What is the current status of energy self-sufficiency for a homeowner in 2012?
October 7, 2012 7:10 PM   Subscribe

I have a home in Louisville, Kentucky that I want to possibly put solar panels on but I need to know the whole process for 2012. i have read where solar panels cost are lower now given the glut from China.
posted by usermac to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
There are so many variables you really need to have some contractors look at your situation and give you estimates/bids. For example, do you live somewhere where you can sell excess power back to the grid? If so you will need expensive interchange equipment. Do you have a roof appropriate for panels, or do you need a secondary structure? Do you need that structure to rotate (for greater efficiency)? What tax credits are available (federal as well as state)? It is probably one of the most financially advantageous times ever to install solar, but it is not simple and be prepared for a lengthy planning, permitting, and installation process. Additionally, expect several years before your investment pays for itself.
posted by dhartung at 1:27 AM on October 8, 2012

The above answer refers to electricity-generating solar panels on one's roof, but there are other options, such as solar panels that circulate fluid through the panel, which heats it, and then the heat is exchanged either into the house water, or into the house itself. Keep that in mind if you can't afford the whole electrical shebang.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:14 AM on October 8, 2012

For info on possible tax credits for solar and other renewable energy options, you can consult with DSIRE – the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. The Kentucky page has a number of programs mentioned.

Additionally, you might want to consult with Kentucky Solar Partnership site to find installers and other relrevant info.
posted by pappy at 11:54 AM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

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