Solar energy is on the rise here in Maine, and you’ve likely already heard about other notable Mainers making the switch to renewable energy (like Governor Janet Mills and the planned solar installation on the Blaine House.) With solar panels on your roof or property, you can finally reduce or eliminate your electricity bills, increase your energy independence, and lower your home’s carbon footprint.
If you’ve been considering solar power for your home, now is the time to make the switch. Here are just five reasons 2019 is your year to go solar.
Take Advantage of the Federal Tax Incentive
Did you know that 2019 is the final year for the 30% federal solar tax incentive, otherwise known as the investment tax credit (ITC)? With this valuable tax incentive, you can deduct 30% of the cost of your solar photovoltaic (PV) system from what you own on your federal taxes. Come the year 2020, homeowners will be able to deduct only 26% of the cost of a new system from their taxes, and in 2021, that number will go down to 22%.
To maximize the federal tax incentive you receive for your solar installation, be sure to schedule your system installation for this year.
Start Enjoying Lower Electricity Bills
A solar PV system generates clean electricity for your home using the sun’s energy. All homeowners who install solar see reduced electricity bills, and if your system is large enough, you could even eliminate your electricity bill completely — save for the $20 power grid connection fee.
This benefit of going solar is especially important in light of LD 91 — new legislation which would roll back gross metering and essentially restore net metering. With net metering back in place, solar generators would receive credits for the excess energy their systems send to the power grid, rather than being charged a fee on generated power that never even leaves their property.
Safeguard Against Energy Rate Hikes
If you kept tabs on the local news about a year ago, you may remember headlines about CMP customers homeowners seeing their electricity bills skyrocket. This led to a formal Public Utilities Commission investigation of CMP’s new billing and metering systems and is just one example of how energy costs can rise unexpectedly.
When you install a residential solar PV system, you can reduce your reliance on the local power grid and fossil fuels, protecting yourself against unexpected energy rate hikes. This is especially true when you pair your solar PV system with an energy efficient heat pump. Because heat pumps run on electricity, they reduce your direct reliance on fossil fuels even further.
Add Value to Your Home
Adding a solar array to your home can also increase property value. In fact, according to a study by the Berkeley National Laboratory, “each 1-kW increase in size equates to a $5,911 higher premium“ on your home. So, if you install just a 4-kW system, that could equate to over $23,000 in increased property value.
In addition, the Colorado Energy Office has stated that “owned PV systems typically increase market value and almost always decrease marketing time.” So in addition to recovering the cost of your solar investment come resale time, you can also expect your house to be on the market for less time.
Do Your Part to Protect the Planet
The financial benefits of going solar are attractive, but don’t forget about the environmental benefits. Solar is a clean and renewable energy source that, when paired with a heat pump, cuts your reliance on fuel oil, propane, or natural gas to heat your home. Plus, since utility companies create electricity at power plants often fired by petroleum-based fuels, the electricity you use will be cleaner, too. By making the switch to solar, you’ll be taking a major step to reduce that carbon footprint.
At Goggin Energy, our mission is to help homeowners in York, Cumberland, and Sagadahoc Counties make their homes as comfortable, energy efficient, and sustainable as possible no matter the season. If you’re considering solar for your home, we’re here to help.