Q: Are home solar panels worth it? Need advice of a solar panel expert.
Is it worth it to install solar panels on your house? I am concerned about the environment and I would love to put solar panels somewhere around my house. When I ask around, all I hear is how expensive solar panels are? Are they worth it? Also, I have to admit, they don't look the best on a roof. Are there some attractive solar options yet? Is there any other place that people put them besides on the roof? For instance, are there solar panels that you can install in your backyard and hide with shrubs? I would love to learn more and get the advice of a GC or a solar panel expert.
A: Maximize on Your Investment for Solar Panels
Investing in Solar systems does make sense now that there are such great Stimulus Incentives as mentioned by Damien at Moonworks. But before you run out and invest the $20K or so on photovoltaics for generating electrical power, FIRST make your home as energy efficient as possible by, first, investing in a certified Home Performance Assessor to determine how your home is performing in terms of energy efficiency right now. Then focus on weatherizing (sealing up ALL air leaks, insulating your attic and under your floor, and if possible your walls. Test your heating ducts to see that your existing HVAC system is operating efficiently & and seal all ducts with mastic - not duct tape). There is a $1500 tax credit available to you for doing some of this work, too, so check into the various programs by looking at http://www.dsireusa.org.
NOW you can have your now efficiently operating home engineered for a much smaller solar array (less expensive, too.) You can take advantage of that SUPER 30% Stimulus Incentive. You can also get this Stimulus Incentive for Solar Thermal (which can not only heat your domestic hot water, but also can heat your home with some of the very interesting and creative new HVAC options available now. A Solar Thermal system is less expensive than Photovoltaic for generating electricity, and you don't need as much sun to get a huge bang for your buck.
The advantage of living in California, especially the Bay Area, is the temperate climate. With a weatherized, efficiently operating home, and relatively small 'Renewable' systems, you can easily get close to net Zero energy. It's worth the investment -for your comfort, and for the planet.
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A: Solar Panels
Yes, with the government incentives (30% back), Solar Panels are now very affordable and the payback on them is relatively short. Luckily, while the US has been ignoring solar over the past 20 years, Germany has been pushing the industry forward. This has resulted on the industry pushing out its third and fourth generation systems, which are much more sleek than their predecessors. You can learn more by reading our White Paper: Residential Solar Technology Made Simple http://www.moonworkshome.com/home-improvement-resources/Residential-Solar-Technology-Made-Simple/
This should help you find many of the answers you are looking for.
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