Nevada: A Guide to Residential Solar Energy
Nevada isn’t new to solar panels and the industry around them (nor to desert climes and lots of sun). And while it resisted the fundamental solar policy of net metering recently and for a few crucial years, in 2017 the state legislature voted “to resurrect this important state policy,” according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Otherwise, some of the state’s solar policy goes back to the late 1990s.
In its report on renewable energy programs in December 2018, the state’s energy department noted that “solar incentive program received 1,047 applications and completed 979 projects in December.” More importantly, Energy Nevada paid out more than $9 million in solar electric incentives in 2018 alone. Since 2010, the state’s shelled out more than $200 million in solar incentives alone.
That is just one of the ways in the installation of solar panels in Nevada has seen a positive response and rise in recent years. As of the end of 2018, SEIA reported that nearly 13 percent of the state’s electricity comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks Nevada fifth in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.
Indeed, increased competition in the state since 2014—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Nevada. And when it comes to home value, researchers project the value of a home increases up to $15,000 on average, according to the Berkley Lab, one of the federal government’s national renewable energy laboratories. That doesn’t even take into consideration the massive savings solar paneling affords homeowners.
Like every other state, Nevada has a unique set of incentives, benefits, and challenges when it comes to investing in solar panels for houses. Read our residential guide to understand what you should know as a homeowner as you look for the best contractor to install solar panel systems and produce energy like longleaf pine trees produced tar in the Tar Heel State.
A well-informed and reliable contractor will go over each detail of your installation with you, from expected savings to increases in home value. At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your solar panel project.
Las Vegas, NV: Solar Energy Success Stories
Meet the Swensons of the Las Vegas solar universe.
“The reason we started looking into solar was for the emergency preparedness aspect of it,” they told Blue Raven Solar. They might have not expected it, but they ended up saving a lot of money, too.
“We were paying anywhere from $150 to $220 every month in power and,” they told Raven, “ever since we got the solar panels installed we’re at $0, other than the $9 connection fee to be tied into the grid.”
Indeed, solar panels have a sizeable effect on utility bills. Nevada residents can expect to save nearly close to $17,000 over 20 years.
Keep in mind this data serves as guidance for your journey to home improvement. Use it during your conversation with contractors in your area. Ask for this level of detail in your estimates and if jargon or complex wording seems confusing, ask for clarification. A trusted contractor will be glad for the opportunity to explain what everything means and, more importantly, what it specifically means to you.
When it comes to Nevada’s solar energy, existing financial incentives (and policy) only make it more lucrative for you to sustainably increase your property value.
Nevada Solar Panels: Incentives, Rebates, and Other Savings
There are currently nearly 80 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Nevada. Find details about each program at the state’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).
Solid contractors installing solar panels in Nevada will be able to provide a list of applicable costs savings measures and help you navigate applying for and getting the most out of them. Learn enough to have a foundational understanding of these programs to best talk to your contractor about them once you’ve vetted and chosen one.
RenewableGenerations Rebate Program
This program goes back to 2003. Homeowners who install solar in Nevada and comply with the system requirements get reimbursed per the efficiency of their system and the electricity it produces — the higher the number, the more the reimbursement.
Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.
As usual, net metering means that if a homeowner produces electricity in excess of their use, they can sell it into the grid. Irregularly, they won’t get the full retail rate for the electricity. Rather, homeowners will be selling it at 95 percent of the retail rate and the more they sell, the lower the rate will become until it reaches its minimum: 75 percent.
Find all the details at DSIRE’s profile for the program.
Other Nevada-specific solar energy programs include:
- Southwest Gas Corporation – Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
- Southwest Energy Efficiency Project – Nevada Energy Efficiency Guide
- Valley Electric Association – Net Metering
- Revolving Loan Program
- Direct Energy Assistance Loan
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Northern Nevada SureBet Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
- Renewable Energy Sales and Use Tax Abatement
Of course, you want to get the most out of local programs as well as federal ones, like the temporary Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which applies to up to 30 percent of your installation. It is important to note that this federal credit is for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019. Solar Energy International reports that a typical five-kilowatt solar system installation in September 2018 would’ve dropped from $15,428 to $10,800 after the rebate is applied—but keep in mind its value is dropping and the credit could be completely gone by the early 2020s. Consult your contractor about this and other available credits and incentives to ensure your investment in the long-term value of your property is as easy on your current assets as possible.
That’s why you’ll want to find a contractor you can trust—a local professional who can get the job done and assist you with navigating local policy and regulation. The Modernize Contractor Checklist will help you vet a trusted contractor, so you can relax knowing your solar panel project is in good hands.