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Solar Energy - Renewable Energy
Tax Incentives for Commercial Buildings For Solar is a 5 yr expedited write down.

Tax Incentives for Residential Buildings and Tax Credits for Home Builders

More consumer information from US Department of Energy

Internal Revenue Service

Treasury and IRS Provide Guidance for Energy Credits for HomeownersThe rules change often so it’s hard to put rebate data and keep it current

IRS Youtube Videos 133- Recovery: Cut Your Energy Costs and Taxes

Other IRS videos

Payback period for solar
The three primary variables that determine your payback period are:
Utility Prices, Cost Of System and Available Incentives.

For commercial systems, customers - the payback is typically around 5 years when paying cash*.
*Assumes customer can take advantage of the depreciation benefits

Residential customers typically see a payback in 8-12 years. Residential payback periods are not as fast as commercial clients because individuals cannot take advantage of depreciation. I found a solar calculator not sure if It should be used but its not bad.

Consumers who install solar energy systems including solar water heating and solar electric systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies.

1. Pre-Plumb for Solar Water Heating
Insulated copper pipes are installed from the attic to a hot water closet or mechanical room for future solar installation. This option allows the homeowner to install an active solar system at a later date if they desire.

Provide south-facing roof area for collectors and access for piping to a mechanical room.

Solar hot water pre-plumbing can save money for the homeowner if, at some point in the future, they 7 want to install a solar system.

2. Install Solar Water System
Solar water heating systems use solar panels to collect heat from the sun. The hot water is stored for use at a later time. Water pre-heated by a solar system can also supplement use of a standard water heater.

Provide sufficient south-facing roof area for collectors, and allow space in a hot water closet for the additional hot water storage tank.

Solar hot water systems can pay back in as little as seven years and reduce the use of gas or electricity for water heating.

3..Pre-Wire for Future Photovolatic (PV) Installation

Running wires from the roof to theelectric service entrance/circuit breaker panel can save costly installation of photovoltaic panels at a future date.

Run two pair #10 THHN wire plus #8 ground in conduit from the south facing roof to a junction box near the panel (don’t wire the panel). East and West facing roofs can work if the south is unavailable or shaded for panels.

Photovoltaic panels and systems will continue to drop in price over the next few years. Homebuyers may not be able to afford the system today but may be interested in the future when the price comes down.

4. Install Photovoltaic (PV) Panels

PV panels contain hundreds of small cells that collect the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. Excess electricity can be sent back into the utility grid. The collected energy can also be stored in large batteries to meet the needs of nighttime energy requirements.

Typical PV installations include flat roof, sloped roof, building integrated PV and ground mount. Items to consider when installing PV include:
  • sunlight-minimum of 4 hours required during peak period (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with no shade
  • orientation-anything but North
  • angle-flat to 60 degrees
  • adequate roof area-depending on type of PV selected(monocrystal, polycrystal or amorphous)

PV panels can be used as a means to decrease reliance on conventional power plants that contribute to air pollution

5. Install Solar (PV) Walkway Lights

Solar walkway or exterior lighting use photovoltaic cells (PV) to create electricity during the day and store it in batteries for night time use .

Lights can be placed anywhere without the need to run wires as long as they receive sunlight during the day.

PV lighting is cost effective and reduces the need for grid-provided electricity.

6. Select Safe and Durable Roofing Materials

40-50 year asphalt composition, tile, slate, fiber-cement and metal are examples of safe and durable roofing materials. Avoid cedar and wood shake shingles.

Applicable anytime roofing material is specified

A durable and safe roof is cost effective and reduces landfill deposits.

7. Install Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing
When radiant energy from the sun strikes a surface, it is converted to heat energy. A radiant barrier reflects radiant heat and does not emit it to the cooler surfaces around it. Radiant barrier sheathing is a roof sheathing material with a reflective layer (film or foil) applied to the underside.

Radiant barrier sheathing can be used in place of conventional roof sheathing. Apply reflective material to the underside of rafters .

Radiant barrier sheathing reduces heat build-up in attic spaces by not re-radiating heat from to roof to the attic. It can prevent up to 97% of the sun’s radiant heat from entering the home and can bring attic temperatures down as much as 30 degrees on hot days, keeping the whole home cooler and reducing energy consumption for air conditioning.

Financial incentives and technical help for energy-efficient appliances, equipments, and buildings

Special Rebates and Incentives to save money and reduce energy use

US Environmental Protection Agency

Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development - National Center For Appropriate Technology

To help communities design and implement a vibrant new approach to planning, the US Department of Energy has created a Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development. This new service assists communities throughout the United States by providing excellent consultation and information on sustainable development.

US Department of Energy – Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy- Building Technologies Program (BTP) Many Programs to promote building including better buildings program and high performance buildings.

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As a well informed and sensible home owner you would be interested in designing an environmentally friendly building.
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As an Architect or Builder there are many reasons to build green - mainly resource conservation, energy savings and healthy living.
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