Personal Finance

Is a Residential Solar System Right for You?

Alternative energy is the wave of the future, and SunPower , SolarCity , and a host of other companies are joining the massive push toward making residential solar systems a reality for millions of homeowners. But does a residential solar system make sense for you and your home?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, goes through some of the factors to consider in choosing whether to get a residential solar system installed. Dan first notes that it's important to see if your property is well-suited for solar, with south-facing unshaded rooftops being the best but not only option for solar power. Dan also suggests looking at local incentives, including tax credits and installation discounts, that can reduce the cost even further than federal tax credits that apply nationwide. Lastly, Dan goes through the affordability issue, noting that lease options can reduce or eliminate upfront costs, but they involve trade-offs you might not want to make. Dan concludes that as costs fall, more people will find residential solar systems to be a cost-effective way to save on energy costs.

Looking beyond solar

Solar stocks are hot, but record oil and natural gas production is also making many investors rich. The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, " 3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza 3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free.

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of SolarCity. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

Stocks

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More