Solar Panel Grants

Solar energy is a renewable energy as it generated from the sun. In only one hour, enough sunlight reaches the earth to provide the energy requirements of the entire planet for a whole year. Harnessing just a little of that power will decrease our dependence on oil and other fuels.

The market for solar panels and other solar products is on the rise. Solar panels can reduce and even eliminate the amount of power we need from electricity providers. It can be used just to heat swimming pools or to power water heaters. Some families are even going “off grid” meaning they produce all of their own electricity needs.

Some people are interested in solar panels as a cost saving measure in the long run; for others it is also an interest in preserving our planet for future generations.

Although solar panels will save money as soon as installed, the cost of the system needed to power a typical 5-kilowatt home is expensive. However, with government programs currently in place homeowners can receive home solar panel grants, tax credits and other funds to lessen their out-of-pocket.

Since federal government grants for solar panel installation are allocated to the states, you need to will need to research within your state regarding solar panel prices and grants. A valuable online resource is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) http://www.dsireusa.org/.

Some state programs are working to put solar panels in place that will serve the public. One such program is in Florida – their SunSmart Schools E-Shelters (Emergency Shelters) Program will provide 90 emergency shelter schools with a 10-kilowatt solar energy system including battery back-up. This will be invaluable during a hurricane for those staying in these shelters.

Current federal tax credits are in place that will enable you to take a credit in the amount of 30% of the cost of a solar water heater or a photovoltaic system. This credit is applicable in full for primary residences and partially for vacation homes. It does not apply to rental property. The deadline for this credit is currently December 31, 2016.

Whether you install solar panels at your home or not, in many areas you may already be receiving electricity from your power plant that they obtained through solar panels. Florida Power & Light recently (October 2009) opened a 25 megawatt photovoltaic plant near Arcadia, FL in DeSoto County. The 180-acre solar farm is currently the largest in the country. They are also working on what will be the world’s second-largest plant north of West Palm Beach.

Solar panels may not be feasible for everyone, but everyone should at least do the math to determine if it makes sense for them.

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