Running the numbers: OpenEI can help you weigh the costs versus the benefits of making your home green

Are you thinking about making an upgrade to your home that involves renewable energy? Do you want to go green but aren’t quite sure how much you can actually save?

Two of the main reasons homeowners cite for exploring renewable energy options to power their homes are to increase efficiencies and decrease costs. After an initial investment in, say, solar panels, they expect to see a marked decrease in their utilities bills. They also expect that, over time, they will recoup that initial investment and begin to realize real savings over the long run. Tax credits, rebates, and utilities discounts may also come into play, as many federal, state and local programs offer such incentives, as do some utilities companies. However, before making the decision to go green, oftentimes homeowners will want to run the numbers, weighing the costs versus the benefits of adding renewable energy to the mix. And this is where OpenEI can help.
By visiting our Utilities and Incentives gateways, you can quickly and easily access the information you need to estimate savings, calculate the time it will take to recoup your investment, and discover renewable energy incentives in your community. OpenEI also offers a wealth of information on the types of renewable energy resources currently available, including solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. And of course, it’s all free.
When you’re ready to get serious about going green, visit OpenEI. We'll help you put together a cost-benefit analysis that will make your decision a whole lot easier.
As always, we welcome your feedback. What would you like to see on the site? How can we make OpenEI more helpful to you? Drop us a line and let us know at openei.webmaster@nrel.gov.