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 Kansas
There’s no place like home, indeed! With Kansas’ sunny productive skies and a state government offering a generous incentives, homeowners installing solar power in Kansas stand to save boatloads on system costs and electricity.
While solar power is still a growing industry in Kansas, as with the rest of the US, it’s becoming more and more affordable, meaning that you can expect to see more installations coming to your area soon. However, the more systems are installed, the fewer incentives the government will have for providing cost-mitigating rebates. This is especially true in Kansas, where property tax exemption restrictions will be implemented at the end of 2016, limiting savings for homeowners who install after that. So, in short, time is of the essence. Here’s what you need to get solar installed in your home today.
Solar Productivity in Kansas
Instead of being known for its fearsome tornadoes, Kansas weather might just as well be remembered for its long days of uninterrupted sunlight—with an average UV index of 0.95, the Sunflower state ranks in the upper fifth of states in the Union when it comes to solar productivity. High solar radiation in the south western portion of the state account for these numbers. Residents in Dodge City, for instance, can expect to see slightly higher energy yields from their solar equipment than those in say, Topeka, where the average kilowatt hours per day may be several hours lower than in the sunny plains areas.
Kansas Solar Popularity
Despite high productivity forecasts, Kansas has yet to realize the full potential of its solar industry. The state ranks about 43rd in the nation for solar installations, according to industry estimates, but like most US states, solar energy is growing. In 2015, the state saw a massive 84 percent growth in total solar capacity, a marked increase indeed. That means that if you’re interested in installing solar power in your Kansas home, there’s no time like the present. Residents who opt for installations now will reap the benefits of early adoption, taking advantage of incentives that may not exist as solar becomes more ubiquitous.
Average Kansas Residential Electricity Use and Cost
Lucky you, Kansas residents—you probably pay a little bit less for energy than your neighbors in the rest of the US. In fact, Kansas households only pay about 10.5 cents per kilowatt, on average, compared to around the national average of around 12 cents. Meanwhile households in this state consume much lower energy than the United States as a whole, less than 40,000 kilowatt hours total. Of course, any savings on electricity can help, no matter how low your electricity bills are, and with electricity costs set to rise overall, selecting solar is a smart idea.
Installing Solar in Kansas
If you want to install solar power in Kansas, you have a handful of installers to choose from—most of them based in the northeastern part of the state. That means you won’t have to browse through hundreds of providers to pick your installer—but it also means that you may have to hire a company that’s a little less than local, especially if you live in the south or east.
Kansas State Solar Support
The Kansas state government has enacted progressive legislation, called a renewables portfolio standard, that sets forth guidelines for how much power needs to be generated from clean energy sources. In the Sunflower State’s case, by 2020 the government’s goal is to generate 20 percent of their energy from renewables. Initially created as a mandatory standard, in 2015 the state softened their stance on the portfolio, changing it to be a voluntary goal and removing penalties placed on utilities for noncompliance.
While state support may not always be clearly in favor of renewable technology, the handful of incentives that have been enacted demonstrate that it’s at least a growing industry in the state, as Kansas’s rebate and electricity purchasing programs offer residents more flexibility than your standard run-of-the-mill net metering laws. Meanwhile, the state has also passed interconnection standards and solar easements that protect homeowner installing PV systems in their homes, preventing local jurisdictions from creating prohibit legislations and providing guidelines for electricians installing panels on residents’ homes.
Kansas State Solar Incentives
Kansas may not be the most populous state, but when it comes to solar incentives, the government here has some of the most flexible offerings in the country. Solar households in the state benefit not only from standard incentives, like net metering, but also tax exemptions and a sell-back program that allows them to sell energy back to local utilities at competitive prices.
Property Tax Exemption: Solar equipment tends to boost property values, which can be a blessing and a curse for homeowners, especially if you’ve just put down a hefty payment for a new array. Thankfully, the law in Kansas exempts you from paying any extra taxes associated with your solar power equipment. In fact, if you hurry, and purchase your system before the end of 2016, you can secure a lifetime exemption. However, for those arrays purchased after December 31, 2016, the limit on the exemption is 10 years—which is still a fairly generous incentive.
Net Metering: Like most of its neighboring states, Kansas offers an incentive known as net metering, where energy generated and returned to the grid by solar residents is metered against their usage on their electricity bills. There is a 15 kilowatt capacity cap for residential equipment.
Parallel Generation: The Kansas state government also offers solar residents an alternative to net metering, whereby they may sell excess electricity exported onto the grid at 150 percent of the utility’s monthly system average cost of energy per kilowatt hour. In exchange, the utility sells the solar household electricity it pulls off the grid at retail rate. This alternative purchase system is unique to Kansas and makes solar power generation more flexible than other areas.
Additionally, Kansas homeowners that opt to install solar arrays may be eligible for a rebate with the federal government, as well—up to 30 percent of system costs could be returned to you on your income taxes, in fact. To see if you qualify for the national Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, complete IRS form 5695.
Kansas Local Solar Incentives and Programs
Almost all Kansas’s programs are offered at the state level, and managed through local utilities. To understand the specifics of your area’s offerings, contact your local utility provider.