Benefits of Solar Panels for Today’s Homebuilders

There are many people and industries that are benefitting from the rise in solar panel technology in recent years, and one such industry is the home construction realm. Homebuilders have begun to include solar panels more and more often in new homes, including some states like California where this sort of thing is essentially a legal requirement -- and the affordably, high-quality nature of today's solar panels makes this beneficial for everyone involved.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're happy to offer a wide range of both residential and commercial solar power services, and we've worked with many builders to help install solar power systems into new homes or buildings. What are some of the benefits solar power offers to the new home construction industry? Here's a primer.

Sustainable Building

First and foremost, did you know that the US Department of Energy estimates that the US construction market is responsible for around 40% of the country's energy usage? With this in mind, the potential adoption of eco-friendly practices like solar energy is vital. Solar power can be used to save money on energy bills, and it's also just a good way to promote sustainable building practices that positively benefit the planet.

Solar panels installed on homes is just one part of this picture. Builders have also begun to use renewable sources like solar to operate their machinery and their office spaces as well. You might be surprised to learn that the construction industry was actually one of the earliest adopters of solar power technology, and this is a theme that's persisted into modern times.

Financial Incentives

Many homeowners who have installed solar panels have quickly realized certain financial benefits of doing so, and the same theme can be applied to homebuilders and their creations. Homebuilders who own their own solar equipment can either lease it to homeowners (for continuous profits) or sell it to them for a higher price; here are some possible financial incentives that may apply depending on your state:

  • Solar energy credits: When you produce solar power with your system, you can earn SRECs or Solar Renewable Energy Credits. These are essentially the equivalent of renewable energy certificates (or RECs) in that they allow you to claim a certain number of megawatt-hours produced by your system each year. Some states allow builders to capture some of this credit, while others give the full credit to the solar owner.
  • Federal Investment Tax Credit: Available to any company or homeowner who purchased a solar panel system in 2020, this credit can be for up to 30% of the cost or even more in some cases.
  • Cash rebates: Some states also offer cash rebates to homeowners and builders who use solar panel equipment. These can be valued at several thousand dollars or more, depending on how much money your state is willing to spend every year.
  • Performance-based rebates: In other cases, your state will allow you to take advantage of a rebate program in which the state agency responsible for funding such rebates will only give you a rebate when your system produces a specific amount of renewable power. This can make the entire process more financially beneficial and easier to plan out.
  • Tax exemptions: Finally, consider that some states offer tax breaks for solar-powered homes or buildings, making them even more affordable for you to buy into.

Benefits to the Environment

Of course, we should never forget about one of the most up-front benefits of solar panels, which absolutely extend to homebuilders: They're just a positive step toward protecting the environment. Solar power emits nothing but water vapor and some tiny particles, so it's a good way to offset some of the detrimental effects of traditional building materials like concrete or steel.

In addition, solar-powered homes are often more durable than their traditional counterparts since they have no need for backup systems during emergencies -- and this increased durability lasts even after the solar panels themselves begin to age.

Boosts Local Economy

Renewable energy is also cheaper and more widely available in many areas of the country, which means that local solar panel companies are more likely to hire additional workers or increase their production level. That can lead to a stronger economy for your community as well as lower prices on the equipment you'll need to bring your homes into existence.

Many solar energy companies will also offer incentives to homebuilders, including discounts on the purchase of new panels, to ensure that both parties are able to benefit from this arrangement.

Bringing in New Customers

Homebuilders are always looking for ways to attract new customers, and updating your services with the modern times is a great way to do so. For instance, by including solar panel equipment in the construction of your new homes, you can attract environmentally conscious homeowners who are willing to pay a little extra for their own slice of Mother Nature -- and these customers will no doubt appreciate this consideration from you.

New Building Regulation Compliance

As we noted above, California recently enacted a new law that requires new homes and buildings to have solar panels installed whenever possible. That's a great way to get the ball rolling, and you may find that many other states will adopt a similar law in coming years -- and your efforts can serve as an example for them of how this new regulation doesn't need to open up new expenses, but rather save money on energy bills of all kinds while also protecting the environment.

For more on how solar panels benefit homebuilders and why this technology is being utilized in this field, or to learn about any of our solar panel services, speak to the team at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

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