Green energy is huge these days in real estate, especially for homeowners looking to remodel their homes while also integrating green energy into their redesign.
Going green has many benefits for home owners. For one you use less energy to run your home, you can get energy tax credits from the government, and it has also been shown that home buyers are more likely to buy homes with green appliances and technology.
Saving money and living green are trends that aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon. Buyers are now looking for features which are going to cut down on a home’s operating costs, as well as lessen its impact on the environment. Tankless water heaters, high-efficiency furnaces, energy-efficient appliances, energy-efficient windows, adequate insulation, and solar panels are just a few that are making it on to home buyers’ wish lists.
One of the biggest green remodels that many home owners think about are solar panels. This is probably due to the fact that solar panels are one of the most easily visible of all the green technologies.
However, according to my friend Matt Stookey, solar panels are actually one of the lesser effective green technologies available because of its cost and should only be installed on personal homes and not investment properties. For the top 4 green myths in real estate investing and the biggest do’s and don’ts check out his blog at Greenhabbing 101.
Ok so now that we have gone through all the negatives of solar panels lets talk about what an install actually entails and how you can prepare yourself.
Installing home solar panels can cut your electric bill and shrink your carbon footprint. But the upfront costs of buying and installing a system can be considerable, even with government rebates. The cost and return from adding solar panels, and whether the home’s roof is positioned to benefit from them, are some key factors to examine before making the move.
Those who have a section of roof that faces south with few obstructions, such as tall buildings or trees will benefit the most from installing solar panels.
Once the estimate for how big of a system is needed, an energy online calculator can be used at to help determine costs and how long it will take to make back the investment. The calculator takes into consideration equipment costs, loan interest rates, tax savings and more.
Government programs can provide significant financial breaks on the system, but these offers frequently change. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency site has information on what’s currently available in the area. Homeowners also should check with their local utility company.
An average home solar-panel installation can cost $20,000 or more, even after incentives, according to the Department of Energy. An alternative is to have a leasing company, such as SolarCity, install the system at no cost to the homeowner, and bill for the system monthly. In many cases, the electricity cost will be lower, but the system won’t be owned.
Rebates and other incentives are generally available only if the homeowner uses a licensed contractor or does the job themselves. When hiring a contractor, ensure his or her state license is valid by doing an “instant license check” at CA Contractors State License Board.
Because of the many legal and tax situations that can arise through the sale and purchase of real estate ALWAYS consult with your ATTORNEY or ACCOUNTANT before making ANY decisions in ANY transaction.
* THIS ARTICLE WAS POSTED AT Thomas Feng’s Bay Area Connect *