Installing Solar Panels in New Homes
Could Save Thousands, Study Finds
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 20, 2004 -
Contrasting public beliefs that solar panels are far
too expensive for the average homeowner to install,
a new report quantifies the great economic benefits
of doing so. Published by the Environment California
Research and Policy Center, the report
demonstrates that installing solar photovoltaic (PV)
systems protects customers from volatile energy prices.
Other benefits to be gained include reduced air pollution,
reduced dependence on imported natural gas, and a
reduced need for expensive upgrades to electric transmission
and distribution systems.
As part of Governor Schwarzenegger's Million Solar
Roofs initiative, incentive programmes such as rebates
and net metering compensate solar home owners for
the initial cost of installation, due to the huge
benefits that they bring to their home state as a
"The bottom line is solar power is a smart investment
for everyone, homeowners and ratepayers," said Bernadette
Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate for Environment
California Research and co-author of the report.
"Our research shows that with the right policies and
incentives, installing a solar PV system on a new
home can save the average homeowner more than a thousand
The report used a National Renewable Energy Laboratory
economic model in analyzing the cost and benefits
of installing a solar PV system on a new home built
in California's fastest growing areas, assuming that
the homeowner would receive a grant of at least $2,800
On average, the model showed savings to the homeowner
of over $4,500 over the lifetime of the solar investment,
with savings of $68 in the first year.
"By providing incentive in the near term for installing
solar, the state can reap public benefits such as
clean air and energy independence, while helping the
bottom line of homeowners," Del Chiaro concluded.
The report was released at the recent Solar Summit
hosted by the state Department of Resources and the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.