Buying a Green Home
Solar Photovoltaic Power for Your Home
How Much Does a PV System Cost?
If you're considering going green with your new (or existing) home, one of your first questions is probably - how much is a solar photovoltaic (PV) system going to cost? The answer can vary quite a bit, but here's some basic considerations:
Federal and State Tax Credits
In North Carolina, there are significant tax credits available. You'll want to check with your tax accountant to make sure you're eligible. Or, if you're working through Southern Energy Management, you'll be able to take advantage of their tax accountant, who answers these kinds of questions regularly!
So for some photovoltaic systems, nearly 70% of the system can be paid for by both state and federal solar energy tax credits.
What Size Photovoltaic System Will You Need?
The typical "starting point" for a photovoltaic solar power system is 2 killowatts. To put this in perspective, a typical 2000 sq ft home uses 12 killowatts.
Average cost per watt to build a photovoltaic system, start to finish, is $8-$10 per watt, with the price per watt decreasing as the size of the system increases, per Southern Energy Management, a nationally recognized solar power installer.
So a typical 2 kWh system will take care of a small portion of your needs, with a total cost of somewhere around $20,000, depending on site conditions and other factors. This is before any tax credits or other cost savings factors.
What About Selling Your Solar Power?
The state of North Carolina strongly encourages the use of green power. NC GreenPower is an independent, nonprofit organization that basically buys clean, green power (solar, wind, water, etc) from sources and "sells" it to average users who want to use power that's better for the environment.
Basically, you'll "sell" your solar generated photovoltaic power for about $.15/kWh, while paying approximately $.10/kWh for "regular" electricity.
In addition, you'll also get credits back from the power company, usually about $.05/kWh.
So the electricity your solar photovoltaic system generates produces a "cash crop", while creating clean green power!
Other Cost Breaks for PV Systems
Talk to your accountant. There is also depreciation and a few other factors that may contribute to lower overall costs.
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