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 Phoenix, AZ
If you live in Phoenix, you enjoy an average of 299 sunny days a year. Why not make the most of all of that sunshine by integrating solar technology into your home? Harnessing the power of the sun can provide significant savings on your monthly utility bills (and potentially eliminate them altogether with time), while substantially reducing your family’s environmental footprint. Now is a great time to invest in solar, too as it has never been more affordable. As China and other countries have begun mass producing solar panels, the prices have plummeted. Prices have dropped 53% since 2010. Combine those savings with incentives offered at the federal and state level and your solar technology system can begin paying for itself in just a few years.
Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in Phoenix
The State of Arizona has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which mandates that its power companies acquire 15% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025. Of that, 30% must come from homes and businesses, motivating the utility companies to offer incentives to homeowners. Some of the incentives available to homeowners looking to adopt solar in Phoenix include:
- The Arizona’s Energy Equipment Property Tax Exemption: When you add a solar thermal electric or photovoltaic system to your home, your home’s value will most likely increase. This exemption ensures that your property taxes won’t increase as a result of this increase in assessed value. Additionally, in Arizona, solar equipment is exempt from sales tax.
- Net Metering: Net metering allows residential customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. That excess energy can be accessed by the homeowner as credits during periods when their solar power system does not meet 100% of their energy needs. Under Arizona’s net metering rules, 125% of a homeowner’s use can qualify for net metering. Arizona has one of the nation’s most generous net metering policies, too as excess power generation can carry forward over a one-year period until it’s reimbursed to the homeowner.
- Federal Tax Credit: If you install an Energy Star approved solar-power systems before the end of 2016, you can claim 30% of the cost as a tax credit for the year you installed it.
As a credit, you take the amount directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income. You can claim the credit for your primary residence, a vacation home, and for either an existing structure or new construction. Other than the cost of the system, there’s no limit to the dollar amount of the credit.
Work with a licensed solar installer to ensure that you maximize all of the rebates and incentives that are available to you.
Is Solar Right For Me? Common Questions.
What happens on cloudy days or at night?
On a cloudy day, typical solar panels can produce 10-25% of their rated capacity. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by the type of solar panel as some kinds of panels are better at receiving ambient light. Additionally, at night, the efficiency of your solar technology system will drop as there is no sunlight to convert to electricity and solar panels can’t generate power in darkness. When you’re looking at how solar power can help you save money on your utility bill though, you should consider how much sunshine you get over an entire year, not any particular day. In sunny Phoenix, for example, you’re more likely to generate more power than you need. Your utility company will keep track of that excess energy and issue you credits that you can use when your system isn’t working at full capacity.
Do I need to upgrade my roof before I can install solar panels?
Solar panels are so lightweight these days that you don’t really have to worry about them putting extra stress on the structure of your home. In fact, solar panels may provide an extra level of protection for your roof, limiting wear and tear damage from inclement weather, UV rays, and heat. You may even find that the areas of your home that are directly beneath the panels will remain cooler in summer and warmer in winter, as the panels add an extra level of insulation.
That said, the type of roof you have can have a big impact on installation costs. While it’s simple enough to install panels on an average asphalt shingle roof, tile and shake roofs will require more care to ensure that any attachment points penetrating the roof are completely and properly sealed. This extra time can add 10% to 25% additional cost to the installation job.
How much solar technology do I need to power my home?
You can determine how large of a system you need based on three factors: 1) the size of your usable roof or ground mount area; 2) the annual amount of electricity your home uses; and 3) your budget for this project. You may have the roof space to install a system that meet 75% of your electricity needs, but your budget may only allow for a system that meets 50% of your needs. Your solar installer will work with you to determine what works best in the allotted space and budget.