Once in a while, I think about adopting the different forms of alternative energy right here in our home. Though I understand that the cost is quite expensive; solar panels are not cheap at all but, the long-term benefits are far greater. So far, I have only ensured home insulation and bought a few energy star appliances towards my contribution to the green cause.
This saga of going green is of one of my colleagues, Cindy, who lives in a single family home. They are slowly transforming their suburban home into a sustainable one:
Cindy’s husband is a businessman and owner of a couple of restaurants. They have money to live life they wish for. One of her wishes was to help the environment. They studied, researched and installed solar power modules at their home. Now they are planning even planning for mini wind mill installation.
They did study different forms of renewable energy before adopting Solar energy first. As it turns out, they could actually fit a few solar panels in the backyard to power some of the appliances and several solar panels on the roof to sustain for at least 2/3 of the day.
Below is a calculator that can estimate the savings and environmental impact of going solar
Now let’s get going with the original story. She has been using renewable energy for 3 years now, and, as per her, there is absolutely no regret. She learned to enjoy the following:
Her electricity bill is lot less compared to mine
A lot of environmental pundits say our electric companies are evil. For me, they are not. They just need to let you pay a lot because the fuel they are using is slowly depleting. It is like gold. Gold is a valuable material because it is not found in a lot of areas all over the world.
Needless to say, because she is no longer dependent on the fuel they are using, They do not have to pay several hundred dollars to energy companies on a monthly basis. In fact, in near future, there is a good chance they would not be needing them anymore. Bust just to give you an idea how much money she had saved, it is roughly around 40 to almost 50 percent. Not bad at all.
She gets to save money in the long term
With the solar panels, she roughly paid close to $6,000. Their power is just enough for home. I know of some places where people have to spend more than $10,000, and that is even before rebates and tax credits. However, I would like to think long term. The amount is only a one-time fee. Most of all, considering the savings she gets from the electricity bill, she will be able to recoup her investment in a few years’ time.
It is renewable
A lot of alternative energy options are renewable. They never run out, unless, of course, the sun loses its power. Hopefully, that is going to be billions of years away. Earth will also never run out of wind till we are living. It may turn awful, but it can still produce a lot of power to turn on turbines. Simply put, they always have different sources of power with them; and this is, in essence, for free.
She can get tax breaks
Right now, Florida does not have any tax break yet for wind energy systems. However, she was able to enjoy the benefits as below
- Reduce your energy bill, and in many areas the utility company may buy back any extra electricity you generate from your solar-powered home system.
- By installing solar hot-water heaters, she gets a rebate of $500
- If the home is solar-powered, it increases the home equity and ultimately the selling price.
- Various rebates and incentives through city and county programs.
- Solar energy systems are permanently exempt from Florida sales tax.
She applied for residential renewable energy tax credit by the federal government, which is equal to 30 percent. Yup, a whopping 30 percent. And as the country becomes more aware of the significance of this renewable energy, hopefully, they will provide more tax breaks and more families will adopt the systems.
She can actually make a lot of money from it in future
She’s not started selling because the power generated is just sufficient for her home. However, there are programs from local electricity company where you can distribute the excess power to the grid and, in turn, earn money.
Helping the environment
Cindy and her husband are fulfilling their commitment to help the mother planet. They are helping their children and our children by reducing their carbon footprint. If we all do our part sincerely this planet would become easier to live. No matter what financial goals you have, whether it’s a short term goal or longer term, you can check out your options for adopting green. You may find something.
I learned a lesson from Cindy, readers, did you? Is your home green or are you planning to make your home green?
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