As long as they have been available for home use, solar panels empowered homeowners to reduce their carbon footprints and reliance on nonrenewable resources. The environmental impact of going solar is well documented. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average solar home can have the same impact on the environment over its 30-year lifespan as planting more than 3,000 trees, recycling 41 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill or not burning more than one and a half tanker trucks of gasoline.
While the benefit solar-powered homes provide to the environment is well-known, changing cost structures and economic landscapes have made it difficult to consistently calculate exactly how much of an economic impact installing solar panels for your home can have. However, it is clear how residential solar panels generate these savings. Here's a closer look at how going solar can help you save green:
- Increase your property value: A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Library has finally put data behind the longstanding belief that residential solar panels improve a home's value. According to the report, people are willing to pay approximately $15,000 more for a home with solar panels on the roof.
- Cut your energy costs: Contrary to popular belief, solar panels generate electricity in sunny or cloudy conditions, sending power to your home and reducing the amount of energy you pull from the grid.
- Receive tax credits: To encourage people to install solar panels, both state and federal governments offer tax incentives homeowners and businesses that go solar. The federal tax credit is 30 percent of your cost, which can add up quick considering the total cost of solar panels. The government is set to revise these benefits in 2016, however, so you'll want to take advantage of this incentive soon.
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