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Monday, July 31, 2006


New reasons to soak up the sun

The story was published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday:
FOLKER KORTE racked up $21,000 worth of energy-saving upgrades to his single-story, three-bedroom home in San Pedro last year but only spent $9,000.

Plus, he didn't have to fork over the full amount for the several rooftop solar panels and then wait for a rebate. Korte paid for his portion, and his contractor obtained the balance from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power through its Solar Incentive Program.

That's only the beginning. Korte was also eligible for up to $2,000 in federal tax credits. His electricity bill has dropped from a monthly average of $90 to $30. And, as the price of oil soars, the solar panels increase the appeal and value of his home.

The costs of eco-renovations such as solar energy systems, insulation and energy-efficient appliances are more than offset by the resulting increase in market value to the home, experts and studies say. Some realty agents even use energy-saving attributes in their marketing pitches, listing a home's solar distinction alongside the swimming pool and spa.

— T.J. Sullivan
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