I spend a lot of time on the road, driving to showings, listing appointments and open houses. With my gasoline powered car I was certainly contributing the average American’s annual passenger vehicle emissions of 4.6 metric tons of CO2 to our warming planet. To give you an idea, 50 trees must grow for one full year in order to capture 1 metric ton of CO2 emissions. That’s 230 trees growing for a year to offset the average person’s annual vehicle emissions.
According to the EPA, 29% of Greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from transportation and another 25% comes from electricity. So, if you buy an electric car but charge it at a charging station that uses fossil fuels you’re doing great but there’s room for improvement. Our best opportunity to lessen our impact and help save the planet may be installing solar panels on our homes.
Additional pros of going solar:
The current federal solar investment tax credit provides a 26% credit for systems installed through the end of 2022. State incentives can be added on top of this for even more savings.
Homes with solar panels sell for approximately 4% higher on average than homes without solar energy. 80% of buyers look for solar panels and other energy efficiency upgrades when they hunt for houses.
Xcel energy is planning to increase residential customer’s bills by an average of $9.46 a month, or 12.83% in 2022. Going solar can help you keep costs low. When new owners buy the house, they will also benefit from the savings.
Installing a solar battery can help you further reduce your dependence on the power grid. New technologies are emerging that allow the battery in your electric vehicle to act as a backup battery for your home in times of a power grid failure.
Things to consider before installing solar power:
Owning the solar panels on your home is the most expensive option up front but provides the greatest savings over time and is more attractive to buyers. If your system is leased, a buyer may not be enthusiastic about being locked into your solar contract.
Pick a locally based solar company with a long track record who will provide a warranty for the equipment and also the labor. This way if you need to replace your roof or experience any problems with the system you’ll have a company that is around to help. I used and would highly recommend Ecology Solar.
If you do sell your home with purchased or leased solar panels be sure to keep track of all of your documentation. Not all systems are the same and this can cause confusion and major delays when you go to sell your home.
If you do decide to sell your home with solar, be sure to use a GREEN certified Realtor (me) who is qualified with specialized knowledge, tools and training to ensure that the appraiser, buyer and buyer’s agent know the increase in your home’s value that solar panels provide.