Solar Panels as a Home Improvement Project in Illinois
With people spending more time at home than ever, the expenditure on home improvement projects is high across the United States. In Illinois, many homeowners are contemplating projects like a new home addition, a bathroom or kitchen remodel, new HVAC unit, or (most importantly to us) solar panels. Deciding what to do first and how to pay for the upgrades can feel overwhelming. Many home improvement projects boost property value but that benefit may not have much impact unless you sell your home or refinance. A solar panel investment, however, can help boost property values and can be documented with a formal process available through Pearl. A solar panel investment can in turn unlock other financial value which can be used to pay for other home improvements projects. Have your cake and eat it may actually be possible!
Solar Panels are a “SMART” Investment / SolarPowerSMART(SM)
Solar energy related home improvement projects accomplish multiple objectives and are wise to consider doing first in any home improvement to do list. Why go solar first?
- Boost property value of your home
- Lower electricity costs, which frees up dollars to pay for other home improvements
- Helps lower tax liability via the 26% federal tax credit. Learn more about residential incentives here.
- If you have a home-based business or farm, you can potentially also depreciate a portion of your solar panel investment
- The Illinois Shines program offers a lucrative incentive called the Solar Renewable Energy Credit incentive, or SREC for short, which can often recoup 25 to 40% of your solar systems cost
Other energy-efficiency improvements such as a new geothermal heat pump, high-efficiency HVAC system, new window, insulation and other related improvements can accomplish similar benefits but often not nearly with the impact new solar panels offer.
Tick Tock Energy calls the approach to install solar first as the SolarPowerSMART(SM) approach to home improvement.
Evaluating a Solar Panel Investment Vs Other Home Improvement Projects
Home Improvement projects are often big ticket investments that homeowners save up money to eventually do. Refinancing a home to tap existing equity or a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is commonly used too. Many home improvement projects have varying impact on home value. Some projects do not raise property values while others can up to or more than the project cost itself. A bathroom remodel may give a home a fresh look, but one owner’s style may not be so appealing to a future buyer. An appraiser may not see the value either. In other cases, a new room addition or back patio might add considerable value equal to or more than the amount put into the project.
Let Solar Help Boost Home Value & Finance Other Home Improvement Projects.
Given the availability of the federal solar tax credit and the Illinois SREC incentive, a solar investment can be quite affordable while generating a strong return on investment. Incentives will decline over time and what is available today may be less in the future. While energy costs and inflation rear their ugly heads, future electricity prices most assuredly will be higher too. For these reasons, prioritizing going solar first is often financially a homeowner’s best move. By reducing your monthly electricity expenditures, savings can be generated to pay for other home improvement projects, or a solar loan if financed. The tax credit and SREC are great incentives to leverage and help recoup your solar investment down faster. Using the cash flow created by the solar project to help pay for another home improvement project is a smart move – now that’s SolarPowerSMART(SM).
Use the Pearl Process for Unlocking Home Value Increase with Solar
Tick Tock Energy is the only Pearl certified solar installer in Illinois. By raising property values, working with your local bank to obtain a “post-solar” home value estimate can create equity potentially to borrow against for other home improvements. We can offer a pre-installation Pearl assessment too which can be used a tool to work the lender for estimating post-solar home value.
What If I Need Solar Financing?
Solar is easy to finance and waiting to save up money can cost money over the long run. With the US dollar rapidly losing value, resulting in high inflation, a dollar today may be worth a lot less in the future. The lower value of the dollar is expressed in corresponding increases in consumer prices in many cases. Commodities (food, metals, etc.) and energy are very sensitive to inflation. By getting a solar loan today, you can lock in low financing rates, pay for the solar installation instead of waiting. The solar loan payment in the beginning might be higher than your utility bill cost reduction. However, once the solar tax credit and Illinois SREC incentive is monetized, which often can take several months up to 18 months to fully recoup, applying those incentives toward the solar loan, then re-amortizing the solar loan, in almost all cases results in a monthly payment lower than the current monthly electric bill.
Often, solar financing programs can include other home improvement projects as well. If you can further reduce electricity costs with energy-efficient upgrades, additional savings can be created. This type of financial snowball effect can be beneficial for paying for other desired home improvement projects too. Check out our page on solar financing here.
Time is Money – Doing Solar Today is Often Best Home Improvement You Can Start With
For Illinois homeowners, going solar means utility bill savings, a reduction in tax liability, lucrative SREC incentive, and can raise property value. Very few home improvement projects can compete financially with the impact that a solar panel installation offers. Financially savvy homeowners make the move to install solar first and then leverage this value towards other home improvement projects. Often solar and other projects can be done at the same time and residential solar financing options can help make this achievable.
Tick Tock Energy’s Pearl certification process helps document the home value solar offers and when done with a refinance or HELOC application, this value can be unlocked today and not just later in the future when selling the home.
Lastly, as electricity inflation drives up utility bills, taking steps to reduce electricity use with energy-efficiency or management, produce your own energy, and manage your electricity with power monitoring is a top goal of many homeowners. Tick Tock Energy originated the slogan REDUCE-PRODUCE-MANAGE® to communicate this philosophy.
Time is ticking and we encourage you to take action toward greater electricity independence today!
Give Tick Tock Energy a call today at (217) 994-9020 to get started on your path to energy security and peace of mind.