Solar powered homes are becoming an increasingly common trend in the country, and Southwest Colorado is no exception. Of course, the common benefits make this feature appealing in our area as well. Many people are implementing solar to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as lower monthly electricity bills.
Available cost incentives motivate many individuals to implement solar. In our area, the La Plata County Electrical Association (LPEA) offers credits for solar, wind, or hydroelectric technology. See their website for the specific savings available, as there are details required to obtain the credits. https://www.lpea.com/rec-payment-tax-incentives
There is also a federal solar investment tax credit which generally allows up to 30% of the cost of installation as a tax credit (available until 2016). IRS tax form 5695 outlines the specifics, and of course a person should consult a tax professional for applicable details.
In our market, we are seeing an increase in solar homes in new construction, and as an added featured in existing homes. For example, new builds in Skyridge and La Questa offer solar and geothermal homes. Typically, we see solar in homes from the mid-priced range and higher. In our area, we generally do not see this feature in homes valued under $350,000, and they are more common on the high end of the market.
The cost-benefit analysis on solar becomes complicated—many factors go into this consideration. It seems this is a controversial topic across the country, and one with varied opinions. From a real estate perspective, it is certainly helpful for resale value, as it is more energy efficient and offers lower electrical bills. However, the cost to implement solar can be substantial. The cost to implement may not actually save money, but the intangible benefit of leaving less of a carbon footprint certainly appeals to many. Ultimately, it becomes a matter of priorities, but appears to be a trend that will continue to grow.
We wish you a very happy Labor Day, and we hope you have an opportunity to enjoy these late summer days.
If you have any questions for our team please give us a call or e-mail us.