Should You Have Home Solar Panels Installed?
With a number of federal tax incentives, residential solar panel installation has become more affordable. In fact, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which has been extended, can provide up to a 30% tax credit for properties that convert to solar energy as follows:
- 2018 – 2019: The tax credit remains at 30 percent of the cost of the system.
- 2020: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 26 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.
- 2021: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 22 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.
- 2022 onwards: Owners of new commercial solar energy systems can deduct 10 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes. There is no federal credit for residential solar energy systems.
While permanent installation will increase your home’s value, solar leases have also become popular as a way to cover up-front costs as well as maintenance and repairs. However, if you are considering selling during the life of the lease, remember that the prospective buyer will have to take over that lease…an additional cost they may not want to take on. A better alternative might be to consider taking a loan to cover your up-front costs. If the loan payment is less than your average electric bill, you would still be saving money.
The permitting and installation process will vary based on your municipality and contractor. Plan for the process to take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
To know if adding a solar system will work for your home, consider the following:
- Do you have clear and unobstructed access to sunlight for most of the day?
- Is your roof large enough or do you have another area large enough to accommodate the system?
- Is it worth the investment?
- Are there any local issues or requirements that would preclude a system installation?
Questions? Reach out to your REALTOR® for suggestions of trusted local Solar Energy Contractors.