Residential Solar–Having a little fun

Congratulations solar panels. You are thinner and prettier than ever! You’re aging beautifully thanks to Sistine Solar, a Boston start-up, who is definitely having a little fun with solar energy.

Solar energy has been around for decades, but it’s just starting to become “affordable.” Well, affordable might be a relative term (see also Affordable Healthcare Act). But, the costs are definitely coming down.

However, despite the panels being thinner than ever, they still are not too attractive. But have no fear, check out the solar panels by Sistine Solar that mimic their surroundings: . On Sistine Solar’s website, you’ll find solar panels that look like an American flag, some green panels (literally and figuratively), and panels that look like tile roofing materials.

There’s also an interesting article about them at:

As for costs, well they are definitely some big bucks involved. Some states have decent incentives, and the federal government has some energy incentives as well. 2014’s federal tax incentives were extended through 2016, but I don’t know what future incentives are at this moment. According to the IRS:

“Are there incentives for making your home energy efficient by installing alternative energy equipment?

  1. Yes, the residential energy efficient property credit allows for a credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of qualified property. Qualifying properties are solar electric property, solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and fuel cell property. Only fuel cell property is subject to a limitation, which is $500 with respect to each half kilowatt of capacity of the qualified fuel cell property. Generally, this credit for alternative energy equipment terminates for property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2016. The credit for solar electric property and solar water heating property, however, is available for property placed in service through Dec. 31, 2021, based on an applicable percentage. The applicable percentages are:

(1) In the case of property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2016, and before Jan. 1, 2020, 30 percent.
(2) In the case of property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2019, and before Jan. 1, 2021, 26 percent.
(3) In the case of property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2022, 22 percent.”

Another solution in recent years is to allow companies to place panels on your roof. It’s a modified lease agreement which definitely appears to save homeowners money on the monthly bill.

Whatever the economics, Sistine Solar’s got style. Here’s to blue skies, smooth sailing, and a little fun in the sun.

LK Greer


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