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 Panel Buying Guide for Boise, ID
Solar technology is sweeping the nation with an average of one new installation every three minutes. The rising popularity of this technology for residential use, coupled with a spike in trained solar installers, and numerous financial incentives offered at the federal and state level, make now a great time to invest in solar. With over 206 sunny days a year Boise is a great location for solar, too. Work with a licensed solar installer to determine what size system is best for you based on your average energy usage and your budget. You could cut your energy bills in half each month while significantly reducing your family’s environmental footprint.
Will My Solar Panels Work in the Rain and Snow?
Boise gets very little rain—12 inches a year compared to the national average of 37 inches. Snowfall is also light compared to the rest of the country, just 20 inches of snowfall a year. In that respect, snow and rain should not significantly decrease the effectiveness of your solar panels. Even cloudy days will only decrease your system’s capacity by 5-10%. Additionally, light rain and snow may even help clean your panels (typically installed at a slant), making your system more effective.
Are there Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in Boise?
Renewable Energy Tax Deduction: Residential taxpayers are granted an income-tax deduction, which is designed to partially cover the cost of geothermal, wind, solar, and biomass energy systems that produce electricity. This program entails a 40% income tax deduction for the year that the system is installed. Another 20% income tax deduction is granted for the subsequent 3 years after the installation year. The deduction for any single year is capped at $5,000 and $20,000 total.
Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Tax Refund: Idaho has established a sales tax incentive for qualifying systems that produce electricity by using solar panels, wind turbine, geothermal and other renewable energy systems. Systems must have the capability of producing at least 25 kW of power.
Low Interest Energy Loan Program: The Idaho Office of Energy Resources manages this low-interest program for homeowners that install renewable energy technologies and energy conservation equipment. In terms of solar, qualifying systems include: solar water heat, solar space heaters, and solar panel (PV). The standard interest rate is set at 4% with a 5-year payback period. Loans are available to homeowners from $1,000-$15,000. There are also additional loans available just for PV systems that max out at $15,000.
Green Tag Purchase-Northwest Solar Cooperative: The Northwest Solar Cooperative (NWSC) will buy “Green Tags” (renewable energy certificates that guarantee energy conversion into the grid), obtained from grid-connected solar panel PV installations at a rate of $0.02/kWh to $0.10/kWh. Incentive amounts are dependent upon the size and generation of the system. The first 50 kW of a system are immediately approved. For systems 50 kW and larger, NWSC will review projects on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. Customers interested in the program must sign a contract with NWSC, which stipulates the following: 1) subscribers must agree to distribute their Green Tags, report their meter readings to NWSC annually, and submit system complications and/or failures; and 2) payment for Green Tag production will be made by March 31 of the subsequent year.
Federal Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Residential): Public utilities provide residential purchasers with an exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies. The overall worth of an installation or renewable utility regardless of the energy conservation capacity, will be excluded from the homeowner’s gross income. Customers who participate in a utility company’s energy conservation program may be given a reduced rate of electricity utilized or a nonrefundable credit of the price of electricity on the customer’s monthly electric bill.
Federal Energy Tax Credit: Individual taxpayers can receive a 30% tax credit for the total expenses of their solar energy system. This includes installation of residential solar panel systems, solar thermal systems, fuel cells, and labor expenses. Solar electric systems and solar thermal heaters have no limit to the incentive. If there is excess federal tax credit, it may be carried over to the subsequent taxable year. This credit is available through December 31, 2019. After that time, the credit will still be available, but the amount decreases with each subsequent year.
Will Adding Solar Energy to My Boise Home Increase My Property Taxes?
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every $1 solar energy saves you in energy costs, you can expect to add $20 to your home value. Additionally, research has shown that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with energy efficient features, and that this is especially true as more millennials enter the housing market. So, that’s great if you’re looking to sell your home, but it may cause a slight increase in your home value and hence your property taxes. While most states have a property tax exemption for any increase in value attributed to a solar technology system, Idaho does not. Idaho currently has a property tax exemption for wind and geothermal energy and those exemptions are only available for companies, not residential properties.