Solar energy is cheap
Monday, May 25, 2009 - 16:12
The economy is still slumping to new lows, and the price of gasoline in New Orleans seems to be steadily climbing (again). But thanks to federal and state tax credits, the cost of installing money-saving solar panels on the roof of your Louisiana home is cheaper than almost anywhere else in the country -- and the timing couldn’t be better.
At the federal level, the government will cover 30 percent of the total costs of the renewable energy system installed. This is a relatively new development that transpired as a result of Congress’s bailout package of last October. As if this wasn’t enough incentive to go solar, the Louisiana Solar Tax Credit program offers to pay for half of your renewable energy system (up to $12,500).
So let’s do a little math here. Take a typical residential solar panel system, which costs around $40,000 to install. After the 30 percent federal tax credit, that price tag shrinks to $28,000. Now, subtract by the state’s maximum incentive of $12,500, and your new environmentally friendly solar panels are only costing you about $15,500, saving you over 60 percent of the original cost.
Now, $15,500 is still no chump change, but remember what you’re getting out of it: cheaper energy bills and a clean, green conscience. The actual payback of a new solar system varies greatly from house to house, depending on the size of the system and the total amount of energy produced. As a ballpark figure, you can expect your solar system to pay for itself in about 6-10 years.
This is a different picture than what is being painted by many media outlets. “The Business Insider” posted an article a few months ago with the webpage entitled Solar Energy is Expensive, explaining the inefficiency of solar modules relative to coal-driven turbines that produce electricity.
The article fails to mention renewable tax credits and this great country’s recent strides at making solar energy substantially cheaper for the American homeowner. In the aftermath of one of the worst cases of federal negligence following a natural disaster, Louisiana residents can take some solace in knowing our government is truly helping us do something positive for our environment. Now, it’s up to you to take the help where you can get it and act on your intentions to finally go green. Start by scheduling a free quote from South Coast Solar to find how cheap solar panels will be for your home.
Photo: KieranTimberlake, "Make it Right" housing prototype
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