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Solar Seminar for Consumers

Seminar Part 1
Seminar Part 2

Q & A Part 1
Q & A Part 2

Mike Steigerwald

Seminar Highlights:
  • You never have to pay high prices for utility companies again.
  • And you can get paid for selling energy back to utility company.
  • The extra power you generate that you don't use, you are given a credit on your bill from the power company.
  • Solar uses heat from the sun to heat your water.
  • Solar heat can eliminate about 90% of your current hot water bill.
  • What makes a home good for solar? (you can look at Google maps).
    • You need a southern facing roof.
    • You need to be receiving sunlight, so night blocked by trees.
    • Hot water solar can use indirect sunlight but not solar photovoltaic.
    • You can also put solar panels on pole mounts.
  • You have to fail and today it is easy and cheap to fail.
  • A few years ago before these incentives the pay back was 40 years, you can pay $40,000 on a system and maybe save only $800-$1,000 a year in utility bills.
  • Current incentives for installing solar.
Solar Incentives:
Federal Tax Credits.
  • 30% credit (this is not a deduction), if you owe $20,000 in taxes and get a $10,000 tax credit now you only own $10,000.
State Grants.
  • This is most likely to dry up.
  • Virginia has dried up at this time.
  • Maryland pays 50 cents per watt in the form of a grant, it can be about $2,000.
  • In DC it's better, you would get about $11,000 on a typical system when MD would only give you $2,000.
County Property Tax Credits.
  • In certain counties like Montgomery, Howard and Prince Georges, they have a $5,000 property tax credit (this is $5,000 off your taxes and if you pay less than $5,000 it rolls over to next year)
For A Basic System Costing
Incentives Would be:
30% Federal Tax Credit
State Grant
Property Tax Credit
Total Incentives
Your Balance is
Energy Savings $1,000 per year off electric bill.
Energy Credits $1,800 per year in solar energy credits.
There is a law in Maryland that says 20% of all power produced in Maryland by the year 2022 must be in renewable energy. Right now it is less than 1%. Maryland utility companies will buy you clean energy instead of paying a fine for not having clean power. That is how you can make an extra $1,800 per year from your solar system.
  • You are making an average of $2,800 per year and will be able to pay back your $14,600 of cost in about 5 years.
  • You can finance everything for about $1,000 down, and use your yearly savings to pay back your loan.
  • If you get a 10-year loan you will make extra money every month even after making your monthly loan payments.
  • Typically you can get about 50% of the price of your solar system back in the price of the house when you sell (that is in addition to incentives and payback when you are using the system).
  • Incentive programs keep changing so be sure to look for updated incentive information.