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 City Buying Guide for Augusta, Georgia
This Buying Guide will help fill in the blanks of what steps are necessary for solar installation. It will also provide information on tax credits and incentives, how solar works, and what steps you, as a home or business owner, will need to bring your solar project to a successful finish.
Solar Contractors in Augusta
Hire a quality contractor and verify the contractor’s valid state license. To do this, input the contractor’s name, license type, and license number in the Secretary of State’s Professional Licensing website. Also know that permits are only issued to properly licensed contractor’s according to the laws of the State of Georgia as well as Augusta-Richmond County ordinances.
Solar Permits in Augusta
For help with the type of permit needed, contact the City of Augusta License and Inspection Department Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm. The office is at 535 Telfair Street. You can also call (706) 821-2300 for information about fees and how to apply. An electrical, plumbing, or mechanical permit is required before any work can begin, and the installation will also be required to pass an inspection.
Augusta’s Climate for Solar Power
Augusta’s climate is inviting with 222 sun-filled days each year with high temperatures around 92 degrees. Winter is reasonable with low temperatures in January averaging around 34 degrees. Minimal snowfall compared to the U.S. average of 25 inches each year and healthy rainfall activity 107 days of the year averaging 44 inches, total, makes for a diverse climate. The city does fall below average when it comes to humidity and the comfort index. The U.S. average comfort index is 44 out of 100. Augusta rates 30 out of 100 meaning humidity is higher than other cities.
Types of Solar Power for Augusta
Your contractor will be able to tell you which solar product will work for your particular property. For homes or businesses that want to convert to solar paneling, the roof must be capable of holding the weight, there must be enough room for the number of panels needed to power the property, the panels must be unobstructed, and each must have access to sunlight for the majority of the day.
Ground-mounted solar paneling is an option for homes where the roof design is not compatible with solar paneling or that is not strong enough to hold them. The same requirements apply regarding enough room, no obstructions, and access to the sunlight. Your choices for solar paneling include grid-tie, off grid and grid tie and battery backup.
For solar water heaters, the roof is a factor if you choose the system requiring a rooftop storage tank. Choices in solar water heaters include active or passive systems which include direct, indirect, integral or thermosyphon systems. The climate plays a role in the selection of solar water heaters.
Information on Rebates, Tax Credits and Incentives in Augusta
- Clean Energy Authority
- Energy Star
- Rural Energy for America Program
- DSIRE – Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
Preparing Your Augusta Home for Solar
Before going to the expense of solar installation, it’s a good idea to take care of any problems around the home such as cracks, crevices, old weather-stripping or holes. Seal any openings with caulk to maintain the energy efficiency of your home. Replace worn out weather-stripping and check that the threshold at each door does not allow air to seep in or out.
Your property’s roof will also need to be inspected in order to determine if it can sustain the weight of solar panels or a solar water storage tank. This needs to be checked prior to installation in the event the roof is not designed to hold these products or is not structurally up to maintaining the weight.
Benefits of Solar Power in Augusta
- Your return on investment (ROI) is a big factor in going solar. With solar power, the return is continuous. If you paid cash for a solar paneling system, the return begins from day one as your utility bill will significantly decrease.
- If you financed the system, calculate the amount saved on your first utility bill then multiply that times the 20 to 30-year lifespan of the system. This will give you an idea of how much ROI you’ll receive overall. Once you deduct the initial cost of the system minus incentives and tax credits, you’ll still see a positive savings amount. In a nutshell, a solar paneling system more than pays for itself.
- With a solar panel system, once it’s connected to the grid you’ll receive monthly credit for the excess power your system generates and routes back to the main grid. This is yet another money saver thanks to solar power.
- Solar products are eligible for many rebates, tax credits and incentives that lower the initial cost.
- A solar power system makes you independent. You no longer have to rely on the utility company to provide power to your home or business.
- Once installed, the value to your property increases.
- A solar system lessens the impact of gas emissions and depletion of natural resources.
As you can see, there are a few steps necessary to convert to solar power. With the expert help of your contractor, you’ll be prepared for selecting the best solar product for your property. Follow the tips in this guide and the recommendations of your contractor to get the system that will serve you the best in terms of cost, energy efficiency, and return on investment.