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Multifamily Homeowners Have Solar Power Within Their Reach

11/09/2015

According to developers, multifamily homeowners have easy access to solar power. Of all investments, this type of natural power is becoming popular for single-family homeowners and apartment property owners. Compared to 10 years ago, the price of solar panels has dropped dramatically. In addition, the panels used today are far more efficient.

The price of solar power designed for rooftop installment is now so low that often no extra money is required for the investment from tax credits or in the form of relief from subsidy programs. In fact, grid parity in many areas is available. As such, the cost to produce power is the same or less than what it costs to purchase power from a utility company.

Declining Costs

In the past several years, the economics of solar power improved significantly. Not that long ago, utility companies would not pay electricity for customers who used solar power panels. For that reason, it was impossible to finance panels without the benefit of a grant. However, things today are quite different. Utility companies are far more accommodating; in fact, in a large number of states actually purchase surplus solar power.

Another reduction of cost has to do with the purchase and installation of panels used for solar power. Just last year, photovoltaic systems for residential purposes were $4 per kilowatt of capacity for purchase and installation. This included all soft costs, as well as labor. From one year prior, the $4 represents a $0.40 reduction.

Currently, the goal set by the United States Department of Energy is to bring the cost to $1 per kilowatt. Today, a lot of states, as well as cities, offer incentives used as support for solar development. In addition, incentives are available from different regions. The federal government also has programs that help, including the Renewable Energy Tax Credit, and even individual utility companies have solar power incentives.

Potential Challenges

Although homeowners have access to more affordable solar power, there could be a few challenges. For one thing, there is the cost of the panels. Fortunately, loans are available through most banks when building, but for existing structures, a recourse loan is typically required. This type of debt is unfavorable even with low interest rates.

For owners of apartment buildings, adding solar panels could be a disadvantage. For instance, installation on apartments compared to a single-family home is much more difficult. Although potential challenges exist, solar power panels are considered affordable and efficient, thereby an excellent investment.

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