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How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buying Guide for Schenectady, New York
As our country grows, so does its demand for electricity. Meeting its future energy needs will rely heavily on renewable energy and solar power. It would not be far fetched to predict that in the near future, most rooftops and/or large swaths of land would host an array of solar panels. Panels that produce cheap, clean electricity could meet the power demands of our country.
The solar buying guide found below is designed to introduce Schenectady residents to solar energy, outline the required steps for installing solar energy in your home or business, discuss purchase options, as well as money saving rebates and incentive programs available in the area.
Schenectady’s Climate For Solar Energy
Schenectady is located in the Albany metropolitan area in Eastern New York and is home to 65,921 people as of 2014. Summer temperatures in mid July average around 83 degrees. Winter temperatures can average approximately 13.8 degrees in mid January. Measureable precipitation occurs approximately 125 days of the year with annual rainfall totaling 37.8 inches and 61.5 inches of snow. Annually, Schenectady residents can expect to enjoy 177 sunny days, which makes it a viable location for solar energy.
Important Steps Schenectady Residents Should Consider
Obtaining solar power for your home makes good business sense, as solar power is cheaper and cleaner versus the dirty, fossil fuel power supplied by traditional utility companies. Starting a solar panel project requires careful thought and planning to achieve the most efficient results. Outlined below are the important steps every property owner should take and investigate before embarking on this project.
Home Energy Audits in Schenectady
The overall envelop of your home is an important part of energy conservation. A well-sealed, energy efficient home conserves energy by reducing energy loss. Lowering your monthly energy use reduces utility costs and the money you save can help pay for your solar panels. In addition, some rebate and incentive programs might require it before you can participate in their programs. Most New York homeowners can receive a free or discounted home energy assessment through the Home Performance/Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star Program. Apply online at by clicking here.
Schenectady Solar Panel Location
Most often, solar panels are mounted on the rooftops of residential and business properties. When space is available, it is also possible to install the panels on the ground. Both locations — rooftop or ground — require the panels to be located in areas with maximum sun exposure. The location requires careful planning to avoid shaded areas from existing structures, trees and other obstacles.
Roof and Structural Considerations in Schenectady
It would be beneficial to hire a local roofing contractor to inspect the condition of the roof on the building before installing a solar panel system. It would not make much sense to install solar panels on a deteriorating roof with a short life span. In addition, many municipalities require a structural inspection of the rooftop to verify it can support the weight of the panels before installation begins.
Hire a Schenectady Solar Contractor
Hiring a solar contractor is recommended versus installing the solar panels yourself. The contractor has the experience and hands on knowledge to size, design, pull the necessary permits, and install the system correctly which will maximize your energy efficiency and investment. While a solar panel system installed by a professional will raise your property value, the same can’t be said for a poorly or DIY installed system that can lower your property value. Keep in mind that your solar contractor is your go-to-guy and is the single most important element of the project.
Solar Hot Water in Schenectady
Schenectady residents can also utilize its sunny days by installing a solar water heater to produce free, domestic hot water. These efficient systems use solar energy — heat — from the sun to heat water. Most solar water heating systems incorporate a roof-mounted solar panel and storage tank that connects to the home’s plumbing system. Once installed, most systems can supply 100% of residential hot water needs. Contact a local solar or plumbing contractor to learn more.
Solar Permits in Schenectady
Permits are required for solar panel installation in Schenectady, New York. You can visit the Schenectady Building Inspector/Code Enforcement website to learn about and apply for solar permits or visit Schenectady City Hall, 105 Jay St #17, Schenectady, NY 12305 or call (518) 382-5050.
Schenectady Rebates and Incentives
Several tax incentives are available in the state of New York designed to encourage solar energy use. Incentives for residential applications include:
- A state income tax credit equal to 25 percent of the cost of the system not to exceed $5,000 for grid connected and net metered residential solar electric and solar thermal systems that also applies for multifamily residences.
- Sales tax exemptions for passive solar space heat, solar space heat, photovoltaic, solar water heat and related equipment installed in residential and multifamily buildings.
- Subject to local option, a 15-year real property tax exemption for the solar and other renewable energy systems. This measure is to prevent the installation of solar energy equipment from increasing property taxes.
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, extended through 2016, allows taxpayers to claim a credit of 30 percent of qualified expenditures for systems that serve as a residence by said taxpayer. You can learn about additional government cost saving, energy efficient programs by visiting www.energy.gov.
Additional Resources in Schenectady
To search for additional money-saving rebates and incentive programs by state, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency by clicking here.