Renewable Energy Tax Credit: How to Install DIY Solar Panels

If you are interested in taking advantage of the biggest federal renewable energy tax credit, you will need to take action by 2019. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.


Renewable Energy Tax Credits (1)


As you can see in the photo below provided by, the tax credit will slowly start decreasing over time.

As of the date of this writing, you only have around 1 year to get your butt in gear!


Federal solar tax credit


The federal solar tax credit applies to both residential and commercial systems. What’s more is that there is no cap on its value!


The cost to install solar panels can vary greatly, based on the state and solar installation company you use.

A professionally installed solar energy system can cost upward of $20k, but there are two ways to minimize this cost.

Don’t want to spend $20k on a solar energy system? That’s ok. Read on 🙂



Lease vs. Build it Yourself



1. You can opt for a solar lease agreement– A company like Solar City will install solar panels for free. Then you purchase the power from the solar power company at a lower rate than you are currently paying your utility company. 

This means that you still have to purchase electricity from a company. Instead of purchasing your energy from your utility company (that probably gets its electricity from coal and other fossil fuels), you will be getting electricity from a renewable source (the sun).

2. DIY solar panel systems-You can purchase a step-by-step video instruction guide, along with the materials, and build your own solar energy system for around 25% of the cost that you would have paid a professional installer.

One of the main differences here is that you will own your solar panels, and any energy produced after your breakeven point is “free electricity”. 


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Benefits of the DIY Solar Panel System Guide:



Surprisingly, you can actually build a solar energy system in your spare time for a very reasonable price.

This may sound impossible since you probably don’t have an engineering background. Fortunately, the DYI Home Energy System Guide breaks down every step along the way so that there is no confusion.

Shockingly, professional installation companies can charge over $20k to install a solar energy system. 

Jeff, the creator of DYI Home Energy System Guide, helps you build each solar panel for around $100.

In the video guide, Jeff walks you through how to assemble a solar energy system. He films each step of the installation process and explains in it detail. 




Deciding Whether a DIY Solar Energy System is the Best Solution for You: 



If you have an hour here and there to build your own renewable energy system, this guide is the perfect tool to help you achieve big-time savings and energy independence.

Jeff estimates that it takes around 1 hour to build each solar panel. Additionally, all you need are simple hand tools that you probably already own (like a screwdriver). 

Moreover, the DYI Home Energy System Guide tells you which professional grade parts you will need to order.

To be honest, the sales video is a little cheesy. That being said, Jeff’s story really tells you why he spent so much time on his quest to build the best solar energy system for his family.

He explains how the electricity grid, in many parts of the country, is over 100 years old. The age of the electricity infrastructure is the main cause the many rolling blackouts in his area.

Moreover, Jeff wanted to achieve energy independence so that he was no longer subject to the utility company’s rate increases. 


Try, then Decide:


As of the time of this writing over 42,000 people have bought the DYI Home Energy System Guide.

If that doesn’t settle your mind from worry, know that the DYI Home Energy System Guide comes with a 60-day money back guarantee.

You can always watch the video and return it if you think that you won’t be able to complete the project. This way you can see what you are getting into before making for a final decision (worry-free).



Jeff really emphasizes that you will be purchasing professional grade building materials to construct your solar power system.

He explains that the reason why there is such a large cost difference between having a professional installer build your unit and building it on your own is that you are paying for the labor, know-how, and additional mark up.

Companies need to generate a profit, and as you probably know the standard mark up for retailers (from a wholesale distributor to a retail store) is 50% of the cost of the product. 




DIY Solar Energy System Vs. A Solar Lease:



As you know, I am a huge advocate of renewable energy. Up till this article, I always thought that the cost to install a solar energy system was way too expensive to make financial sense.

Typically, a standard solar energy system lasts around 25 years, and the average payback period is 15-20 years.

So purchasing your own system doesn’t really make sense, unless you plan on living in your home for 25 years. Most people end up moving within that time and won’t have the opportunity to recover that investment cost.

This is why I had opted to go with the solar lease option (for my home in Las Vegas).

Now that I have found this solution, I really do believe that I could have bribed a few friends with a home cooked meal to help me build a solar energy system for cheaper than the cost of purchasing electricity through my solar lease. 

Because the DYI Home Energy System is so much cheaper to build, you will hit the breakeven point on the cost of the unit much quicker.




Some of the Benefits of a DIY Solar Project:


1. Energy independence. Who cares if the utility companies decide to raise electricity costs? Not you!

What’s more is that you can sell your excess electricity to the utility company.

Earn a bit of cash from selling any energy that you aren’t using and fund your retirement account! Read (Roth IRA: How to Become a Millionaire by the Time You Retire!)

2. Low to no maintenance. Once you build your renewable energy solar system, there is little to no maintenance required.

Build a solar energy system for a fraction of the cost you would have otherwise had to pay a professional installer.




A Few Minor Drawbacks:



1.City Inspector:


Just like with any major remodel, you will need to have your solar energy system inspected by an official city inspector.

The inspector will probably have you fix a thing or two, which will require him to come back and re-inspect another day… Don’t take it personally, stay strong, and make any required corrections to pass that inspection. Just think of this step as part of the process.

If you include this step in your mental accounting process, you won’t think of it as a pain in the butt. Instead, think of it as just part of what needs to happen to make sure you have a safe solar energy system.

You really do want a city inspector to come by to make sure that you installed your system correctly... After all, you are playing with electricity.

The only negative review I have seen thus far is by Upon further research, I found that the website is owned by a solar installation company. Of course, It is in their best interest to have you pay them to install solar panels for you.


2. Time:


Every DIY project is going to some take time and require a little perseverance. The instructional videos are very thorough, and you will have to set aside time to watch them. Of course, building a solar energy system yourself will also take time.

If you can find 2-3 weekends to devote to building your own energy system, you can save a ton of money with the DYI Home Energy System guide.

Remember, by building your own solar unit you are able to save money because you are the labor (instead of paying someone else to put in the labor).




The 10,000 Foot Overview:



Renewable energy is the way of the future. As a society, we need to make the switch away from fossil fuels.

Take the pledge to become a Sustainability Hero.  Living in harmony with the planet has health, environment, and budget benefits.

Remember to visit the sustainability shop, which includes energy efficiency and water conservation conversion kits, solar products, zero-waste, and minimally packaged home goods.

If global warming, resource depletion, and climate change are important to you, then pre-enroll for the free Sustainability mini-course. 

This course is designed to teach you about many money-saving green swaps and actions that you can take to save the world!


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If you have enjoyed this content, please remember to spread the word by sharing. That way we can help others become Sustainability Heros too!

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