Solar panels have been around for a while now.  We’ve all seen them built into the roofs of houses, towers, sheds.  And why not?  Solar panels save on electricity costs and protect the homeowner against future electrical rate increases.  With rates at an all time high with an almost certain likelihood that those rates won’t go down, solar panels help us increase our energy independence.

The new thing about solar panels today is that there is now solar electrical systems.  A 1998 study by ICF Consulting concluded that saving $1 per year on energy costs adds $20 to a home’s value. A saving of $1,000 per year increases a home’s value by $20,000, is their claim.  The solar electric panel has a higher return on investment than the stock market at just less than 10% per year.

As solar panels become cheaper & more efficient, they’re becoming more popular on new homes.

In addition to financial savings, solar electric panels help protect the environment.  Less “brown” power (coal and natural gas fire power plants that emit greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals, radioactive materials) is used when homeowners use solar panels.  This helps cut down on emissions, acid rain, smog, pollution and global warming.  Just look at what’s happening in China now…visibility is down to 20 feet in some cities and people are wearing oxygen masks while moving outside.

At home job prospects are also increased with higher solar panel use.  The Navigate Consulting Group states that the solar industry can support a half million jobs and approximately $232 Billion in investment funds if the U.S. Congress extends the Federal tax rebate program for solar panel use for eight years.  Additionally, right now states such as California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania offer both state and federal rebates for solar usage.  Local governments and companies are also offering financing and leases to help reduce upfront solar electrical panel costs to encourage people to make use of this product.

Real estate professionals have large networks of professionals and specialists who may assist current and future homeowners with information about and installation of electric solar panels.  Just another reason for agents to be constantly updating and enlarging their network of professionals who specialize in solar, and another reason for consumers to rely on a real estate professional who will point them in the right direction.  Always remember to consult your neighborhood HOA rules, regulations and bylaws when considering going solar!