Sunny Days Here for Green Homeowners

Thanks to subsidies and surplus, going green is paying off
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 2:59 PM CDT
Alicia Campbell stands on the roof of her Sydney home surrounded by solar power panels Monday, May 28 2007. The family is a tiny part of a global shift toward greater recognition of the impact people...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Sunny days are here to stay for solar homes with roof-top panels, Forbes reports. Such green abodes can cover electricity costs in warm months and store enough to sell solar power to the grid for profit. Installation is expensive but viable thanks to government subsidies, especially in California, New Jersey and Tennessee; California offers a 30% tax credit for installing the “photovoltaic” panels.

The Tennessee Valley Authority will buy back power at a decent rate and a Texas utility is offering no-fee loans up to $20,000 to install the panels. But the plans aren't all perfect: some states, like Nevada, don't force utilities to pay for customer-generated juice. And sun power is unlikely to energize a home year-round; it's often part of a system including geothermal energy. (Read more alternative energy stories.)