We have already made a few small changes to incorporate solar (path lights, solar powered motion detector, solar roof vent...etc) and I really would like to do more but the initial cost to install solar roofing materials is EXPENSIVE! My house and garage are quite well situated. I have large surface area with adequate slope and get full east to west exposure. There are several options on the market--traditional solar panels, solar shingles (who knew?!) and integrated solar tiles.
There are some energy tax credits/ incentives (Federal) as well as some states incentives. Initial capital outlay could be $20,000. CRIKEY that's a lot of money!!! However after various credits the estimated cost could be as low as $12,000. The cost to replace out our entire roof (house, garage and carport) has been estimated at $5500-$7200. It is estimated that having the solar roofing option could reduce the monthly utility bill from 40-60%. That could equate to $1400-$2100 per year. So in THEORY this could repay itself in several years.
Besides the obvious environmental appeal, I like that unused energy would feed back into the grid (more saving off my utility bills) AND the big boon would be in the event of a power outage I would also have a solar generator. Does anyone here use solar power? What are the pro's and con's?
Solar energy options
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