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 Manchester, NH
If you live in Manchester, NH you know that energy prices are high. New Hampshire is tied for the fourth highest energy costs in the country, with residents paying an average of 20 cents per kWh of electricity compared to the national average of 13 cents per kWh. Unfortunately, you can only expect prices to rise as fossil fuel supplies diminish and more restrictions are placed on carbon dioxide emissions to try to help curb global warming.
With 195 sunny days a year, an emerging solar market, and a statewide Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that provides tremendous incentives for legislators and utilities to make adopting solar simple and budget friendly, why not make the switch to a cleaner, cheaper energy source now?
Can Solar Power Stand Up to Tough New England Winters?
While Manchester does experience an average of 61 inches of snowfall annually–significantly more than the national average of 25 inches–your solar power system can still offer you reliable power. Because solar panels are installed at a slant, as snow melts off the panels, it will help clean them, enabling more of the sun’s rays to be absorbed. Additionally, a covering of bright, white snow on your roof and the surrounding area will do a great job of reflecting the sun’s rays, making it possible for your system to operate at an even higher than normal capacity.
That said, if your panels are covered with heavy snow for a long time, they will stop working. You’ll want to use a roof rake, or hire a professional as working on your roof during slick conditions can be dangerous, to remove excess snow and get your system working at full capacity again. With 73 solar companies operating in New Hampshire and employing 700 people, you’ll have plenty of resources to help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise with your solar power system during the winter.
What Financial Incentives Are Available for Adopting Residential Solar?
New Hampshire’s RPS requires 24.8% of the state’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2025. The state currently has 22MW of solar electric capacity making New Hampshire 31st in the country for installed solar capacity. This is enough solar capacity to power 3,500 homes. In 2015, $47 million was invested in solar installations–a 341% increase over the previous year and is expected to grow again this year.
There is a 30% federal tax credit available to New Hampshire residents who install solar. This credit is applied toward any federal tax liability you may have in the year that your install a solar power system. If the credit exceeds your federal tax liability, you can carry it over for one year. There is no dollar amount cap on this credit–aside from the total cost of your solar installation. The credit is available through December 31, 2019. After 2019, the credit will still exist, but it will decrease incrementally with each passing year. Other incentives offered by the state of New Hampshire include:
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption: Adding a solar power system to your home will almost definitely increase the value of your home. Generally, for every $1 you experience in energy savings, you can expect your home value to increase by $20. In some states, this could result in an increase in your annual property tax bill. Fortunately,
New Hampshire allows cities and towns to exempt renewable energy installations from local property taxes. The property tax exemption excludes the value of the solar energy system from being included in the value of the property when it comes to taxation at the state level.
New Hampshire Net Metering: In New Hampshire, all utilities are required to participate in net metering, allowing homeowners with residential solar systems to essentially “bank” any excess energy they produce for times when there system may not be operating at peak capacity or when their energy usage is higher than usual. Homeowners and system owners can net meter renewable energy systems up to 100 kW in size. The state requires that net excess generation is credited toward future bills, but it does not establish the rate at which excess generation is compensated. However, utilities can establish what payment incentives they will offer their customers for net excess generation. Each utility’s aggregate limit is determined by calculating the utility’s share of the state’s overall capacity and the state’s aggregate solar capacity limit of 50 megawatts. Net excess generation is carried over from one bill to the next until the end of the year, when the utility customer can elect to receive payment for the net excess generation.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: PACE financing typically allows property owners to borrow money from a local government to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. New Hampshire has authorized local governments to establish such programs, however all financing is provided by private entities rather than the local government itself.