When it comes to your home, there are a few factors that determine the value of your investment. The first three (which we have all heard from every gushing realtor) are location, location, and finally, location. What the realtors fail to tell you, however, is that the fourth and perhaps most important ingredient is timing; and when it comes to your house and switching to solar energy, the time is now.
Since the 1990’s the Department of Energy (DOE) has been granting government solar rebates to residential and commercial projects; programs that enable business and homeowners alike to make back their initial investments in solar energy. Even though these programs continue to gain national coverage, many homeowners still fail to capitalize on the opportunity. And while the publicity is great, people need to start taking action. Many of the programs created were twenty-year deals, meaning the majority of them are nearing expiration. By the end of 2015, the majority of tax incentives and solar rebates will be off the books, leaving you with only two more Christmas mornings to surprise your loved ones with the gift of solar.
One of the more compelling programs available to homeowners in California is the property tax exclusion code. If your house has windows conveniently facing sunlight for the majority of the daytime, you would be eligible to have your property tax subsidized by your local government after the installation of any solar energy panel that is used for active and passive space heating.
Another great way to subsidize your property tax is to install a solar water heating system. This system is the most direct use of solar energy available. It uses the heat that is absorbed directly through the panels of your roof and is transferred to a heating fluid that then runs through your standard water-heating tank. A base solar water heating system can cost you up to $8,000 for installation. If you were to own a $200,000 home, however, and were looking at a 2% property tax being levied against you, the cost of installation would be covered within two years (not to mention the hundreds you would be saving annually from your water heating bill). But beware; this should not be your average home-improvement project that you keep putting off until next Sunday afternoon. Before you know it, this tax property subsidy will be completely unavailable by the end of 2016.
In 2006, the California Public Utilities Commission began a program called the California Solar Initiative (CSI), which aims to provide California with 3,000 megawatts of solar energy over the next ten years. To help it get there, they vowed to invest over $3 billion worth of incentives towards solar-energy projects — $2 billion of which is saved for subsidizing residential projects. Of that $2 billion, $216 million was allocated to low-income solar programs, meaning no one would be prevented from having the opportunity to put solar on their roof. To date, the CSI has provided sixty-six percent of the total amount of solar energy that they pledged to the people of California, and with only two years left on the plan, they are looking for homeowners like you to get involved and join the community of over 200,000 people who have already taken the leap to help California go solar.
These are just two of the vast amount of programs that the U.S. Department of Energy is currently offering to homeowners in California and across the nation. The majority of these solar rebates and programs are quickly approaching their end dates, and with various organizations still shy of their homeowner quota, now is the time to answer their call for help and accept the solar rebates.
These solar rebates are a win-win, don’t miss out.