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.
Buying Solar Panels in Wichita, Kansas
Wichita enjoys over 200 days of sunshine each year! This makes Kansas one of the top states in the country for solar energy and other renewable energy sources. Wichita, KS is a growing market for renewable resources, especially solar energy. The technology used to install and create solar panels is improving constantly, which means prices to install solar panels on your home are decreasing steadily. Aside from decreasing your carbon footprint, solar power in Kansas can get you federal tax credits, property tax exemptions and potentially lower your energy bill each month. Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Read on to learn more about solar power in Kansas.
Solar Tax Incentives in Wichita
For some residents, the financial aspect can be one of the first things to come to mind when discussing benefits of solar energy. That is one of the reason’s the government implemented a federal Tax Credit of 30%. The credit amount can be rolled over to the next year’s tax return if the credit is more than what you would be taxed at that time. You won’t get money back from the IRS, but it will count towards the next year’s return. For Wichita, KS homeowners, you can also receive a property tax exemption if you install renewable energy technology– like solar panels– on your home.
Installing solar panels is a financial commitment, but is not only available to the very wealthy. Tax incentives such as the federal tax credit, and property tax exemption available to Kansas homeowners, are designed to get more people using renewable resources to power their homes and their cities. Solar panels help ease some of the strain on the power grid during On-Peak hours, and during periods of high energy use. These are typically during times of extreme weather, and in the evenings when most people are home.
Where to Install Solar Panels in Kansas
When deciding where to install solar panels, the most important aspect is to make sure they receive as much direct sunlight as possible, for as long as possible. For this reason, your south-facing roof is generally the best place to install these panels. This is because that area receives the most sunlight all year round. This will be especially important during winter months, when the sun’s trajectory changes. If you have the option to install a tracking system under your panels, this can help maximize the amount of sunlight your panels receive, as it will follow the sun through the sky. Be aware of any trees or tall buildings that will interfere with the sun’s ability to directly reach the solar panels.
Solar panels are not limited to the roof on your home. If you have a field on your property, or a storage shed with a sturdy roof, you can install solar panels. Different areas may generate more energy, depending on the sun’s path.
How Will Wichita’s Weather Affect Solar Panels?
Kansas enjoys ample sunshine, which is why it ranks so high for solar initiatives. Its temperate climate means that Kansas residents enjoy all four distinct seasons- they experience everything from very hot summers to mild winters, with the occasional blizzard thrown in.
What happens on those few cloudy or rainy days in Kansas? Solar panels are still able to generate power even when it’s cloudy! It’s a common misconception that solar energy is only generated when sunlight is strong and directly on the panels. It is true that direct sunlight generates the maximum amount of energy, however it doesn’t have to be hot for that to happen. Sunlight is also absorbed through the clouds, which means that your solar panels are still working on overcast days. However, they are not working at full capacity– typically they generate only 10%-25% of what they normally would on a sunny day.
How is Solar Power Measured?
Kansas homeowners with solar panels receive two meters, which resemble the meters you’ve seen on the side of your home: one for the amount of power their solar panels generate, and another for the energy they use from one of the state’s investor owned utilities: Westar Energy, Kansas City Power & Light, and Empire District. That practice is what is called net metering. The benefit of net metering is if homeowners produce more energy than they consume in one billing period, the net excess generated carries forward for the next billing cycle at the full retail rate.
Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) regulates rates and practices such as net metering for public utilities. Renewable energy sources and related utilities fall under the KCC’s umbrella. Their main office is located at:
1500 SW Arrowhead Road
Topeka, KS 66604-4027
Their energy division can be contacted by phone at (785) 217-3170 or fax at (785) 271-3268. Reach out to the KCC if you have any questions regarding energy regulation or net metering.