The use of renewable energy is on the rise, and 78% of homeowners say they would install solar panels if cost weren’t an issue. The good news is that there are several solar incentive programs available to help offset the cost; for most individuals, it simply requires selecting the right one.
Can I afford to go solar?
97% of homeowners surveyed (out of 2,200) continue to believe that installing a solar energy system will cost them at least $20,000, making it unaffordable.
But in 2022, the solar situation has completely transformed, and solar is far more affordable and profitable than people realize:
- Costs for solar panels have decreased as a result of technology advancements and heightened competition among solar companies. A 5 kW solar system can currently be purchased in locations like Arizona for less than $10,000 after incentives.
- Homeowners will immediately notice cheaper monthly electric bills, and in the more than 30 states that allow net metering, you can export power and earn fantastic returns.
- Most solar installations can be leased or bought for less money per month than their present power bills, often with no down payment.
- Savings start as soon as your solar panels are turned on, not some arbitrary future date.
Therefore, the better question is: “Can you afford NOT to go solar?”
Are there incentives, rebates, and discounts to lower the cost of a solar installation?
Yes! A range of cost-saving options are available from the different levels of government:
- Taxpayers may deduct 30% of their eligible solar system installation costs at the federal level under the Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit. The cost of the associated pipes and wiring, as well as labor on the job site, are all eligible expenses. If the full amount of the tax credit is greater than the homeowner’s tax bill, it may be carried over to the next year.
- Similar to the federal credit, certain states also provide tax credits for the installation of solar energy systems.
- Additionally, some utilities and municipalities provide up-front subsidies for solar system purchases. These are getting rarer though because solar is so much less expensive now than it was. Now that solar may offer consumers a great return on investment without the need for such discounts, lawmakers are aware of this.
- Certain states mandate that utilities obtain a percentage of their electricity from solar sources. Some even stipulate that some of this must come from rooftop solar projects rather than large-scale solar energy facilities. Credits for solar renewable energy have a market now thanks to this legislation (SRECs). SRECs are certificates that reflect one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generation and are granted to solar system owners. These certificates can be sold to utilities that are required by law to purchase a certain percentage of their energy from renewable or solar sources.
- Some utilities provide incentives depending on performance (PBIs). PBIs pay the customer a set amount for every kWh of solar energy generated by their panels, whether that energy is used by the customer’s home or exported to the utility. It is comparable to net metering in that it is a means for the government to value solar production, and occasionally both PBIs and net metering are in effect at once.
It may seem overwhelming to apply for all the credits and incentives you are eligible for, but if you contact Solar Reviews, we can guide you through the many programs and considerably lower the cost of your installation.
What are some of the top programs in the United States that help people go solar?
Numerous states feature top-notch incentive programs in addition to the federal solar tax credit scheme that is accessible to all Americans. For instance, New Mexico offers a state solar tax credit that is equal to 10% of qualifying expenses. Thanks to the state’s solar incentive program, solar homeowners in New Jersey with an average-sized solar system can make an extra $650 the first year their system is built in addition to saving money on their electricity bills.
What solar programs help the U.S. workforce?
Not only are home and commercial installations being affected by the switch to solar, but thousands of jobs are also being created. According to the National Solar Jobs Census, 255,000 Americans were working in the solar industry in 2021. There are several solar programs in place to assist in deploying and training employees in the field to support this expansion. A few of these are:
- The SunShot Initiative of the Department of Energy developed the program known as Solar Ready Vets. Prior to their return to civilian life, it permits active duty service members to enroll in a 5- to 6-week course that will teach them everything there is to know about the solar sector.
- In order to assist Americans in preparing for the industry and finding employment, the Solar Training Network coordinates and supports a number of training initiatives.
- Women employees have the opportunity to grow as leaders and obtain access to solar career possibilities through a Women in Solar installation training program backed by Grid Alternatives.
Other initiatives that provide employment and training possibilities are supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Energy.
Is community solar an option for me?
Contrary to common opinion, you don’t need to own a home to take advantage of solar energy’s advantages. Non-owners can install systems thanks to a number of initiatives, and community solar projects let investors pool their funds to build a “garden” of solar panels that supplies members’ homes. Each member owns a portion of the solar array collectively and at a set cost. Cash payments or solar loans may be used to cover the cost. Participants receive net metering credits proportional to their contribution once the system is running, which they can use to lower their electricity bills.
If you don’t own your home or can’t install solar panels on your roof, this is a great alternative.
What are the benefits of going solar?
Prior to making any investment, it’s critical to determine the precise amount of your return. Most households can anticipate the following benefits with a solar electric installation:
- Reduction of energy bills. The system you install, the incentive programs in your area, and how much sunlight you receive are just a few examples of the factors that will determine whether you simply cut your costs or entirely eliminate your energy bills. Living in a more sunny area will likely result in an average daily amount of 5.5 hours of sunlight, which will increase your ability to produce energy.
- Earning tax credits and incentives. The benefits of solar incentives are substantial. On a $20,000 system, the federal tax credit of 30% results in a $6,000 savings. This does not account for all the additional savings you can receive through state and utility incentives.
- Kickstart your savings immediately. There is no waiting period before beginning to save. A solar system starts cutting expenses the moment it is turned on, and the average yearly energy cost per person is above $3,000. According to studies, the installation will increase the value of your home by 4.1% if you intend to sell it.
- Helping the environment. Solar panels harness the sun’s energy to produce renewable energy, which lowers greenhouse gas emissions and the need for fossil fuels. This not only benefits the ecosystem but also enhances human health by reducing air pollution.
How long does it take to repay the investment in a solar system?
Solar panels normally come with a 25-year warranty and have a functional life of at least 25 years. Customers often repay their investment with the help of all the incentives offered within 5-8 years, so you get free electricity and bonus credits for the remaining 25 years. That kind of return is challenging to match.
Why aren’t more people installing solar energy systems if it’s so simple to recoup the costs? If you’re asking yourself that, let us assist you in determining the ideal solution for your household and family.