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HOME ENERGY

Replace: Coal-fired and nuclear electricity, fossil fuels including gasoline

Make Your Home Do It All

Imagine having a net energy bill around “0”! One of the smartest actions you can take for creating a sustainable lifestyle is to “green-up” your home. Available technology now affords the opportunity to build or retrofit a house that provides all your home and transportation energy. Find existing products that are competitive and eliminate your energy costs. Here’s how.

If Your House is Not New: Fast Track to Energy Efficiency

HOME WEATHERIZATION & INSULATION

For the over 100 million homes in America, the easiest road to energy independence starts with “tightening up” and insulating. A leaky house can never be energy efficient but it’s easy and affordable to seal those leaks. Once your home is sealed up tight, consider insulating at least the roof and the North wall where there is the greatest heat loss. Taking these two cost effective steps can bring your energy costs down to the point that solar panels make economic sense. Tightening and insulating your home can be a great do-it-yourself project. However, if your house is large, you may want help by choosing an APW listed contractor in your area. LEARN MORE ABOUT HOME WEATHERIZATION & INSULATION

Generating Energy

FINANCING These Options

Once a moderate sized home is upgraded for energy efficiency it may require two to four kilowatts of grid-tied solar panels to attain around zero energy cost. At today’s prices, the average homeowner will pay from $10,000 to $17,000 for that solar electric system. Remember, this estimation is before state and federal tax credits that start at 30%.

Credit unions and local banks offer affordable home improvement loans. These types of loans help you tighten up and insulate your home as well as finance your solar electric system. For those with less than perfect credit, nonprofit organizations around the country are another source of these types of loans. (Homewise.org for example)

Admiral’s Bank and GreenSky Credit offer nationwide “zero down” loan programs for energy efficiency and energy generation. These unique loans do not increase the payments paid by the homeowner. Instead, they replace your electric bill with a loan payment for the installation of these improvements and solar electric equipment.

Admiral’s Bank “zero down” loan is based on your federal tax credit. At closing you begin to pay interest and payments on just 70% of the loan amount. When you receive your tax credit you pay that 30% to Admiral’s Bank as a delayed down payment. The rest of the loan is then paid on a monthly basis. Admiral’s loans are for 5 to 20 years with interest rates from 4.95% to 9.95%, depending on credit.

Greensky Credit has a number of zero down loan programs and works with approved solar installers and contractors. Their loans are for 7 to 10 years and have interest rates from 0% to 26.99% interest.

Here’s an “out of the box” possibility — In the past, common wisdom said never touch your retirement savings account. When banks still paid a decent interest on savings accounts that practice made sense. Today, your 401K is getting very little interest and it might make sense to pay for your solar energy system by taking the cost out of your 401K even with the 10% penalty for early withdrawal.

By installing a solar system you save $1,000 to $1,700 a year that you were paying the electric company. That savings equals a 7% to 15% return on that same money previously earning about nothing in a bank.

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