General Finances

Total Cost of Project $364,200
Construction hard cost $346,600
Gross Cost of Renewable Energy System $17,600
Cost per sq ft of conditioned space $146.00
Value of Tax Credits for renewable energy systems $4,000
Net Cost of renewable energy systems $13,600

Savings and Revenue

Annual Electric Savings $3,000

Rebates and Financial Incentives

Federal incentives

Tax credits of $6,000 for PV system, evacuated tube domestic hot water system, pond loop and heat pump ($2,000 for each system).

State incentives

No state incentives

Local incentives

No local incentives

Utility incentives

No utility incentives

Other incentives




The estimated pay back time for making Trail Magic a positive energy home is 17 years. Over 30 years the annual return would be 9% of investment. Not a bad return when one takes the long view. The estimated pay back time for the carbon of the embodied energy in materials and systems that make Trail Magic positive energy is a difficult calculation we are unable to do. However, based on the embodied energy pay back time for a standard PV system (between 4 and 8 years from estimates I've seen), it is likely to be less than 17 years.

It is also important to recognize that making your home positive energy is unlike other things you purchase for your house project -- it is an investment with a pay back time. Quartz counter tops, hot tubs, marble bathrooms, etc. are not investments with pay back times. At the same time, each is an expression of your values and ethics.

Another way think about the investment to make your home positive energy is to look at it as an annuity. However, unlike the standard annuity this "positive energy" annuity increases its payout over the years as non-solar energy costs increase.