Senior Citizens and Solar Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is an energy source that can be utilized by any generation without pollution and with a promise of cleaner air for future generations. As clean, renewable energy continues to grow, so does its accessibility to senior citizens, but for some folks this comes with some uncertainties that are completely solvable.
Solar renewable energy systems are a great to way to ensure your energy security for the future against the rising cost of electricity. The average cost increase from your electric utility is approximately 3% annually. Owning a solar system will reduce your carbon footprint, eliminate your electric bill and allow you to take advantage of tax credits and other substantial incentives.
As of June 30th, 2017, the state of Massachusetts is at 21% below the 1990 emissions; en route to reaching the goal of reducing it’s carbon emissions by 25% by 2020. This has introduced a transition from fossil fuel energy sources to the clean solar, wind, hydro, geothermal sources with numerous benefits!
The Society of Certified Senior Advisors Blog explains Ways that Seniors Can Transform Their Homes for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.
Are you a senior citizen that has considered solar but are not necessarily sure about the process and the benefits? Have you asked any of the following questions?
- Will I be able to afford it?
- Will I be able to pay it off in time?
- When will I see the benefits of solar?
- What will happen to the system following my passing?
- Who will maintain it?
- Will I be able to resell my home?
- Will the system give more value to my home?
Benefits and Costs of Solar in Massachusetts
Retirees, who spend a higher percentage of their income on energy bills than their peers, occupy a major part of fixed-income housing. Seniors face budgetary conflicts with the increasing cost of living, resulting in difficulties paying utility bills. With state-funded programs that incentivize renewable energy and energy efficiency, everyone can cash-in on the benefits provided.
The price to install solar today is at an all-time low and with state funded programs, such as the Mass Solar Loan, you can have confidence in the investment for your home. Through the Mass Solar Loan program, you can receive special low interest rates, as well as the option for the moderate-income incentive, equal to 20% or 30% of the entire loan amount, depending on your household income. After the system is installed the state will buy down the principal of the loan, which significantly reduces the overall system cost. Loans through this program can be as low as 3.5% interest rate.
For more information please visit www.masssolarloan.com.
With the price of solar at an all time low, paying for a system in cash or with a Mass Solar Loan will result in immediate benefits such as offsetting your electric bill, state and federal tax credits ($1,000 and 30% of installation, respectively), and solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) a state incentive program based on your systems power production. Certificates are produced and sold on the open market for a guaranteed value. Sound complicated? We take you though every step of the way.
Depending on system size, the average payback is approximately 5-7 years with additional SREC income for 3-5 years after it’s paid off. Solar systems have a life expectancy of at least 25-30 years and require very little maintenance.
Resale Value of Homes with Solar Systems
Since solar is still fairly new to the real estate market, studies regarding the topic are not yet in abundance, but the few that exist show a favor of solar on homes for resell. A study titled, The Impact of Photovoltaic Systems on Market Value and Marketability, conducted in 2013 by the Colorado Energy Office in Denver, demonstrates that solar does not decrease the value of the home, but the amount of value the solar systems provides does vary throughout its lifetime. “For a typical home in Denver that would be about $7,000 – $18,000 of property appreciation due to installation of a new 7 kW PV system, or roughly 3% property appreciation on homes sold for $200k – $680k. “
When solar is owned, studies have shown that buyers are willing to pay more for homes with solar. A 2015 New York Times article describes a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in which almost 23,000 sales were analyzed from 2002 to 2013 in eight states, which included 4,000 homes that had solar systems installed. The study indicated that potential buyers were willing to pay a premium of $15,000 for a home with the average solar system (3.6kW), or four additional dollars per watt of solar power.
A rising issue regarding reselling of homes with solar systems is whether the systems are owned or leased. According to a 2015 article by the RealtorMagazine, as more solar companies offer a no money down lease contract that seems more feasible, the true conflict arises when homeowners attempt to resell their home and lease contract. “Potential buyers are leery of taking on the leasing payment contracts or the next 15 to 17 years because they often have to qualify for credit from the solar companies themselves. Also, some buyers are hesitant to sign a contract because they’re concerned the solar equipment will become obsolete or won’t amount in a big savings in the end after paying the leasing fee.” A Los Angeles Times article indicated, “Be aware of the potential complexities that can occur when you lease, rather than buy, solar panels”. In addition, the tax credits and other incentives associated with a solar system go to the owner of the system.
Clean Energy for a Better World
Renewable, clean energy will provide future generations with a better planet for all. The benefits are becoming more widely accepted and mainstream as prices for equipment and system installation are decreasing.
If you find yourself asking the questions listed above, know that there are state and federal programs being implemented in favor of renewable energy to meet certain goals to cut overall carbon emissions. These state and federally funded programs provide additional financial assistance that make systems more easily attainable.
The real estate market has stabilized and solar power has become more and more of a standard for homes being sold. Research shows that solar does indeed give more value to a home because it provides energy security for the future with the ever-rising cost of electricity. In addition, owning a solar system will not increase your property taxes.
Among the monetary savings and benefits, you can feel confident that the system will provide energy for its lifetime of 25+ years. If you are considering selling your home and you own a solar system, your property value will increase and you will be able to recoup the system cost.
We provide a turnkey service and will assist you through every step of the way to ownership and beyond. After your system is installed, we will monitor the performance to be sure you are getting the most out of your investment. Now is the time to consider solar with the rising cost of energy, lower equipment costs and current available incentives!