What incentives are available to me?
Envirosolar Power solar panel systems are indeed eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Additional state, local and utility incentives exist in many areas, further lowering the net cost of your investment. With a Free Home Energy Assessment, your expert assessor will bring to light all possible rebates and incentives in your area that are available to you.
Can my electric bill be $0?
Some solar systems produce more electricity than is used each month, depending on the size of the system and energy usage. This effectively bringing net electricity costs to $0. However, there is still a minimal connection fee (typically about $100 per year depending on where you live) to remain connected to the electrical grid through the city.
Will I get paid for my extra energy production if I generate more than I use?
Currently, most of the United States is under a system called Net Metering. This is a credit utilities issue toward your next month’s bill, allowing your net electricity costs to be reduced to zero but no further beyond that. In a select few places in the U.S., you can be paid for any excess electricity you create in what is known as a Feed-In Tariff system. There is a great deal of pressure to move in this direction and could quickly become the norm for the solar industry.
How does the Federal Solar Tax Credit work?
Residential solar is skyrocketing! This is in part to plummeting solar panel prices and general awareness of the need for clean energy. For the first time, homeowners can effectively control their electricity costs by going solar instead of being at the mercy of ever-rising utility rates. Through the end of 2019, going solar is even better thanks to the federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which can be worth up to 30% of the total cost of your solar installation.
What is the difference between system power output and system energy production?
The AC energy production of a solar array is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). This is measured over periods of months and years to compare with sizing and long-term performance expectations of your solar panels. Solar kWh energy production is also typically given on inverter output displays or remote monitoring sites and applications. This can be compared with a household’s total kWh electricity consumption, as seen on a utility bill. This is best used to get an overall sense of your power production by lessening the impact of days of intense or low sunlight.
The AC power output of your solar array, measured in watts (W) or kilowatts (kW), is typically found on inverter output displays or remote monitoring sites. This is an instantaneous measurement, which is determined by the rated DC power output of the solar array, inverter efficiency and system losses, and is proportional to solar irradiance on the array. This is best described as a snapshot of your energy output in that instant.
Is it true that solar panels rarely produce their rated power output? Is there a problem with my PV system?
Solar panels will typically operate at around 80% of nameplate DC power rating. This will occur even in weather conditions that might be considered “ideal”. The nameplate rating of a solar panel is a DC rating measured under factory conditions. This means that their rating is determined at a cell temperature of 77°F and perfect sun conditions of 1000 W/m2. The power output reading seen on an inverter is an AC rating. Many factors such as DC to AC conversion losses, wiring losses, temperature losses, losses due to shading and dust, and losses due to non-optimal tilt and orientation of the array will affect the instantaneous power output and cumulative energy production of your solar array.
Can I install solar panels myself?
While it is possible to install solar panels yourself we strongly do not recommend it. The process requires both licensed electrical and roofing skills to ensure the solar power system is safe and optimally designed for 25+ years of production. Errors made can cause significant damage to your home as well as your solar panels. It is always best to work with a certified contractor!
Can my HOA or neighbors prevent me from installing a solar system?
In many cases they cannot stop you from installing solar panels. Many states have solar access laws that provide varying degrees of protection against restrictions that can be imposed on you. Many new regulations are being enacted that require new homes and buildings to be built ready for solar installation. Your expert energy assessor will be able to answer any questions that you have regarding rules and regulations in your area.
Will a solar panel system affect my roof integrity?
With proper design and installation following industry best practices, your roof will maintain all its pre-solar integrity. Solar panels also increase the insulation of your rooftop and can reduce the temperature due to the sun. To be sure, get a report on the status of your roof before and after the installation so you are satisfied with the integrity of any installation.
What Forms Do I Need To Get “Permission To Operate” (PTO) From The Electric Company?
In order to power your newly installed solar system on, it needs to be checked by the city and your electric utility. While their employees and timelines are not in solar installer control, you can speed up the process by having your forms ready to submit.
Is any maintenance needed for my solar PV system? How often should solar panels be cleaned?
With limited maintenance, your solar system will operate at peak performance for many years. Cleaning intervals will vary depending on site-specific factors such as annual rainfall and proximity of factors causing dust or debris on the panels. This includes things like trees or high traffic dirt roads. It is best to consult your solar installer for a recommended cleaning schedule. Cleaning solar panels is as easy as using a garden hose to rinse them off!
How do solar systems fair in extreme weather conditions?
Our solar panels can withstand high wind and snow loads. Durable a built to last, they come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.
What are the details of the warranty?
At Envirosolar Power, our panels are industry leading and of the highest quality. Our solar panels are extremely efficient and look great on any home.
When you choose to purchase solar panels through Envirosolar Power, you can rest easy knowing that all our panels come with a 25 year manufacturer warranty.
This means that if on the off chance anything should go wrong with your panels over the next 25 years, you can go straight to the manufacturer to have it replaced or fixed hassle free. As a home owner, this protects your investment significantly longer and more assuredly than any of our competitors thereby making it even easier to go solar.
Make sure you read the fine print with other solar panel providers as most of our competitors’ warranties only insure their work and installation, not the solar materials that they install. With Envirosolar Power you are making a smart and secure investment in your home and your future!
How does the Federal Tax Credit work in my favor?
Thanks to the decreased cost of constructing solar panels and the increasing desire to save monthly on energy bills, solar adoption is at an all-time high. No longer a hobby for the wealthy, solar panels are a very real, and very necessary, possibility for home owners. Even better, the tax credits have now been extended through the end of 2019 making going solar that much easier! Made possible by the federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, until 2019 you can receive a tax incentive of 30% on your new solar panel system. This 30% remains in place until the end of 2019 at which point it goes down to 26% for a year, 22% for a year and then finally 10%.
A tax credit is simply a reduction in the amount of taxes that you owe the government. Generally speaking a residential solar panel system costs about $30,000. In this case, a 30% credit can reduce your taxes but a whopping $9,000. A nice bonus on top of your new monthly savings!
Please keep in mind: The team at Envirosolar is composed of solar professionals, we therefore do not give out tax advice. Taxes differ for each person and anything here may not be appropriate to you. Not everyone will be eligible, therefore contact a tax professional when filing your tax credit.
Tax Credit Eligibility
In order to qualify for the 30% federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, you must meet the following requirements:
Your system must be installed by December 31, 2019.
You must own your home.
You must pay enough taxes to the Federal Government to qualify for the 30% tax credit.
You must own your solar panels.
This last point might seem a bit odd to you but unfortunately many home owners are tricked into leasing their solar panels instead of buying them. In the case of leasing solar panels, the company that owns the solar panels is the one that benefits from the tax credit, not the home owner. For more reasons on why you should buy instead of lease solar panels, check out our resource center.
Tax Credit vs. Rebate
It is very important to understand that this is a tax credit and not a rebate, this two differ. Tax credits offset the balance of tax due to the government, so if you owe no tax, there is nothing to offset. Tax rebates are payable to the taxpayer even if they owe no tax. While most people qualify for the solar tax credit, there are some home owners who do not. Anyone who does not owe federal income taxes will not be able to take advantage of the tax credit.
If you do owe sufficient federal taxes the year that you finance or purchase your system, then the credit can be applied to pay off the taxes owed. If you already paid taxes by withholding it from your paycheck, the federal government will apply the tax credit to a tax refund. It is also important to note that the tax credit be carried forward one year.
A homeowner buys a $30,000 solar system, meaning they are eligible for a $9,000 tax credit (30% of the total system costs). Through their employment they owe the government $9,000 in taxes, but this is withheld on their W-9 so they end up owing nothing when they file. In this example, when the solar tax credit is applied to the $0 balance they owe the government, they receive a tax refund of $9,000.
Another homeowner buys a $30,000 solar system but they only owe the federal government $4,500 in taxes because they were on a fixed income. This customer did not withhold any money from their paychecks and therefore owes the full $4,500 when they file. When the $9,000 tax credit is applied, they can only claim $4,500 of it because they only owed that much in taxes. In this example, the customer does not have to pay any taxes that year.
The upside is that any remaining tax credit can be carried forward and applied to next year’s taxes. In that case if the homeowner owes the government at least $4,500 in taxes for the following year, they can utilize the rest of the credit.
How do I use the tax credit to pay down my loan?
Your loan is built to be flexible, friendly and affordable. It’s structured so that if you use your federal solar tax credit or other savings to pay down your loan balance by 30% within 18 months, you’ll lock in a low monthly payment for the duration of the loan.
What Happens If There Is A Roof Fire And My Home Has Solar Panels Installed?
Fire codes exist to protect lives and property. If a solar installation has been properly installed and follows the law, there should be no electrocutions or injuries due to solar panels. This is because fire professionals know how to respond and turn off the electric panels with the outside circuit breakers and power inverter. There are also walkways on roofs made specifically to allow firefighters to maneuver while standing or walking on a roof.
Additionally, there is something called “Rapid Shutdown”, and the Section 690.12 update to the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC) calls for module-level rapid shutdown of solar systems instead of NEC 2014’s array-level shutdown requirement. In certain jurisdictions, all conductors within an array’s 1-ft boundary have to be reduced to 80 V or less within 30 seconds of rapid shutdown initiation.
Learn more about this topic with this article at Solar Power World.