The benefits of solar energy include more than just savings on your electrical expenses – home and business owners can take advantage of state and federal incentives to pay off a system quicker, and start making money earlier. In short, the financial benefits of solar power range from immediate reductions in the out-of-pocket costs, to long-term programs designed to provide steady income for decades.
Solar panels are less expensive than ever before, thanks to an increased demand driving economies of scale. Today’s materials used in panels are cheaper than ever. Freedom from the price spikes in the volatile fossil fuel market allows you to stabilize your monthly expenses—with a much cheaper electricity bill.
Incentives are unique as the individual states that implement them. Facets of incentives depend on whether the system is for commercial or residential purposes. States with incentives typically have rebate-based incentives, production-based incentives or a combination of the two, all of which make the benefits of solar energy more accessible for the average citizen. The federal government also offers tax credits and grants for renewable energy systems.
A study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found homebuyers are willing to pay a premium of $15,000 for homes with an average-sized solar power system. Combined with the 30 percent tax credit, the affordable cost of electricity and the fact that panels can provide return on investment equaling roughly half the cost of an average installation, solar practically pays for itself.
Not only does solar pay for itself, it also pays for others. Clean energy decreases public health crises associated with pollution. The net impact of job creation in the solar industry is larger than that of natural gas.1 Solar construction is more labor intensive than in the fossil fuel industry—decent, green jobs will fight climate change. Green jobs will lead our economy into the future as we enjoy being healthier, smarter, and more sustainable.