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 Power in Delaware
Welcome to the future of energy in Delaware, first state residents. Egged on by state support and funding, green power is growing here from a “small wonder” to a large, viable industry saving homeowners thousands of dollars in energy expenses.
Incentives here vary somewhat depending upon your home’s location within the state, as well as your utility provider. To get the most out of your new system, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of renewable residential energy in Delaware to make sure you’re maximizing your incentives. The guide below will walk you through installing solar power in your home, which will get you started with your system as soon as possible.
Solar Productivity in Delaware
Delaware falls somewhere in the median range in terms of solar productivity. With a UV index level of 0.84, the area receives an average 4 to 6 solar hours per day, depending on the time of year. The University of Delaware estimates that typical residential arrays produce about 1100 to 1300 kWhrs of energy annually for every 1 kW of capacity.
Solar Popularity in Delaware
Solar isn’t as popular amongst Delawareans as in some other states; however, like in most places, alternative energy production is catching on—according to industry estimates, residents of the first state put in about 10 megawatts of solar power capacity in 2015 alone, raising the total installed capacity of the state to about 70 megawatts. That’s about a 17 percent increase, which is huge. Much of this growth is thanks to a generous incentive program and a supportive stance from the state government, which has helped solar energy bloom throughout Delaware.
Delaware Average Residential Electricity Use and Cost
If you’re like most Delaware homes, you tend to use slightly more than the national average energy consumption levels. The national per capita usage is 4,566 kilowatt hours per person; in Delaware, that average is 5,101 kilowatt hours. Meanwhile, residents here also pay more per kWh than the rest of the US—at 13.7 cents per kWh, the state ranks 40th in energy expenses. Combined with the state’s incentive programs, that means there’s a lot of room for residents here to start saving money by installing their own solar array.
Installing Solar in Delaware
Delaware may be small, but within its 2,500-some-odd square miles, quite a few solar installers reside. Some 40 or so installation companies operate here, most of them located in the northern part of the state, near Wilmington. Large PPA providers also operate here, like SolarCity and Sungevity, offering a leasing alternative for those homeowners who cannot or do not want to purchase their systems outright.
Delaware State Solar Support
Delawareans may pay dearly for electricity, but at least the government here has been slowly implementing some renewable legislature to help offset some of those costs. The state’s renewable standards portfolio requires utility and power plants to purchase at least 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2026. Any suppliers who do not comply are charged $25 per megawatt, a fee that goes into the state’s green energy fund, which it uses to pay for energy incentives for residents and power providers. A small charge, approximately $0.000356 per kilowatt hour, is applied to utility bills to make up the remainder of the $2.6 million that the state provides to pay for residential and public solar installations.
That kind of incentivizing power sets the tone for residents hoping to switch to solar power in their homes. Not only does the state offer incentives, however, it also protects residents’ rights to install a solar system on their home by prohibiting local statutes or homeowner rules that prevent arrays in a particular neighborhood or municipality. That ensures the future of solar power throughout the area.
Delaware State Solar Incentives
Delaware’s green energy fund is distributed through individual municipalities and utility providers. Each area has their own incentive limits and requirements; however, there are a few programs and offerings that are standardized throughout the state. These include the following:
- Net Metering: Like almost all US states, the Delaware government has enacted a net metering program that credits solar-powered residents for energy they generate using their own solar arrays. There is a 25 kW system capacity size limit; however, excess credits generated can be rolled over infinitely on a customer’s utility bill. The generated electricity can also be aggregated across multiple meters—for instance, in a neighborhood co-op situation or for a homeowner with several properties.
- Green for Green Home Rebate: New homes that meet minimum requirements for various certification programs, including LEED and ENERGY STAR, as well as those provided by National Green Building System and National Association of Home Builders Research Center, are eligible for up to $4,500 in rebates. Homes must be built by certified builders in order to qualify. Visit the program’s page for more details.
- SREC Purchase Program: Systems sized 50 kW or less are eligible to sell their first 20 years of solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) to bidders for an upfront payment of $0.45 per watt, or $450 per kW. More information about that program can be found at the state’s Green Grant Program page.
In addition to these state incentives, all Delaware households with solar power installed are eligible for the federal government’s Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which pays back 30 percent of cost of a new system, as long as the capacity will generate at least half of the home’s energy. To apply for the incentive, fill out form form 5965 along with your income taxes.
Local Delaware Solar Incentives
Many of Delaware’s incentives differ based on the specific area of the home and its utility provider. These are a few of the more popular programs.
- Delmarva Power Green Energy Program Incentives: Residents who are customers of Delmarva Power are eligible for solar PV arrays and solar water heaters. Owned systems get back $0.55 per watt for the first 5 kW and $0.20 per watt up to 50 kW. Their incentive also covers residents who are leasing their systems via a power purchasing agreement—leased systems are eligible for up to $1,000 flat rate return. To meet the incentive standards, however, the system must be warranted for at least five years, and meet the state’s manufacturing standards.
- City of Dover Green Energy Program Incentives: Dover’s incentives offer residents of the city one dollar per kilowatt hour saved for solar water heating systems only, as long as the water heater is rated at least 300 OG using the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation’s standards. You can find out more about the SRCC’s rating system here. There is a $2,500 limit.
- City of Newark Green Energy Program Incentives: Newark will pay up to a third of residential PV system costs, with the maximum incentive amount equalling $7,500. They will also return 50 percent of installation and system costs for hot water heater, with a limit of $3,000.
- City of Mildred Green Energy Program Incentives: While Mildred does not pay residents for PV installations, homeowners who choose to install solar hot water heating systems can earn up to $3,000 or 50 percent of their system installation costs, whichever is less.