UPHAM, N.D. (KXNET) — Renewable energy usage is growing, but how much does it cost to make the switch?

There are incentives for those who decided to use renewable energy resources.

In addition to helping the environment, these incentives also help your wallet.

“The main perks are government. 30% tax credit for the wind and solar it’s the same,” said Dennis Latendresse, the president, and owner of Wind & Solar World.

And if you’re a farmer or business in a city with a population of fewer than 50,000 people, which only excludes Bismarck, Fargo, and Grand Forks, you get even more perks for going green.

“There’s a USDA grant, 25% that’s available to apply for farmers, businesses. Then there’s also 100% bonus depreciation in the same year and along with a 30% tax credit. So for farmers and businesses, the systems basically return on investment would come down to almost four to five years before you get your money back as opposed to 17 years, 18 years like that for a normal system in North Dakota,” said Latendresse.

However, the price of installing a renewable energy source varies.

The cost is based on two main factors.

“The costs is just depending on the size of the home and the power you’re trying to manage. If you had a house that had an average of a $200 bill a month, or a $250 bill a month, the turbine price would be quite high. Actually, solar would be a little less. Basically, if I had to do that kind of system, you’d be looking at between $50,000 and $70,000 possibly,” said Latendresse.

Latendresse says every renewable energy company is different.

Each company has its own way that consumers can pay for clean energy.

“You could lease them in other companies. We don’t do that. We do offer financing, which is similar to and probably better for the customer. But we don’t do leasing per se. The financing comes in, an example, if I could do a home that has a $250 a month bill and I wanted to wipe out their bill, the financing is up to 25 years. And it basically would be a little bit more than that, but you get the advantage of having your own power and backup,” said Latendresse.

And when it comes to the cost of maintaining solar panels and wind turbines, the turbines are going to cost more.

So how much maintenance is required for a wind turbine or solar panel?

“For solar panels, it’s mainly depending on if it’s roof mount, you don’t have any maintenance per se. If you had a ground mount, you may have to worry about snow in front of it. On the wind turbine side, the maintenance is a bit more costly. It depends on the type of turbine, but they’re usually one with brushes and if they run with brushes, warranty is three years, and probably after four or five, six years, you might have to replace those brushes,” said Latendresse.

Latendresse says when making the switch to renewable energy, he advises customers to choose solar panels because it’s cheaper and will last longer than wind turbines.