Solar Hot Water and Net Metering At Forefront of Green Building Trends

solar hot waterDuring the recent International Builders Show, building experts identified several leading trends for builders interested in applying green building techniques. High among those are solar hot water systems and solar photovoltaic systems utilizing net metering. From structurally insulated panels (SIPS) to solar thermal and electric systems, more builders are pushing toward sustainable building practices.

Ignited by states pushing solar power, net metering has become the leading incentive for builders and homeowners to go solar. According to Rob Moody of Asheville, N.C. company EcoBuilders, innovations such as net metering and solar thermal systems have been available for the last ten years but recently have been “fine-tuned” and more heavily promoted, thus pushing them to the forefront of green building practices.

For solar hot water systems, it is also their relatively inexpensive price tag and subsequent fast payback period that inspire builders and homeowners to utilize the system. Solar thermal systems typically cost from $2,000 to $4,000 installed and can, in some cases, become profitable immediately.

Net metering laws, passed by several states, require utility companies to buy back excess power generated by a solar home system at retail prices. Whereas prior to the laws utility companies could purchase power at wholesale prices, the new laws make a solar home system more lucrative and rewarding for homeowners.

These solar innovations are just two among several green building trends identified by experts at the International Builders Show. In addition to SIPS, other simpler trends outside of solar technology include compact flourescent lights, low-flow toilets, low-VOC paints, and Energy Star appliances, all paramount to sustainable building practices.

Posted on July 1 in Solar News by .

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