Published on June 25th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer18
How to Get a Cheap Solar Roof – for 80% Off
Move — to Louisiana:
According to SolarPowerRocks! The massive Louisiana solar state tax credit of 50% for solar roof installations, the most generous state subsidy for solar — Combined with the 30% Federal tax credit for solar that we all get now; (you knew about that, right?) so in Louisiana you can put a solar roof up, paying only 20% (almost free solar) of the cost: (30% + 50% = 80% off).
The way this credit is designed it will benefit modest homeowners the most. If you need a $25,000 system, you get the full 50%. If you need a larger system you get less than 50%, because it maxes out at $12,500.
So, if you have ten plasma tvs and a pool pump and run the A/C day and night, you won’t get as much help with running all that…but
$25,000 will typically get you about a 3KW system; enough to completely zero out the electricity bill for a modest and green household using about 350kwh a month.
You could be running on all clean electricity! Check your utility bill to see what your usage is.
And even if you use twice that much power, you’d still be cutting your carbon footprint in half with that size system —to max out the state tax credit. Or you could put in a bigger system, enough to zero out those piggy plasmas, completely!
To save more:
Join the local One Block off the Grid group for their New Orleans solar campaign, or start your own; because if 100 or more homeowners in a neighborhood go solar at the same time they can get huge discounts from the solar installers. Talk to your neighbours. You might be surprised.
You could wind up with a zero carbon home for practically nothing in Louisiana.
And if you just can’t move there; check your own state’s incentives at dsireusa.org. And get a solar estimate. Most companies offer free estimates. You might be surprised at what a good deal solar is.
Have your solar estimator calculate what 40 years of paying your utility will cost (if you don’t put in solar) with the prevailing rate inflation rate in your state. Here in California that can range from $5,000 (for a $10 monthly bill) to $500,000 (for a $700 monthly bill) through the magic of compound interest, because that’s really what’s happening when utility rates inflate. Every state is different.
That figure is your energy budget: since you’ll be paying that anyway; if you do nothing. Then get the estimate for the solar installation. You’ll see how (very) much cheaper a 40 year solar power station of your very own costs than doing nothing.
Image by flikr user afagen
Example solar roof from the 2007 solar decathlon
Disclaimer: Both 1BOG and GO Media (including this blog) are now owned by activism startup Virgance, and I round up fellow solar-wanna homeowners in my own neck of the woods for 1 Block off the Grid. Read more here.