However, replacing traditional energy sources with solar energy can be a pricey proposition. While most homeowners sign up for a 20-year plan so that they can essentially replace a typical energy bill with the cost of paying down solar installation and/or service, the average household needs to be smart about how money is spent.
How much can you save in the coming year by upgrading to solar energy for your home? The main factor may be where you live. Not only do states like California have extra incentives, but if you live in sunny San Diego, Sacramento, or Petaluma, you’re going to enjoy significantly more sunshine throughout the year than residents of Portland or Seattle, for example.
Solar is one of the best options for homeowners looking to save money on their utility bills and act in an environmentally responsible manner.
Here’s what you stand to gain by going solar in 2019.
Solar Energy Savings in Petaluma
There’s no denying that you need abundant sunlight to make the upgrade to solar energy worthwhile. You can certainly run calculations on your own, comparing your current energy bill to monthly costs for a 20-year solar payment plan and trying to factor in the number of sunny days in your area, but there are also online calculators to help you get a rough estimate more quickly.
For example, residents of Petaluma and other California cities stand to save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of 25 years by upgrading to solar energy, depending on the size of the home, the area, and the particular payback plan they select. Even hazy days can produce enough solar energy to power a home.
The point is that you need to look into what solar in your area can do for you before you discount the potential savings.
Ways to Save Money with Incentives and Credits
While many of the biggest solar incentives of the last decade fell by the wayside in recent years, it’s not too late to take advantage of additional savings through incentives and credits offered by federal and state governments, and even independent organizations. There are still plenty of ways to save money when you upgrade to solar energy.
In 2015, the federal government approved a 5-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit (or ITC), which means you still have time to take advantage of this for the next couple of years. What will you gain by utilizing this credit?
You can deduct 30% of the expense for installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes, with no cap on the value. This applies to both commercial and residential properties, but starting in 2020, the percentage consumers can claim is going to decline year by year, so it’s not a bad idea to get going in 2019 in order to obtain maximum savings.
If you’re a homeowner living in California, specifically, you’re going to enjoy even greater incentives as this state continues to pave the way in solar installation and innovation. The California Solar Initiative benefits income-eligible homeowners with rebates as high as $10,000 for single-family affordable housing or multi-family affordable housing. However, there are several caveats, including qualifying based on income and being a customer of either PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E, but it’s a fantastic rebate if you’re eligible.
You should also look into local solar rebates in your county, as well as options like net energy metering (where you gain credit for returning excess solar power to the public energy grid) and programs like PACE that help homeowners finance their solar installation. You’ll have to do some research to find out if you qualify for certain incentives and to make sure you’ll save in the long run with solar, but if you’re even thinking about this eco-friendly upgrade, 2019 is the year to get the ball rolling.