Any talk of renewable energy inevitably degenerates rapidly in to focusing on cost, which is completely valid. While the cost of solar power and wind power technologies has plummeted over the past decades, the initial outlay is still relatively significant. For example, residential solar installations are now almost universally quoted across the country for less than $3.00 a watt installed and the average home using 900 kWh of energy a month would need about a 6,500 watt system, which we can round up to a cost of $20,00. Not cheap. The pay off of course comes over the energy savings accumulated year after year.
A big help in getting some of the cost down, for any renewable energy project are the various local, state and federal incentives, of which there are many. We can’t possibly list or accurately describe every program that is available everywhere, but fortunately, that’s completely unnecessary for us. The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center has maintained a world class and incredibly accurate database that follows all of the renewable energy incentives available to both individuals and businesses, big and small, with the very snappy acronym DSIRE – Database of State Incentives for Renewables And Efficiency.
Use the link above to reach the website and it is easily searchable both by individual States and also by zip code, pretty amazing.