As 2016 comes to a close, we want to shed a bit more light on the advantages of going solar. In 2015, $47 million was invested in solar installations throughout our fair state of New Hampshire. $47 million. That’s a 341% increase from 2014-2015 alone. One thing this tells us is, Solar is being adopted at an increasing, record-breaking rate. It is estimated that over the next five years, New Hampshire is expected to install 242 MW of solar electric capacity, which is 11 times the amount of solar installed in the state in the last five years. We’re really going places, and we’re investing in our own economical and environmental futures/freedoms. There’s never been a better time to GoSolar (see what we did there?) And there’s no better way to get into solar than by contacting us today to have any lingering questions answered.
For starters, here are seven solid reasons to make the switch to solar in 2017 (and beyond).
Take Advantage of Incentives
This is a particularly big one given the current state of solar power affairs in the state of New Hampshire right now. We’re in the midst of powerful incentives, which include a state rebate that varies, depending on your municipality and the overall size of your solar array installation.
On top of that, there is also a far more substantial federal tax credit which is currently a 30 percent federal tax credit claimed against the tax liability of residential, commercial, and utility investors in solar energy property. This number is scheduled to begin dropping in 2019 (see www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit for more information).
Another valued incentive is found net metering credits.
In May of 2015, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law HB1116 – marking the official raise of the state’s net metering cap from 50MW to 100MW.
This means that the existing net metering and group net metering rules continue to apply to the new 50 MW of allowed net metered capacity, including credits for individually net metered systems under 100 kW and payments for larger and group net metered systems. All systems under the 100 MW cap will receive their current payment or credit terms until 2040.
What does that mean?
Under New Hampshire’s net-metering rules, all utilities (companies – such as Unitil, Eversource, etc.) are required to participate. Homeowners and system owners can net meter renewable energy systems up to 100 kW in size. The state requires that net excess generation is credited toward future bills, but it did not establish the rate at which excess generation is compensated. However, utilities can establish what payment incentives they will offer their customers for net excess generation.
Each utility’s aggregate limit is determined by calculating the utility’s share of the state’s overall capacity and the state’s aggregate solar capacity limit of 50 megawatts.
Net excess generation is carried over from one bill to the next until the end of the year, when the utility customer can elect to receive payment for the net excess generation (see http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-rebates-and-incentives/new-hampshire for more information).
In short, if you get in under New Hampshire’s mandated net metering cap, you are in line to get paid by a utility provider for any unused energy that your solar array produces.
Start Saving from Day One
This one is rather simple. When you sit down to piece together the appropriate sized solar setup for your residential or commercial property, we’ll help you find financing that fits your budget. In many cases a solar proprietor will find that their monthly payment on their array (if they choose to finance) is lower than their actual utility bills. That’s power!
Low Payback Period
The average payback period ranges from 8-12 years. That’s not bad. Considering you’re likely to pay less than your current utility financial obligations, and the prospect that, after this 8-12 year payoff you’ll have zero utility financial obligations, the future is bright.
Increase Your Home Value
We could probably slide this one under the “incentive” tag, but we’ll leave it as it’s own entity. Real estate is one of the most important investments you’ll make in your life, so why not add more to the bottom line? Installing a solar panel array to your property adds an average of $5,911* of value per kilowatt (kW) hour that the system produces.
In our experience, a small (average size) array generally falls in the 3.1-kilowatt range. So, upon crunching the numbers, that system can add an average of $18,324 to the value of a medium-sized home.
And, obviously, the value only goes up from there. Another fairly common array we see is the 5-kilowatt system. Installing a 5-kilowatt of solar panels adds an average of $29,555 to the retail value of a medium-sized home. (*see www.costofsolar.com for more information).
Solar is a Secure Investment
We’ll keep this short. The reality is, the sun is always going to shine. If it ceases to exist, we cease to exist. So investing in solar is as secure as it gets. Outside of that, electricity rates continue to inexplicably rise without warning. There’s no security in that. With solar, you know what you’re getting, and as long as the sun is shining, it’s going to produce…
One of the great things about the assurances of solar panel performance lies right in the pudding. The solar panel manufacturers that we work with include a 20 to 25 year warranty with their solar products. This is concrete assurance (or insurance…) that the solar array you invest in is going to work for you. The general industry standard amongst solar panel manufacturers guarantees 80% performance after 25 years of “normal” use. What further studies have shown is that your solar panels in your array will likely produce well into the 30-40 year range.
Save the Environment
We’ll wrap this up on a nice, sentimental note. Utilizing and investing in solar for your energy needs cuts down on your personal carbon footprint in a very serious way For every 55.3 kilowatt-hours of clean energy that your solar array will produce offsets the same amount of CO2 emissions that come from planting a tree. Depending on the size of your array, you’ll be “planting” legions of trees in no time at all. Save on your bills, while simultaneously saving the world around you. Win-win.
GoSolar today for a brighter tomorrow!