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      Blog :: 11-2016

      A Future For Solar Energy?

      By Veronica Pollán, Maple Sweet Real Estate Sales Associate

      The future of renewable energy remains a question in the mind of many with the new administration. Will renewable energy resources suffer from president-elect Trump’s fossil fuel support? His policy details have not been released but according to his policy site, fossil fuels along side renewable resources will continue to shape America’s future towards energy independence.

      Nationwide

      With the administration’s promise to increase jobs in America, Trump may support expanding job-producing renewable energy sectors such as solar. As of 2015 the solar energy industry employs 3 times as many people as the coal mining industry. It has produced jobs at a rate 12 times higher then the national employment growth. 208,859 solar jobs were recorded in the U.S. as of December 2015, an increase of 20% from the previous year. For 2016 nearly 240,000 jobs from solar businesses are projected in all 50 states. 

      Since it’s inception in 2006, The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has given the solar industry so much strength and growth, that it was extended in 2015. The ITC is a federal tax incentive giving the consumer a 30% income tax credit when installed by the end of 2019. In 2020 the credit will drop to 26% and in 2021 to 22%. 

      Many questioned Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla who recently merged with SolarCity, about how the uncertainty of future incentive policies or lack there-of would effect his businesses. In a question and answer session Musk said that it's a “misconception... that Tesla is reliant on incentives or subsidies.” With the unveiling of Tesla Solar Roofs pictured, Musk aims to make these beautiful and powerful roofs more affordable than a traditional roof. His mission to create a one-stop shop for green energy is reliant on the customers that believe in him and his message to "accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy."

      Vermont 

      The Green Mountain State is wasting no time on the renewable resource front setting a policy standard of 75% of energy to be provided by renewables by 2032. Vermonters embraced this policy by producing over 250MW of renewable energies over the last five years. Solar has had the greatest growth towards achieving Vermont's energy goals. Attributed to statewide financial incentives such as net metering, federal tax incentives, and incentives offered by local solar companies such as SunCommon. 

      With net metering Vermonters are their own grid. Currently, net metering allows customers to exchange their renewable energy for electric bill credits. During the spring months credits roll into the next months and in the winter credits are used up. Excess credits are reusable for up to 12 months.  To avoid expired credits, customers may use group net metering so a group may use communal excess energy.  A customer looking to receive net metering must first apply for a Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board. In January 2017, the Vermont legislature will alter renewable resource customer incentives.

      SunCommon is Vermont's largest solar company employing 65 workers, providing their own customer incentives. Emily McManamy of SunCommon says "Through innovative no upfront cost financing options, SunCommon has now helped 3,000 Vermont households find a solar solution, whether that been rooftop, ground-mounted, Community Solar, solar home energy storage or small business and commercial solar." They aim to make solar easy and affordable for every household in Vermont via financing.

      The incentives' future is unclear. Whether removed or fossil fuel incentives reinstated, it will be up to the states to mandate laws and provide incentives for their population and for the planet. 29 states and 3 U.S. territories had renewable portfolio standards in August 2016. These states have policies to increase renewable energy generation. Another 8 states and 1 territory have voluntary renewable energy goals. Hopefully they will continue to work toward their standards and goals regardless of the fate of incentives.

      Maple Sweet Real Estate delves deeply into myriad issues affecting Vermont property owners, sellers, and purchasers.

      Connect to maplesweet.com, e-mail info@maplesweet.com or call toll-free 1-800-525-7965 for info on selling or purchasing Vermont commercial properties, homes, condos or land or to get more information on Vermont real estate. 

      See all Maple Sweet Real Estate listings and the newest Vermont listings.

      Referrals & recommendations are welcome & appreciated.

      Vermont Mandatory Consumer Disclosure: please note Vermont  real estate agencies represent Sellers directly or indirectly. Buyer representation can be gained for properties not already listed by Maple Sweet Real Estate. To better understand the merits of or arrange for buyer representation, please email or call for further details.

      Information Disclosure: information provided and relayed by Maple Sweet Real Estate is not represented to be accurate or free of errors. While substantial efforts are made to obtain and convey information from sources deemed dependable, Maple Sweet Real Estate does not guarantee or warranty such information is accurate or reliable. All information should be independently verified.

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        Killington Hosting the Audi FIS Ski World Cup

        Lindsay VonnThis year, the Audi FIS Ski World Cup will be at Killington Ski Resort over Thanksgiving weekend, November 26 to 27, 2016. Watch the women's U.S. Ski Team, with stars like Mikaela Shiffrin and Julia Mancuso, compete against some of the world's best alpine skiers. The last time the World Cup was hosted in Vermont was in 1978, at Stratton Mountain.

        These are the first two World Cup events of the season, which will eventually lead to finals in Aspen, Colorado. Take in the excitement of ski competition, join community events like art showings and brewery events, and enjoy a free concert featuring the rock band O.A.R.

        Vermont is home to some of the best skiing in the world, and many of the U.S. Ski Team racers know the East Coast mountain well. This will be an exciting weekend and the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of the skiing and snowboarding season.

        VIP tickets are sold, out but there is plenty of free standing room for spectators. Get the full schedule here and experience this amazing event!

        Killington is home to beautiful ski homes. To view trailside homes, ski on and off condos, and homes just minutes from the mountain -- click here.

        The Trump Effect on the U.S. Housing Market, by Clare Trapasso, realtor.com Senior News Editor

        The article below is from Realtor.com, written by Senior News Editor, Clare Trapasso.

        Trump-housing-market

        LPETTET/iStock

        By now everyone on the planet knows that the majority of polls were wrong. Dead wrong! Donald Trump was elected the 45th U.S. president in a stunning upset. And his presidency is expected to have a profound impact on the nation and world.

        Sure, everyone right now is obsessing over what kind of impact the new president-elect will have on immigration, taxes, international relations, and trade policies. But we have a more specific query: What will the real estate mogul turned most powerful man in the world mean for the future of residential housing? (We are realtor.com® after all.)

        In the short term, probably not all that much.

        However, we do know that the incoming president will limit the federal government’s role in the real estate market, as was outlined in the 66-page Republican Platform 2016. So, longer term, the implications of this for home buyers, sellers, and owners could be sweeping.

        Related Articles

        As for now, “our November elections come at one of the slowest time of the year for sales, so I doubt we will see much disruption to the normal seasonal pattern” of home buying and selling, says realtor.com’s chief economist, Jonathan Smoke. “However, one short-term risk could be if the [election] has a big impact to financial markets that lasts more than a few days.

        “About half of voters got what they wanted,” he adds. “If this does impact purchases, it is more likely to be in blue states and not the red heartland.”

        Could Trump make the housing market ‘great again’ for buyers?

        A Trump presidency could be a boon for home buyers struggling to save up for a hefty down payment.

        That’s because he has promised to cut taxes and shrink the number of tax brackets from seven to three. This could, in theory, leave buyers with more money to spend on the homes of their dreams.

        And it could give the luxury market, which has been slowing down as of late, a boost, says James Harris, one of the star real estate agents on “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles.”

        “For the high-end, luxury market, it may turn into something very positive,” he says.

        But real estate analysts were quick to point out that some of the reforms laid out in the Republican platform could potentially force buyers to plunk down larger down payments or pay higher interest rates. That could be problematic for those without a few extra million dollars in their bank accounts.

        “The heart of Republican support—blue-collar, middle-aged workers—are the people who will [be affected] the most,” says Bob Edelstein, co-chair of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. “It may be harder to get mortgages, and those that will be available will be less advantageous.”

        Adios, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

        It appears that the Republican Party, now led by Trump, wants to do away with—or substantially shrink—both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although the language in the platform was a bit vague. It referred to the business models of the pair as “corrupt” and allowing “shareholders and executives [to] reap huge profits while the taxpayers cover all losses.”

        Trump hasn’t yet provided a replacement plan for the current system, which relies heavily on both Fannie and Freddie.

        The Republicans will also stop the FHA from providing taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages to wealthy home buyers. The FHA typically insures loans for low-income, first-time, and other buyers who don’t have enough for a 20% down payment.

        Hit the road, Dodd-Frank?

        The Republicans have also said they want to repeal—or at the very least, limit—the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The act provides more oversight of financial institutions in the wake of the housing bust that plunged the nation into a recession.

        Trump’s party also wants to get rid of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or subject it to congressional appropriation). The bureau, created through Dodd-Frank, is charged with protecting consumers against predatory financial services companies, including those providing mortgages.

        Dodd-Frank and agencies such as the CFPB are key to ensuring financial markets are kept in check and act fairly, says Edelstein.

        However, Republicans allege that its “regulatory harassment of local and regional banks, the source of most home mortgages and small business loans, advantages big banks and makes it harder for Americans to buy a home” in the platform.

        Unfortunately, no one at realtor.com has a crystal ball to see into the future of residential real estate under America’s new commander in chief. But it doesn’t look like demand from aspiring home buyers will taper off any time soon.

        The election is “going to absolutely create a short-term uncertainty like Brexit,” says Harris. “But in the long run, I think everything will be fine.”

        Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com. She previously covered finance for a Financial Times publication and wrote for the New York Daily News. Clare also teaches journalism at a local college, loves food festivals and bike trips, and enjoys playing with her dog.. Follow @claretrap

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