Alternative Energy Financing :
Making Solar Make Sense

By Holy Solar

Fed up with paying in to a private monopoly which is still holding us hostage with pollution-generating power plants? Tired of talking about the energy crisis and ready to invest in a future off the grid? Good for you.

Now that you’ve decided to go solar, you face some tough choices about finances. The power generated by the Sun is 100% free, but the photovoltaic collectors which convert this energy still represent a substantial investment. A little sticker shock is common among homeowners who have estimated the household electricity use, and found that their planned solar array will cost as much as a new vehicle.

The average home practicing energy-conscious conservation is using 5-7 Kwh/ day. In order to depend entirely on solar power, this home might need about 2 or 3 KW of PV module, at a jaw-dropping cost of at least $5,000 per kilowatt. Grid-tie installation can often cost up to one-third of the total, and a state-of the-art inverter, backup generator, and storage battery cells can bring the total into the stratosphere.

The math may be daunting, but through a little creative conservation, applicable tax credits, and financing from lenders friendly to environmental projects, most residential solar installations become a practical reality. Some homeowners are pleased to discover that their home can be solarized for even less than their current electricity bill.

Most homeowners are aware of Federal alternative energy tax incentives of $2,000 and 0% interest bonds which may offset part of the cost, as well as various state programs. These can bring down the total cost of the project, but most middle-class homeowners will still be tempted to balk at committing a year’s salary to a single purchase.

The answer is the same mechanism which made it possible for you to own your home in the first place: a loan. While the notion of going even further in debt may not appeal at first, it bears pointing out that a solar or wind system begins paying for itself from the moment of installation, by reducing or eliminating the monthly energy bill.

By distributing the cost of PV modules, invetrters, and grid-tie installation across 15-30 years, the monthly cost of home electricity is locked in near the current rates, until the loan is paid and the energy becomes entirely free. Another key consideration is that the investment in a solar or wind electrical syatem adds value to your property-an added 20/watt, according to current assessment guidelines.

In addition to hedging against likely hikes in local energy prices, adding solar power is a wise investment in home improvement. Since solar homes are still reasonably rare on the market, and increasingly in demand, alternative energy amentities may also help a home sell more quickly…an important consideration in a sluggish real estate market.

Of course, your bank may not be cutting-edge enough to recognize this. The lending market is quickly growing conservative in the wake of recent foreclosure fiascoes, and some agents may fear risking the primary mortgage by adding a second one.

Fortunately, the green movement is spreading into all corners of the economy, and by choosing a lender such as Cal Green Lending who specializes in financing environmental projects, you can be sure that your application will be reviewed by lenders who comprehend the viability of alternative energy.

Cal Green Lending arranges loans to qualified alternative energy installation projects for both residential and commercial properties nationwide. Visit them to see if they can help make your solar dream a reality.

Cal Green Lending has been awarded the “Green Leap Award” from Holy Solar for making an innovative leap in the approach to alternative energy.

Photovoltaic Rooftop Solar Array photo by Pink Dispatcher courtesy of Creative Commons

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Topics: Alternative Energy News, Green Leap Awards, Green Technology, Solar Power, Sustainable Energy | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Alternative Energy Financing :
Making Solar Make Sense”

  1. Allen Taylor
    5:34 pm on September 6th, 2008

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

  2. Haden Ready
    6:31 pm on September 6th, 2008

    More and more homeowners are choosing home solar panels to meet their energy demands.

  3. Brianne Coelho
    8:53 pm on September 6th, 2008

    It’s nice to see so many improvements in the ways people will be able to integrate solar energy into their daily lives. But the lengthy loan begs a question, what about the degrading nature of solar cells? The solar cells simply must last longer than the length of the loan to make it worth the interest on a loan.

  4. Alternative Energy Financing : Making Solar Make Sense | Naturally Earth Friendly
    9:03 pm on September 6th, 2008

    […] able to offset costs when installing solar cells to absorb the sun’s energy for more | digg […]

  5. Holy Solar
    9:07 pm on September 6th, 2008

    With a warrantied lifetime of 25 years and projected performance outlasting even that, the payback time on these systems can be achieved in 10-15 years against current electrical rates.

    Of course, if energy costs rise as experts predict, the relative value of your PV system will improve dramatically because your savings will increase proportionately.

  6. DeuceDiggalow
    6:28 pm on September 7th, 2008

    Solar Panels are the way to go… no need to wait either. You can get a kit for less than $20,000 that will power your entire home. Not cheap, but imagine the money you’ll be saving every month and the good you’re doing for the environment.

  7. Jay
    1:33 pm on September 12th, 2008

    Nice writing and interesting article. I love the idea of using solar energy for ones home. And with increasing improvements in the technology behind them, I expect that more and more people will be willing to “commit” to these types of investments.

  8. brandon Stricker
    8:17 pm on March 9th, 2009

    Just remember that you can’t compare all solar devices with an apples to apples comparison. Most string inverter type PV (photo voltaic) systems use large single inverters to manage the whole array. They have a high failure rate and a poor uptime. uptime is the time they actualy produce power. Micro-inverters have more reliability, increased production, and no downtime. Not all SDWH(solar domestic water heaters) are the same either. Don’t fall for the modified pool heater types as they fall apart after 7 years. Make sure you go with a system that has longevity. If you have doubts about a system make sure you ask the experts at S3 Energy.

    Solar should be for everyone at an affordable price but you always have the crooks who market junk for a quick buck. Don’t be fooled.
    Brandon Stricker
    Saving you energy at the speed of light!

  9. Rosalyn
    2:10 pm on December 22nd, 2009

    I’m looking for someone who does solar financing.

  10. Bwanika Joseph
    2:44 am on December 1st, 2010

    We are running a development organisation in which efficient energy use is a major cross-cutting theme. Kindly send me any information that might lead our organisation to affordable funding for the spread of solar energy for household use.


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