There’s no better time than now for Michigan business and home owners to embrace alternative energy for providing power for their businesses and homes.
According to Mark Hagerty, president of Commerce Township-based Michigan Solar Solutions, “going green” can help Michigan business and home owners save green as well.
“There are many financial incentives coming from federal, state and local government, as well as from power companies, to make going solar more attractive and help convince people to go green in Michigan,” Hagerty said. “These incentives can translate to monthly savings that can become quite significant.”
The federal government is helping to make going green more attractive to business owners and homeowners alike by offering businesses a 30 percent grant from the U.S. Treasury Department to invest in renewable energy. Additionally, residential customers have a 30 percent Federal Tax Credit that already is in effect.
In southeast Michigan, DTE Energy has been authorized by the Michigan Public Service Commission to partially reimburse customers for installing solar systems on their homes or businesses. DTE Energy’s “Solar Currents” programs will pay customers $2.40 a watt within 60 days of commissioning a system.
After it has been installed, customers who participate in the program will receive a credit on their energy bills for the next 20 years (11 cents per kilowatt hour) for all the electricity they produced. The 11 cents is paid even though the customer keeps and uses the electricity produced, so the true savings is 24 cents a kilowatt hour.
Similarly, Consumers Energy in Michigan has introduced a feed-in tariff to spur more interest in solar power. Their program reimburses customers 65 cents per kilowatt hour for approved systems installed by May of 2010, (52.5 cents per kilowatt hour for approved systems installed after May of 2010) for any electricity customers produce from solar-powered systems.
Most states, including Michigan, now have True Net Metering Laws. True Net Metering is when the utility companies have to accept, at full retail value, any electricity that a solar installation owner puts onto the grid. This allows homeowners to ‘store’ extra electricity on the power grid, so battery systems are not needed.
On a city level, Farmington Hills has initiated credits for going solar. These credits can be worth thousands of dollars and used in conjunction with Federal Tax Credits already in place and DTE Energy incentives. Together they cover well over 90 percent of the total cost of a solar installation.
For business owners, Hagerty said the marketing value of a solar installation is sometimes hard to quantify and is often underestimated. However, customer feedback shows that a significant portion of the population will redirect a purchase to a business that has demonstrated a commitment to going green.
Businesses with an environmental conscience already understand that renewable energy services, such as those provided by Michigan Solar Solutions, can make a big impact on the environment.
Since electric rates are not a constant, it makes it difficult to precisely predict a return on investment for customers choosing to go solar. Experts agree that electricity rates are going up and will continue to increase steadily.
“Residential and business customers going solar can conservatively expect a return on investment within seven to 10 years at the current rates,” Hagerty said. “While each consumer’s needs are different, this can translate to a significant amount of yearly savings for an average home or business owner.”
Michigan Solar Solutions specializes in residential, commercial, municipal and school energy efficiency audits and the installation and maintenance of solar-powered electric and solar thermal home heating/water heating systems. It also specializes in roof-mounted and pole-mounted wind generator systems. Michigan Solar Solutions installs Michigan-made products using Michigan labor wherever possible. For more information, visit www.michigansolarsolutions.com.
Source: WWJ Newsradio 950