Investing / Solar Installation / Solar Ownership

“I think of my home like a business.”

This is a quote from one of our first customers, Matt Russo of South Deerfield, MA.  It was this business-like mindset that that attracted him to solar.  Solar not only offers tremendous environmental benefits, solar can be a great financial decision.

Homeowners like Matt who decide to install solar have something in common with the executives at some of the most successful big businesses in the U.S.  Companies like Costco, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson and Macy’s have all embraced solar energy.  This commitment to solar has transformed the US energy landscape in 2012.  According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), during the first half of 2012, over 3,600 non-residential solar photo voltaic (PV) systems came online, an average of one every 72 minutes.  These solar leaders include some of America’s most iconic brands and biggest businesses.

Top Solar Users in the US Infographic courtesy of SEIA

Top Solar Users in the US Infographic courtesy of SEIA

Are they installing solar because they want to invest the environment?  Garner positive PR?  Sure.  But the evidence suggests that an investment in solar is really about the balance sheet.   The economics of PV are now so attractive that PV is not just synonymous with environmental goodwill; it is synonymous with low cost and efficiency.

How can you apply the same smart business principles to your household?  Here are a few other considerations when investing in solar:

Lower costs: Thanks to a booming solar industry that encourages increasingly competitive prices, installing solar is becoming more and more affordable.  When you add in the available state incentives and the federal tax credit, the total net cost for a residential solar system could be around $15,000.

Lots of return, low risk: As my colleague, Sylvain, indicated in an earlier post , solar can provide a very attractive return on your investment.

 Hedge against inflation: It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, but most experts agree that the price of electricity will continue to rise due to an aging power grid.  In the Northeast, electricity is increasing at rates around 5% per year.  Installing solar ensures that you’re locking in a steady, predictable source of clean energy for 30 years.   Not many other investments in your portfolio are as predictable as solar.

Working with an experienced installer to design the right-sized system for your site and your energy needs can be a smart decision for your portfolio.  Matt Russo certainly agrees.  “Over one year after installing, we still have a credit and I have not had to pay my utility. My neighbor was complaining about his rates going up, I smiled and explained that as long as we had sunshine, I wouldn’t have to worry about that.”

Matt Russo's solar system in South Deerfield, MA.

Matt Russo’s solar system in South Deerfield, MA.

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