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.
Utica, New York Solar Panel Installation Buying Guide
Residents of Utica, New York interested in obtaining information regarding solar energy for their property will find this buying guide useful. It provides the basic explanations of solar energy, how you can apply it to your home, and discusses available rebates and incentives that can reduce installation costs.
A common solar panel configuration used in residential applications is a 4KW – 5KW for homes averaging 1500 square feet. The panel’s solar arrays are most often installed on the rooftop facing south at a 30-degree angle, but can be installed on the ground. Ideally, solar pane’s receive full exposure to the sun’s rays. Placing the panels in shaded areas, such as those in close proximity to trees or existing structures that reduce the hours of direct sunlight will result in reduced electricity production. Heavy cloud cover and rainy days will also limit their production.
The main components of a residential solar panel configuration are:
- Solar Arrays: Photovoltaic “PV” panels absorb photons from sunlight and convert the electrons into direct “DC” current electricity.
- Inverter: Direct current from the arrays travels to an inverter that converts it into alternating current (AC) for your home use.
- Main Electric Service Panel: Directs the electricity to areas of your home requiring power. Excess electricity flows through the net meter and enters the main power grid.
- Net Meter: The net meter measures the amount of electricity produced by your solar panels and contributed to the main power grid. Through net metering programs designed to promote and reduce the cost of solar power, solar panel owners receive a monthly credit from their utility company for any excess solar power contributed to the main power grid.
Solar Water Heaters
Solar water heaters are another form of solar energy used to provide a cost effective way to generate hot water for domestic use. Suitable for most climates, these efficient systems use the sun’s energy to heat water. Once installed, most systems can supply 100% of residential hot water needs.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Solar Panels
- Solar energy provides an infinite energy source
- Solar energy is eco-friendly, producing little to no pollution
- Reduces the exposure of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in our atmosphere
- Solar panel systems have an expected lifespan of 25 years with only periodic cleaning and adjustments necessary
- Solar systems increase your property’s value and marketability
- Solar systems provide an excellent ROI
- Solar systems help you reduce your monthly utility costs
- Out-of-pocket expense can be high during initial installation
- Solar panel electricity production is intermittent, producing power only when sunlight is available
Paying for Solar in Utica
Solar systems can range between $14,000 and $20,000 installed for a 5KW system capable of powering a 1500 square foot home. This is a high out-of-pocket expense for many property owners. Many lending institutions offer low-interest loans for energy-efficient home improvements. Utica residents can also lease or enter into a power purchase agreement to obtain a solar panel system. These programs offer many benefits including minimal out-of-pocket expense and zero maintenance responsibilities.
Solar Incentives in Utica
When you purchase solar panels, you can receive a federal tax credit up to 30% on qualifying energy efficient purchases through 2016. Additionally, you can receive a State of New York solar credit upon purchase. Federal and State rebates only apply to solar panel owners. In addition, when leasing solar panels or entering into a power purchase agreement, all rebates and incentives transfer to the corresponding solar company or contractor.
Solar Permits in Utica
Installing solar panels in Utica, New York requires applying for the necessary permits and paying the associated permit fees. Hire a professional solar contractor to oversee your solar panel installation. They are crucial to your project as they assess your property for sizing, panel type and any structural limitations that exist. A solar contractor will also obtain the necessary permits as well as oversee the interconnection — connecting to the grid — phase of the installation. Permit applications can be obtained by contacting the City of Utica Building Department, 1 Kennedy Plaza, Utica, NY 13502. You can view the Utica, NY requirements for a building permit here.