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How to Finance Your Roof Top Solar Panels

By Brian Kline | December 21, 2022

There’s a reason why 2.5 million homeowners — and counting — have already installed solar on their homes: it’s a great investment! Solar panel systems last for 25 years or more, offsetting most or all your electricity bill every month, and in many places, you can even make money by selling power back to your power company.

Today, homeowners as far north as Connecticut and Pennsylvania are installing solar roofs because it makes good financial sense as well providing energy security. 

Solar panels can:

  • Save and maybe even make money for you.
  • Cut your carbon footprint.
  • Store electricity in a solar-powered battery in case of blackouts.

You Can Make the Money Work Today

No one has all the answers yet, but millions of people are working to find the right answers. One place to look is at new home construction rules from the California Energy Commission Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Title 24 that requires new homes to have solar panels today and as of January 1, new homes will be required to have the infrastructure for battery storage to be added in the future.

Up north in Connecticut is an example of a home on track to save enough on electricity over the next six years to pay for the installation of the solar panels and then save tens of thousands of dollars for 15 years after that, while giving the owner a hedge against utility-rate inflation. It’s working out so well that this particular homeowner is following the California guidelines with plans to add a Tesla-made battery to let him store the power he makes. This homeowner is making the money work by taking advantage of both state and federal tax credits and other benefits. This technology is still early in development, which means few people have all the financial answers and individuals need to do the math for themselves to make the money work, but people are figuring it out.

Part of the answer can be found in the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed by Congress in August. It's an extension and expansion of tax credits that promote the spread of home-based solar power systems. Adoption is expected to grow 26% faster because of the law, which extends tax credits that had been set to expire by 2024 through 2035, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association.

For most people, rooftop solar is still so expensive that it requires some subsidies. What the current federal laws do is give the industry, and consumers assurance that the tax credits will be there today, tomorrow, and for the next 10 years

Look Westward to California

California has become a world leader in energy conservation with its drive for the entire state to become carbon neutral by 2045. This is not a new plan. The plan has been in effect and growing since the 1970s. When the latest revision is adopted, it will take world-leading actions to build out a 100% clean energy grid to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 — for the entire state. 

It is a plan that has been moving forward for more than 47 years. When Governor Ed Brown took office in 1975, one of his first actions was to propose establishing a separate agency dedicated to the environment. The newest goals were released on December 15, 2022. The California Air Resources Board approved a new Scoping Plan, a world-leading roadmap to address climate change that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 85% and achieves carbon neutrality in 2045. 

Highlights include:

  • Reduce fossil fuel consumption (liquid petroleum) to less than one-tenth of what we use today — a 94% reduction in demand.
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 85% below 1990 levels.
  • Reduce smog-forming air pollution by 71%.
  • Create 4 million new jobs.
  • Save Californians $200 billion in health costs due to pollution in 2045.

What do you see for the future of solar energy and environmental protection? Please leave your comment.

Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 30 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years with articles listed on Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and uRBN. Brian is a regular contributor at Realty Biz News
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