By 2013, about 400,000 homes in the United States used solar panels. And according to the United States Energy Information Administration, that number will double by 2020.
Because of the sudden increase in demand, the Solar Foundation estimates that there are currently at least 175,000 solar workers in the United States alone. That’s a 20% increase over total solar employment since 2014. Those workers perform a solar energy installation every four minutes, which represents a more than 40% increase since just 2012.
For U.S. homeowners interested in residential solar panels, there’s good news — the price of a photo-voltaic panel has dropped by 63% on average since 2010. And since 2008, the total price has dropped by a remarkable 80%, at least as of 2013.
And although federal tax incentives for solar energy systems are currently on hold, systems installed over the last several years may still be eligible. And fortunately, many states and counties still offer their residents rebates for residential solar energy systems. For example, Massachusetts residents are eligible for a “Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit” of up to $1,000, plus additional sales and property tax exemptions.
Plus, if you live in a particularly eco-friendly county or state, you might qualify for rebates from your utility company, too. Depending on the size and duration of the rebate, they can even cancel out the cost of residential solar panels altogether.
In Silicon valley, residents can earn incentives based on the amount of added electrical capacity the panels on their property can produce. And of course, those savings don’t even factor in any reduced costs to your electrical bill that come from generating your own residential solar power.
It’s no wonder Green Tech Media projects a new solar system will be installed every 80 seconds in the United States. Check with your utility company or local energy department to see if you qualify for solar incentives this year.
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