Pacific Sun Technologies
4 Home Upgrades That Will Save Energy and Money
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
When it’s warm and sunny out, the last thing on any homeowner’s mind is energy bills. But it pays to consider them now: depending on the project, an energy-saving home upgrade could shave hundreds off your energy bills come winter.
For some projects, saving energy — and money on energy bills — is more feasible than ever. Take, for example, the falling upfront cost of solar power. Other home improvements, like tweaks that help maintain indoor temperature, remain as valuable as ever.
Harness the Sun
The cost to install solar panels has dropped by two-thirds since 2010, according to the Energy Department. Expect to pay $12,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of your home and how much power you need, reports home-improvement website HomeAdvisor. You should get a big chunk of that back almost immediately, however, in the form of a federal tax credit worth up to 30% of your outlay.
Going forward you can also count on estimated electricity cost savings of $500 to $1,500 a year, according to solar marketplace EnergySage. Kick in additional state tax incentives, and the project should eventually pay for itself. Plan to get quotes for installation costs and estimated electricity savings from at least three companies certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, says Ben Delman, communications director at Solar United Neighbors, an advocacy group.
Homes best equipped for going solar are those without structures like chimneys or dormers that complicate installation, Delman says. It also helps to have a roof that faces south, with lots of direct sunlight, and that won’t require work anytime soon: Though most solar installations are under warranty for 25 years, they can make roof repairs a hassle.
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