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 Panels in Wilmington, DE
Delaware has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that mandates 25% of its energy come from renewable resources by 2025. Government support, combined with 199 sunny days annually, and generous incentives for homeowners to adopt solar, make Wilmington a great place to invest in residential solar. Delaware was recently ranked 11th in the nation for solar capacity per person–which means you certainly don’t have to worry about finding a knowledgeable solar installer. If you’re interested in decreasing your monthly energy bills by up to 50%, while significantly decreasing your family’s carbon footprint and improving your local environment, solar power may be the perfect option for you.
Will My Solar Panels Work on Overcast Days?
Yes. With an average of 18 inches of snowfall a year, you don’t have to worry much about snow or even rain decreasing the effectiveness of your solar panels. When snowfall is light, as it typically is in Wilmington, it should easily slide off because your solar panels are slick and slanted. The same goes for rain, as you don’t have to worry about water pooling. Light snowfall and rain might actually make your panels more effective, too as it can clean them so that they can better absorb UV rays.
Additionally, a dusting of bright, white, snow can attract more sunlight than usual, increasing power generated. In the event of a heavy snowfall that completely covers your panels, your system will stop working. In this case, you can either wait for the weather to warm up and the snow to melt, or use a roof rake to remove the excess snow. If you choose the latter option, you may want to hire a professional as it is dangerous to be on your roof when the weather is slick. Finally, even if your power generation is nominally impacted by snow or cloudy days, the state of Delaware utilizes net metering, so you’ll have plenty of credits from those 199 sunny days to cover you for the days when your system isn’t working at full capacity.
Are There Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in Wilmington, Delaware?
Yes. If you invest in a solar photovoltaic (PV) system or a solar thermal system, you are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. This credit is available through December 31, 2019. Also, if your credit exceeds your tax liability for the year that you have your system installed, you can carry it over for one tax year. Additional incentives include:
Net Metering: Net metering allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of only when it is generated. This is particularly important with solar power, which can fluctuate as it relates to consistently generating power. Monthly net metering allows consumers to use solar power generated during the day at night, in the midst of a heavy snowstorm, or during a series of rainy, cloudy days when your panels may not be operating at maximum capacity. Annual net metering rolls over a net kilowatt credit to the following month, allowing solar power that was generated in July to be used in December, for example.
In Delaware, net metering is available to any customer that generates electricity using solar power. The maximum capacity of a net-metered system is 25 kilowatts (kW) for residential customers. customers of Delaware Electric Co-Op, Inc.(DEC) and municipal utilities. Systems must be intended primarily to offset all or part of a customer’s electricity requirements. There are some limitations though, utilities are authorized to disallow additional net-metered energy systems if the aggregate capacity of all net-metered systems exceeds 5% of the capacity necessary to meet the electric utility’s aggregate customer monthly peak demand for a particular calendar year.
DEC Renewable Resource Fund: The Renewable Resource Program request for grant funding deadline for the year 2015 ended on January 30, 2015. Future announcements regarding 2016 program funding will be made available on the DGEP program website. Due to a large number of applicants the program currently has a wait list of 3 years.
Can My Homeowners’ Association Restrict Solar Installations in Wilmington?
In July 2009 Delaware enacted legislation (SS 1 for S.B. 49) prohibiting private covenants (i.e., homeowner’s association rules) restricting the use of solar energy systems on residential rooftops. The law specifically prohibits any “covenant, restriction, or condition contained in a deed, contract or other legal instrument which affects the transfer, sale or any other interest in real property that prohibits or unreasonably restricts the owner of the property from using a roof mounted system for obtaining solar energy on his or her property”. Although the wording of the legislation refers generally to “solar energy”, the title of the bill references only photovoltaic (PV) systems as eligible for these protections.
Only single-family residential structures which are not considered common property are eligible for these protections. This includes single-family townhouses with at least two unattached sides and for which roof maintenance is the responsibility of the owner and not the association. The law originally only applied to roof-mounted systems, but SB 316 of July 2010 amended the law to include ground-mounted systems on residential property of at least a half-acre. The law allows for some reasonable restrictions on ground-mounted systems including requirements for fencing, landscaping, or other means of shielding the sight of systems from adjacent streets.
That said, the law does not affect any covenants in existence prior to January 1, 2010, although it does allow existing restrictions to be amended with a two-thirds vote of property owners. The law does not apply to zoning restrictions or similar limitations adopted by local governments. The law also does not amend, nullify, or affect the enforceability of any conservation easement or historic preservation covenant, nor does it apply to any restrictions on land owned by a maintenance corporation or homeowner’s association.