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 Indianapolis, Indiana
With 191 sunny days a year, Indianapolis is an ideal location for a residential solar power system. Solar is a growing industry in Indiana. Just last year, 24 MW of solar electric capacity was installed throughout the state, making Indiana 18th in the nation for installed solar capacity. With a total of 136 MW of solar capacity, Indiana is currently equipped to power 14,000 homes and there’s no reason your home shouldn’t be next. Work with a licensed solar installer to determine what size system you need based on your average energy use and your budget. Financial incentives available at the federal and state level can help you get your solar power system up and running in no time–cutting your monthly energy bills in half, while protecting your local environment by using cleaner energy.
Will My Solar Panels Stand Up to Severe Weather in Indianapolis?
While Indianapolis does get more slightly more rain than the national average, 41 inches annually compared to 37 inches nationally, this precipitation shouldn’t diminish the effectiveness of your solar panels. In fact, since solar panels are typically installed at a slant, the additional rainfall will most likely ensure that your panels stay clean and work better as they are more effective at absorbing the sun’s rays. Indianapolis does receive about 17 inches of snow, but as long as snowfall is light, your system shouldn’t be impacted. The bright white snow on the ground and your roof might actually make your system work better as it reflects UV rays. In the event that snowfall completely covers your panels, your system will stop working. You’ll want to have a backup–whether it be your utility company that you traditionally get energy from, batteries, or a generator. Use a roof rake to clear snow off of panels if it is taking too long to melt and keeping your system out of commission. Use caution and consider hiring a professional when working on your roof during slick conditions.
Are There Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar in Indianapolis?
Indianapolis has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), enacted in 2011, that mandates that 10 percent of the state’s energy is generated by renewable energy sources by 2025. When compared to other states’ RPS, it’s hardly ambitious, and doesn’t really accomplish the goal of encouraging local municipalities to create rebates and incentives to encourage utility customers to adopt solar. That said, if you live in Indianapolis there are still a fair amount of federal and state level incentives that you can take advantage of to decrease the cost of your solar power system. To ensure you get your system at the best price possible, work with one of Indianapolis’ many licensed solar installers–there are currently 72 solar companies throughout Indiana– to take advantage of all available incentives including:
Solar Powered Roof Vents/Fans Deduction: The State of Indiana offers a tax deduction for the purchase and installation of solar powered roof vents or fans. The amount of the deduction is equivalent to the lesser of either 50% of the installed cost or $1,000. For more information, please see Indiana Department of Revenue.
Solar Property Tax Deduction: Indiana offers a state property tax deduction for the installation of solar technologies. Deductions work by reducing the amount of assessed value a taxpayer pays on a given parcel of property–especially important as adding solar to your home can increase its value. You must complete your application for a property tax deduction no later than December 31 annually. Taxpayers do not need to reapply for deductions annually. Reapplication should only occur if the property is sold, the title is changed, or the home is refinanced.
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit: If you install an Energy Star-approved solar power systems before the end of 2019, you can claim 30 percent of the cost as a tax credit for the year you installed it. After December 31, 2019 the credit will still be available, it just diminishes with each passing year. As a credit, you take the amount directly off your tax payment. If the credit exceeds your tax liability, you can carry it over into the next tax year. To claim the credit, complete IRS Form 5695 as part of your tax return. Calculate the credit and then enter the result on your 1040.
You can claim the credit for your primary residence, a vacation home, and for either an existing structure or new construction. There is no dollar limit to the credit for solar technology. Unfortunately, you can’t claim a credit for installing solar at any rental properties you own unless you also live in the dwelling for part of the year, and use it as a rental when you’re away. You’ll have to reduce the credit for a vacation home or rental to reflect the time you’re not there. If you live there for three months a year, for instance, you can only claim 25 percent of the credit: If the system cost $10,000, then the 30 percent credit would be $3,000. You could claim a quarter of that, or $750.