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Making Alternative Energy and Off Grid living Affordable

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by TheEconomist, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    So I am reading a lot about the cost concerns associated with solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. With this in mind I thought it would be important to have a place for us Monkeys to go and gather a little information on how Uncle Sam can help us pay for it. Afterall, we pay taxes and getting a little back from time to time should be something we all take advantage of.

    Here are some helpful links I have found through doing a little research:

    If you navigate through these you will see that I havn't done anything for what states and smaller government organizations offer. I did this to both save time and allow you to do you own research and discover how you can couple federal, state, and local subsidies together.

    Example of a medium sized 5Kw residential system:

    Note: Your system’s size could be more or less. It will depend on your energy usage and how much of your electric bill you want to offset.

    • <FONT face="Times New Roman">Assuming the installed price is around (August 2009) the national average of about $7.25/watt. Could be less or more, depending on your type of roof and a lot of things. Could be in the $6/watt range by the time you read this, so always expect less. Couldn’t hurt. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]Subtract from that $11,250 ($2.25/watt x 5000 watts). Now you’re down to $25,000 to finance.
    • (If you qualify for low income status, you get a straight 35% off the 36,250 or $12,687. )
    • Subtract another 30% of that 25 grand, thanks to the Federal Tax Credit, or $7,500 you can use towards paying your taxes on April 15th. (This is also taxable as income, me thinks, but check with your tax dude.)
    • So if all goes well, what are we talking about, net cost for this 5Kw system if you’re lucky enough to get into Step 1 of the rebate program?
    Net Cost: $17,500, give or take a grand or so for tax considerations….or a little less you qualify for low income status.
    Payback time: About 12 years. (Remember that solar systems are guaranteed for at least 20 years, and usually go for 30 or more years.)

    Utility cost savings over 25 years: About….$30,000 grand or so. Could be more savings if utility rates rise higher than 3% a year.
    • For a smaller 4Kw system: $14,000 after state and federal incentives.
    • For an even smaller 3Kw $10,500 after state and federal incentives.
    • If these numbers are confusing at all to you, take heart. They were initially confusing to us too! Simply connect with local solar installers and they’ll walk you through everything over the phone or in person.
    • Don’t forget that reducing your energy needs first through CFL light bulbs, energy star appliances, and insulation reduces your solar cost as well, since you’ll need a smaller system.
    This is using only what MY state (Pennsylvania) is currently offering and not coupled with Federal offers.

    I hope this helps!
    larryinalabama likes this.
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    larryinalabama likes this.
  3. TheEconomist

    TheEconomist Creighton Bluejay Site Supporter+

    Very cool!
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