As a Scottsdale real estate agent, I spend a lot of my time showing homes throughout a variety of Scottsdale communities, and I have noticed more solar panels on rooftops lately than ever before. Although it’s a long way from becoming commonplace, the switch to solar power is starting to gain momentum here in the Scottsdale area.
With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Scottsdale is an ideal locale for capturing the power the sun emits. In fact, according to national studies, Arizona has the most energy collection potential of any state in the United States.
Besides the fact that we live in the ideal location to take advantage of recent improvements in solar technology, there are 4 good reasons why Scottsdale homeowners may want to consider switching to solar power: cost savings, tax credits, environmental benefits, and economic benefits.
1. Cost Savings
Switching to solar power can significantly reduce your energy bill or even cause you to have no monthly electric bill whatsoever. Not only that, you may actually be able to create more power than your household can consume. If that’s the case, you may be able to sell excess power back to the utility company and obtain a credit or rebate on your electric bill.
Because today’s solar technology is modular, it allows you to collect as much or as little of that power as you want. The more panels you have, the more power you can collect. Therefore, the more panels you install, the more potential savings you will reap.
Whatever the size of your installation, your electricity bill savings will increase incrementally over time. While the cost of purchasing electricity from a utility company rises over time, collecting power from the sun’s rays costs you nothing.
The Arizona Solar Center states that installing a solar water heater will save $140-$280 per year, and that over the life of the water heater that savings can multiply to more than $5,000.
2. Tax Credits
Both the City of Scottsdale and the State of Arizona provide tax credits and incentives to homeowners installing solar electricity systems. The State’s tax credit, set to expire in 2016, provides a 25% tax credit when homeowners install certain solar technologies in their home.
For Scottsdale homeowners who are building or remodeling their home and adding solar power, the City of Scottsdale provides expedited green building permits, green inspections, workshops, recognition on the city website and free green building materials on the job site.
3. Environmental benefits
Solar energy is ‘clean energy’. It promotes better health because carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, created by traditional electricity, are reduced.
4. Local economic benefits
Solar energy decreases our dependence on foreign fuel and energy sources. Because the energy is created here, solar power creates green jobs and supports economic growth locally.
In Scottsdale today, the 85254 zip code has the largest number of residential solar installations: 803 homes are equipped with modular panels producing an annual energy savings of over 6 million kWh. The 85255 zip code has the second largest number of residential solar installations in Scottsdale with 472 homes. The annual energy savings is over 5.7 million kWh.
There are two options when it comes to installing solar panels: leasing or buying. Purchasing the panels is the only way to receive tax credits.
Talk with your utility provider about solar power and about buying and leasing options for your area. Be sure to ask about monthly savings estimates, whether you can sell excess power back to the utility company, and whether the benefits of your installation transfer to a new owner if you sell your home.
Reach out to The Matheson Team for more information on buying or selling a home in Scottsdale.