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 in Panels in Jackson, Mississippi
If you live in Jackson, Mississippi you know that energy costs are high. Residential electricity prices in Jackson average approximately $10.49 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh), with the average monthly residential electricity bill coming in around $120–the 12th highest costs in the U.S. at 14 percent greater than the national average. These high prices can really hit your pocketbook hard as the average Jackson resident’s energy consumption is approximately 1,193 kWh a month. Solar energy, one of the many energy-efficient upgrades for your home, is sweeping across the nation, hitting Jackson, and not a moment too soon.
Averaging 215 sunny days annually, residents of Jackson are prime candidates for cutting their home energy bill practically in half by harnessing energy and powering their homes with nature’s most powerful source of energy, the sun. Additionally, with the price of solar technology at an all time low and numerous federal and state incentives to adopt solar, now is a great time to make the switch to a more eco-friendly, budget-friendly power source.
How Does a Residential PV Solar System Work?
Typically, a residential solar power system involves installing solar panels on the roof of a home, though ground mounting is available, too. The panels convert sunlight into DC power, which is channeled into an inverter in your home which converts the DC power into AC current–used by appliances, lights, and anything plugged into an outlet. Residential solar panels generate electricity whenever sunlight is present, regardless of whether it is used at the time. The sunnier the sky, the more power that is generated. In terms of partly sunny days, Jackson experiences approximately 104 days a year, and though your solar panels aren’t as efficient in cloudy conditions as during bright, sunny days, their productivity is only nominally diminished–5 to 10 percent.
How is Solar Technology More Eco-Friendly?
To attest to the efficiency and savings of solar energy (economically and globally), an experiment was done at Jackson’s Northwest Rankin Middle School. Mississippi Solar installed solar arrays on two middle school portables. A website that monitors power data collected from the school revealed that the total energy generated by the school’s solar system generated 5.7 gigawatts (GW) of electricity since its construction last May 2015. That amount equates to carbon offset comparable to 116 newly planted trees, nine tons of unreleased carbon dioxide, and 507 barrels of unburnt oil.
Will Solar Technology in My Mississippi Home Provide Significant Savings?
Some may be put off by the initial price tag affixed to equipping your home and switching to a renewable resource such as solar energy, but the available savings and government incentives could not only save you on monthly home energy costs, but more so, help pay for some of the installation costs. For example, assume your next month’s utility bill for your 1500 square foot home comes to about $120. The following month, you decide to install a photovoltaic (PV) solar system to maximize the efficiency of energy and lower your costs. With your home now equipped with a PV installation, your home energy bill run less than $100 that month. That is approximately $250 in savings for the year plus government incentives.
What are The Financial Incentives to Adopt Energy-Efficiency Upgrades in Mississippi?
Working towards cleaner, more sustainable energy requires the financial resources to turn commitment into reality. The state of Mississippi offers a number of loan programs that support energy-efficiency upgrades and the use of renewable energy based fuels in the state, as well as a loan program to help communities meet the energy infrastructure needs of new and expanding industry. Mississippi solar incentives include generous rebates for solar electric and solar hot water systems. These can be combined with the 30% federal solar rebates (available through December 31, 2019) to make your solar panel installation approximately 50% less expensive to install. Other incentives available in Jackson include:
TVA Generation Partners: If you live in an area (most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia) where utilities are provided by one of the 91 participating power companies serviced by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), you may qualify for a partnership program where you can earn discounts on your power bill from renewable energy, or even make money if your renewable energy system produces more power than you consume. If you have a photovoltaic (PV) system with an alternating current output between 500 W and 200 kW, and your local power supplier participates in the program, the TVA will purchase 100 percent of the energy at $0.12 per kWh, in the form of credits on your power bill, and periodic payments for excess credits you earn.
Energy Investment Loan Program: This is a state loan program for photovoltaics (PV), solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, and solar thermal systems. The state loan program is available to commercial and industrial businesses as well as large residential projects that fall under applicable zoning and building laws normally in agricultural areas. It offers a low fixed interest rate of 3 percent below the prime rate on a seven-year repayment plan. You can borrow anywhere from $15,000 to $300,000. This program is supported by a revolving loan fund of $7 million which is provided by federal oil overcharge funds.
Is the State of Mississippi Supportive of Solar Innovation?
Well, you certainly don’t have to wait for the solar industry to make its way to Jackson. There are plenty of knowledgeable contractors who can install and take care of any maintenance issues on your solar technology system. Experts in the solar industry aren’t hard to come by because solar has made great leaps in accessibility to consumers. In fact, in the U.S., every three minutes a residential solar system is installed. This momentum will not only support the environment, but it will also help create next-generation industries with high-quality, good-paying jobs in Jackson.
That said, Mississippi does not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard mandating that the state generate a certain percentage of its energy from renewable resources. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any legislation supporting the switch to renewables though.
In 2010, HB 1701 established the Mississippi Clean Energy Initiative, which created financial incentives for companies that manufacture systems or components used to generate renewable energy. The initiative gave the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) the power to grant tax exemptions to those companies. Solar water heat, solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric and nuclear plant component manufacturers are all eligible for the exemption. In order to qualify, businesses must invest a minimum of $50 million and plan to create at least 250 new jobs. Companies that qualify are exempt from 100 percent of the state income, franchise and sales tax for 10 years.
Mississippi Code 57-39-39 authorizes the enactment of the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program. It was originally enacted in 1989 and was funded by the oil overcharge restitution fund from the U.S. Department of Energy. The program offers low-interest loans for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. If a project can demonstrate that it lowers a facility’s energy cost then it can receive a loan for $15,000 to $500,000 with a low 2 percent interest rate.
In 2013, Mississippi enacted PSC Rule 29, Energy Efficiency Programs and Standards that required electric and natural gas utilities serving more than 25,000 customers to file Quick Start Plans to improve energy efficiency through customer education programs, energy audits and evaluations, incentives on high-efficiency appliances, retrofitting homes, and methods for small businesses and industrial facilities to optimize energy efficiency. The bill encourages immediate implementation of energy efficiency plans and the creation of long-term energy programs. These programs include customer education, energy audits and evaluations, incentives for energy efficient technology and commercial/industrial incentives.