by Dave Beaulieu
When people learn that I work in the solar industry they like to pick my brain about the evolving technology. The conversation always gets around what it costs to go solar. I attribute this curiosity to the widespread media coverage of going “green” and a newfound awareness of the importance of energy independence. With the current focus on sustainability, I find that most people want to take responsibility for their energy use and make steps toward their family’s energy independence. For many, this goal appears out of reach due to the high initial cost of installing photovoltaics (PV). With solar running between $5.00 and $6.00 per watt-installed locally, and the average home requiring about 4,000 watts of power, upfront costs can be daunting. Nevertheless, you can see a substantial savings thanks to utility rebates, state government incentives, federal tax credits and some innovative financing. Those solar dreams can be made real if you do your homework.