With the current real estate market, many individuals will probably end up staying in their current house or business location longer than they had planned.  However, when you live in an older home you often end up with higher energy related costs.  I am always looking for ways for myself and my clients to save money.  Investing in a renewable energy project is one way for you to save money.

Renewable energy projects have several tangible benefits.  There are 30% federal and 35% North Carolina tax credits.  Please note that these credits are subject to some limitations, so be sure to look at the specifics of your technology as well as your anticipated tax liability for the immediate future.  In addition to the tax credits, Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS) can be sold to utility companies (they need them to be in compliance of new laws).  What do all these credits mean?  In a recent real world example I have had the privilege of being involved with, a $28,000 solar project will end up costing the taxpayer under $5,000 after all the credits.  Then factor in the operating savings from the solar panels and they will have paid for themselves in around 5-6 years.  Most panels are warrantied for 15-20 years.  I have focused on solar panels with my example but there are similar credits with wind and geothermal projects.

How can you learn more about renewable energy?  The Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (CFGBA) will be hosting a solar tour on Saturday September 25th.  Tickets are available here.  The CFGBA and the Wilmington Business Journal are holding a Green Living Conference and Expo on Wednesday October 13th.  I will be teaching two classes on tax credits and green technologies.  Many of the classes are free