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 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 City Buying Guide for Salt Lake City, Utah
If you have ever considered installing solar power on your Salt Lake City home or business property but do not know where to start, this solar buying guide will highlight the initial starting points necessary for a solar panel or solar water heater installation.
The list below is a quick reference guide to information within the article:
- Get Informed
- Energy Conservation
- Receive Solar Estimates
- Research Financing Options
- Explore Rebates and Tax Incentives
Solar Technologies and Applications Used in Salt Lake City
An informed homeowner is an empowered homeowner. This section will introduce common solar technologies used in residential and small commercial applications.
PV systems are designed with semiconducting materials that produce direct current “DC” electricity when they are exposed to sunlight. An inverter is necessary to convert DC electricity to alternating current “AC” to power your home or business. Your solar system can be grid connected “on-grid,” or independent “off-grid.” Off-grid systems use storage batteries to supply power when conditions are not conducive at nighttime for solar power production. Hybrid systems connect to the grid and include storage batteries in the event of a power outage.
Solar thermal water heaters use a series of tubes in a collector that concentrate sunlight to heat water directly or a heat-transfer fluid. The transfer fluid is non-toxic and resists freezing, which makes it ideal for areas that are subjected to freezing temperatures such as Salt Lake City. Solar thermal water heaters are either active or passive, closed-loop or open loop.
Preparing Your Home for Solar
Salt Lake City residents considering a solar panel installation would be wise to explore energy efficient upgrades before starting the project. Energy conservation and efficiency is the cheapest, fastest and cleanest energy resource. Tightening your home’s exterior envelop will prime it for a solar energy system. Many utility companies offer free or reduced rate home energy audits that will identify “weak” areas around your home that need improvement. In addition, there are rebates available in Utah for efficiency improvements, which can help defray the costs. Explore the links below to learn more:
- Questar Gas Thermwise Rebates
- Rocky Mountain Power Rebates
- Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems
- St. George Water & Energy Conservation
- Heber Light & Energy Rebates
Gather Solar Estimates in Salt Lake City
Beginning your solar power project requires contacting 2 to 3 installers and requesting a written and customized bid for your property. The contractors must examine the site before presenting a bid to determine the scope of the work, specific factors of your property that can affect the installation and estimate and to discuss, in depth the options available to you. During the visit, ask for copies of their contractor license, insurance coverage information and references from previous customers. The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing maintains a licensee lookup and verification website for your convenience. In addition, a quick phone call to the applicable insurance agency can verify insurance coverage. It would also benefit you to contact prior customers to gauge their level of satisfaction with said contractor and contact the BBB “Better Business Bureau” to inquire about customer complaints and recent legal action.
Solar Financing Options in Salt Lake City
Solar power installation in your home or business can carry a steep price tag depending on the many factors specific to your property. Fortunately, there are a number of financial tools available to Salt Lake City residents considering solar panel or solar water heater installation. Many solar installers offer third-party ownership models that include leases and power purchase agreements. These programs allow you to pay a fixed monthly fee to access solar panels installed on your roof but owned and maintained by the solar developer. In addition, the list below provides additional financing options in your area.
Financing options offered by traditional lending institutions:
- Personal line of credit
- Home equity loan
- Home improvement loan
- Energy efficient — green — mortgages
Many solar contractors provide financing through private loan programs:
Solar Rebate and Incentive Programs in Salt Lake City
You may qualify for rebate and incentive programs in your area that can reduce the cost of solar power installation. Learn more by exploring the list below.:
- Solar Assisted Hot Water Heating Rebate offered by local utilities
- Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit offered by the state of Utah
- Personal Tax Credit offered by the federal government
In addition, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiencies “DSIRE” website where you can search for additional savings programs by state.