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 Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
When it comes to solar power, North Carolina is a leader in the support of homeowners and commercial property owners converting to solar. As the population on the planet increases and natural resources are depleted, harnessing solar rays to power homes and businesses is a look to the future. And converting to solar will increase your property’s value and marketability, and lower your monthly utility bills. This buying guide outlines information you may find helpful in explaining some of the requirements and benefits of a solar system.
Checklist for Solar Installation in Raleigh-Durham
This short list outlines the main areas that factor into solar installation. By having an idea of what’s involved allows plenty of time for preparation.
- Home preparation
- Selecting a solar system
- Setting aside time for installation
Solar Preparation for Your Raleigh-Durham Home
In anticipation of solar installation, take care of any repairs necessary before the project begins. In the case of a roof-mounted solar panel system, you’ll need to have your roof inspected to ensure it is structurally sound to sustain the weight of the panels. If it cannot hold the necessary panels, an alternative is a ground-mounted system. Both rooftop and ground-mounted systems require that the panels receive unobstructed sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and that the panels face south.
Hiring a Solar Contractor in Raleigh-Durham
Your contractor will do the installation and provide you with pertinent information to help you choose the right solar system. This information will include calculating the size of the solar panel system or the type of solar water heater best suited for your home and the climate. Your contractor should obtain permits from the city and set up an appointment to have the installation inspected. Both of these steps are required by the state of North Carolina so be sure to follow up that both are in place.
Selecting a Solar System for Your Raleigh-Durham Home
Listen to the recommendations of your contractor when it comes to solar selection. There are many manufacturers and you want the unit that will power your home comfortably and efficiently.
With solar panel systems, there are three types available:
- Grid-Tie that ties into the main grid and allows you to earn credit for excess power through net-metering
- Off Grid Battery Backup that has your home 100 percent reliant on your solar system for power with excess going to a battery powered backup.
- Grid-Tie and Battery which covers your home in the case of an outage by tapping into the battery reserves to power select sections of your home.
Financing Options for Solar Power in Raleigh-Durham
A solar panel system can run into the thousands depending on the number of panels necessary to accommodate the square footage of your property. The State of North Carolina, as well as other sources, provides incentives such as tax credits, rebates, exemptions, grants, and loans to help defray the cost.
While the initial cost may seem steep, once incentives are deducted you’ll see a significant decrease in the cost. Since the lifetime of solar products ranges from 20 to 25 years, each month it is in operation will save you money. In time, the amount saved will more than pay for the system.
Solar Permits in Raleigh-Durham
To apply for a permit from the city, visit the City of Raleigh website where you’ll find information about the permit process, how to apply, permit application, fees, and how to schedule an inspection. A permit is required before you begin the installation process of solar panels or a solar water heater. Your contractor should obtain the permit because he’ll be able to provide his state license information. If you prefer to visit in person, the office is located at 222 W. Hargett Street.
Raleigh-Durham Climate for Solar Energy
The Raleigh-Durham climate provides 213 sunny days per year. The high temperature averages 89 degrees in July and around 32 degrees in the winter. Rainfall happens 103 days per year with 45 inches the average yearly precipitation. Snowfall averages 5 inches per year. Humidity is at 36 out of 100 which is below the U.S. average of 44 out of 100. A lower rating is an indication of high humidity. Overall, Raleigh-Durham provides great conditions for solar power.
Additional Solar Resources for Raleigh-Durham
- Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
- Energy Star
- North Carolina Solar Rebates and Incentives
- Rural Energy for America Program
- Clean Energy Authority
Converting to solar power is a wise investment that will lead to reduced utility bills, independence from utility companies, significant return on investment, preservation of natural resources, and an increase in the value of your property. By installing today, you’ll continue to save far into the future.