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 City Buying Guide for Albuquerque
If you are considering the purchase of a solar panel system for your Albuquerque, New Mexico home or business, this solar buying guide will help you get started. Many considerations must be made before beginning a solar panel installation project. Assessing your property’s viability for solar power, hiring a contractor and obtaining a permit are just a few of the initial steps necessary to get your project off the ground. The information below will cover these steps as well as provide some additional financing information and incentive programs in the Albuquerque area that may reduce the costs of a solar panel installation.
Solar Panel Installation Considerations in Albuquerque
The first order of business is to determine if your property is suitable for solar panel installation. Since solar arrays require direct access to the sun and most properties do not have the available land space necessary for the solar arrays, you can understand why most systems are located on rooftops. Often the panels are set at 30 to 45-degree angles facing south in areas on rooftops not affected by shading from trees or nearby structures. When land space is not a concern, ground mounts and active solar panel trackers are available for solar arrays.
Many municipalities require an inspection to determine if your roof’s structural integrity will support the weight of a solar array system. In addition, you should also take into consideration the overall condition of your roof before installing the panels. It would not make much sense to install solar panels—which have a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years—on a roof you must replace in five.
Hire an Albuquerque Solar Contractor
Many property owners would struggle with solar panel installation without the necessary training, experience and knowledge required for the project. A solar contractor will guide you through the entire process including sizing, designing, installing and recommending a system suitable for your property and climate. In addition, an experienced solar installer will oversee the interconnection phase of the project when your new solar panel system is connected to the main power grid.
It would be wise to do your homework to ensure the person or company you hire has the appropriate license, certification and insurance. Solar installations require electrical work so you want an expert in this area as well as installing solar products. After receiving at two estimates from competing contractors, use their insurance information and license numbers to do your own background checks. First, visit the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department website where you can use access their contractor license verification services. In addition, you can verify insurance coverage by contacting the applicable insurance company. Finish your investigative work by contacting the BBB “Better Business Bureau” to search for customer complaints or recent legal actions.
Solar Permits in Albuquerque
Installing a solar array in Albuquerque, New Mexico will require an electrical and/or mechanical building permit. Property owners and contractors can apply for the permit in person at the permit desk of the City of Albuquerque Planning and Development, 600 Second NW, Albuquerque NM 87102. Online forms and applications are available by clicking here. For more information visit the City of Albuquerque Planning and Development website or call (505) 924-3964.
Use Online Calculators to Estimate Solar Panel Costs in Albuquerque
Online Calculators are available that can give you a general idea of the costs associated with solar panel installation. However, certain specifics of your property—condition of roof, structural concerns and square footage—will play a major role in the final costs of the project.
- gogreensolar — size a solar array for your home with this easy to use solar system calculator
- Solar Estimate — will compute the size and estimated costs associated with solar installation in your home or building
- freecleansolar — a free and easy to use calculator that allows you to estimate the size and cost of a solar panel array based on your energy usage
Albuquerque Solar Rebate and Incentive Programs Available
Installing a solar panel system in your home or business can be expensive. Local, state and federal programs are available designed to promote solar energy by reducing the upfront costs. Many of these programs are time sensitive and may expire soon.
- New Mexico Solar Market Development Tax Credit or Solar Tax Credit is set to expire by August 2016. Click here to access an online application.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provide tax credits for 30-percent of the cost with no cap through 2016. Update: this program has been extended through December 31, 2019.
Search for more programs that may reduce the costs of solar power for your home or business by visiting the DSIRE “Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency” website.
Financing a Solar Energy System in Albuquerque
Financing programs are available for Albuquerque residents that can help you achieve your solar energy goals. While cash will provide you the greatest return on a solar energy investment, many do not have the necessary funds available. Traditional methods range from using the equity in your property to obtain a HELOC “Home Equity Line of Credit” to a second mortgage or even a credit card. In addition, many lending institutions offer reduced rate “green” loans for renewable energy and energy efficient home improvements. For example, Osceola Energy has partnered with green banks to create an affordable, zero down, solar financing program. Learn more by visiting osceolaenergy.com.