Here Comes the Sun: Saving with Solar Energy Dec 05, 2011, 8:00 am By Emily Haleck

Guest post by James Johnston, Principal, Progressive Power Solutions

While the economy of the past few years has posed challenges for many, others have been able to take advantage of the recessionary cloud’s silver lining. If you saved for a rainy day, you can now save some serious money by using solar panels to harness the sun’s energy.  

What are solar panels?

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Although solar panels are typically attached to the roof, an experienced solar contractor can design a system that can be integrated into almost any architectural or landscaping plan.

Solar PV panels have been used in the U.S. since the 1950s and are rapidly growing in popularity. While environmental friendliness and off-the-grid independence are valid reasons to “go solar,” the best reason is financial. A welldesigned solar system enables homeowners to realize substantial savings in their energy costs. Says one man who recently installed a PV system that generates 75 percent of his household electricity, “We have really enjoyed getting the Rocky Mountain Power bill each month. Instead of dreading to see how much it was in the summer, we could hardly wait to open the envelope and see how little it cost to run our home.”

Could solar paneling be a good option to help your family save money? Here are some facts to help you decide:

Lock in electrical rates: While Rocky Mountain Power wants a 13.7-percent rate increase this year plus an 8-10-percent increase every year over the next decade, solar energy allows homeowners to lock in electrical rates for two or three decades, typically at a lower rate than they currently pay.

Tax incentives and subsidies: There are valuable subsidies available today, including a 30-percent federal tax credit and a 25-percent Utah state tax credit (up to a maximum of $2,000).

Warranties: The best solar panels come with a 25-year warranty.

Affordability: The cost of solar energy systems have dropped to one-third of what they were six years ago.

Going solar makes long-term financial sense, but it can be a big up-front investment. One way to finance a solar energy system is to wrap the cost into a new mortgage or refinance loan. Talk to a mortgage loan officer today to learn more about this option so you can start enjoying lower energy bills and the security of a renewable energy source.

James W. Johnston (NRGTiger@ppswest.com) is a principal at Progressive Power Solution,  which designs, installs and services renewable energy systems. He is also the founder of The NRG Bureau, which helps home and business owners affordably acquire and install energy efficiency systems.

Bank of American Fork is not affiliated with and does not endorse the company or products described in this article.  They are mentioned for information purposes only.

 

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