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 Buying Guide for Charlotte North Carolina
Solar power is on the rise and more and more residential and commercial property owners are signing on to tap into the energy efficiency solar provides. North Carolina supports solar power usage and offers plenty of incentives to encourage property owners to make the change. With basic information in this buying guide, you will be well on your way to understanding the ins and outs of the solar installation process.
Benefits of Solar Power in Charlotte
If you’re considering converting to solar power but not sure about all of the benefits, here’s a short list to help you decide.
- With solar products such as solar panels and solar water heaters, your monthly utility bill will be significantly reduced.
- Solar energy is renewable and lessens your carbon footprint, which will help keep the planet healthy.
- Your return on investment will keep on giving throughout the life of the system.
- Installing solar products immediately adds value to your property. Another plus is your property taxes will not increase due to the portion that’s added to your property’s value.
- You’ll have access to multiple tax credits and incentives.
Solar Permits for the City of Charlotte
Before a contractor sets foot on your property to do any installation, you’ll need a permit from the City of Charlotte. You’ll find answers to many questions on the Residential Technical Assistance Center website. You can visit the center located at 2145 Suttle Avenue Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call customer service at (980) 314-2633. You will need to have the permit in place prior to any work on your property. Once the solar products are installed, an inspection is required. A permit and an inspection is a legal requirement to ensure all codes are followed and the installation is up to health and safety standards.
Hiring a Solar Contractor in Charlotte
Hire a licensed and insured contractor. Your contractor will be able to update you on the latest solar technologies, best brands and ratings, and will determine the size and type of solar product – panels or water heater – your home requires. In most cases, the contractor will apply for the required permit and schedule an inspection. You can validate a contractor’s license at the NC State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors website.
Types of Solar Products in Charlotte
There are three types of solar paneling systems that can be mounted either on the rooftop or ground: Grid-Tie, Off Grid and Grid Tie and Battery Backup. Each has its advantages.
- Grid-Tie – this system generates solar power to your home throughout the day. When necessary, such as during the night or on cloudy days, your home is tied into the main grid for power. Any excess power your system generates is routed back to the grid and you’ll receive an adjustment on your monthly bill.
- Off Grid – this system produces 100 percent of your home’s power. Any excess is routed to a battery backup for use when you need it.
- Grid Tie and Battery Backup has your home tied to the grid but during an outage, your home switches to the power in the battery backup to make necessary areas of the property functional such as the refrigerator and stove.
If you’re considering a solar water heater, your contractor will be able to suggest which type is best. With the active system, there’s a choice between a direct or indirect system. With a passive solar heater, there is the integral system and the thermosyphon system.
For both the rooftop solar paneling system and the thermosyphon solar water heating system, the roof must be structurally sound in order to maintain the weight of the solar panels or the weight or a solar storage tank for the water heater.
Solar Incentive Resources for Charlotte
When installing solar products, you will be eligible for incentives, tax credits, rebates, grants and special loans. Visit these sites for more information.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
- Energy Star
- Rural Energy for America Program
- Clean Energy Authority
With over 740,000 residents in Charlotte, there’s a lot of potential for solar energy users. Add to that 218 days of sunshine, only 119 days of rain, and with temperatures in the high 80s during the summer and winter lows in the 30s, the city is a prime candidate for alternative energy sources. Making a move to solar power is an investment in your city and your property.