San Luis Obispo, CA, December 16, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Many have debated whether or not solar panels are a sound investment. It is a “green” energy source, produces no pollution and can save you money on your energy bill, yet panels are costly to install and do not produce energy 24 hours a day. The question remains, is it still a good investment?
John D. Buerger, CFP®, wealth coach and financial planner at ALTUS Wealth Solutions, says that if you invested about $30,000 in a system, it could take you seven years to get your full investment back in utility savings with electricity costs rising five percent a year.
“If people are going to stay in the home long term, solar would be a better use of their money. If they plan on staying less, they can probably get a more effective rate of return by keeping the money in CDs and saving accounts,” said Buerger.
The current rate of CDs can make for a better short-term investment strategy than solar panels. However, this rate of return does not factor in the increase in value of your home because of the system. A study published by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in April 2011 showed that California homes with solar panels sold for a premium ($17,000 more) compared to homes without. The study was conducted from 1999 to 2009 and analyzed 72,000 California homes.
“With inflation looming, energy costs rising and the cost of solar bottoming out, there is no better time to go solar than now. About fifty percent of customers today are leasing the systems because they don’t have the capital or the tax appetite, but they still want the savings that solar provides,” said Kristian Emrich, vice president of Solarponics.
For those who are not staying in a home for more than seven years, there is another solar investment option. Emrich says that leasing a solar system is a good alternative for those that cannot afford a system up front, but still want to save money on their energy bill.
“At the end of the lease homeowners have flexible options that are designed to meet their needs. They will have the option to purchase the system, renew their lease, or remove the system. With a lease, homeowners will benefit from system monitoring, insurance, maintenance, system removal, and a performance guarantee – all at no additional cost,” said Matt Vazzana, program manager at BrightGrid, a renewable energy finance company.
Whether leasing or buying, many may find solar an attractive investment strategy. Historically, residential electrical rates are increasing an average of six percent a year for PG&E customers. A solar system can pay dividends in the form of energy savings. In addition, homeowners will be choosing a more sustainable green energy source, which you cannot get with a CD or mutual fund.
Solarponics is the Central Coast’s alternative energy pioneer, helping residents achieve energy independence for over 35 years. The longest continuously owned and operated solar company in California, Solarponics has been family owned and operated since 1975. Solarponics can install and service solar electric systems, solar hot water, wind energy systems, solar pool heating and radiant heating systems. For more information, visit solarponics.com, or follow them on Twitter @solarponics and on Facebook.