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.
With a solar power system, you avoid frequent rate hikes associated with fossil fuels. An average residential system in New Jersey will produce approximately 8,400 kWh every year.
At an average utility rate of $0.16 per kWh, you’ll save $1,344 in the first year if you purchase the system. And that doesn’t count the income that could be generated by SREC’s on top of that!
If you opt to have solar installed for no money out of pocket rather than purchasing, you still get to sign up for a lower, more predictable and locked in rate for your electricity.
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.
An often overlooked financial benefit of solar power is the value it adds to a home.
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.