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.
Installing Solar Panels in Providence, RI
Providence city rooftops are an ideal landscape for solar energy, transforming the city into an urban solar field. If this ideal were to turn into a reality, it would lesson the heat-island effect that most urban areas experience. A solar energy system consists of panels, normally affixed to the roof of your home (though ground mounting is available, too), which turn sunlight into electricity. They generate power whenever sunlight is present. The sunnier it is, the more efficient your panels functions. There are so many benefits to switching to solar power, it’s no wonder the solar technology industry is making leap and bounds around the U.S. Every 3 seconds a new solar system is installed in the U.S.
What Are Some Benefits to Switching to Solar Technology in Providence?
Besides the savings on your energy bill each month, some benefits of switching to solar include:
Environmental Sustainability: Most energy comes from fossil fuels or nuclear power. This type of energy is the primary contributor of carbon emissions that impact the world’s climate. Solar power has become popular due to the fact that it’s clean energy.
Low Maintenance: Solar systems are easy to operate and require little maintenance. The system may need occasional cleaning to remove dust, debris, and possibly snow. That said, panels are most often placed at a slant, making it easier for rain to clean help them, boosting their efficiency. Since the panels are dark coated glass, snow generally doesn’t stick and slides off, too. If you’re worried about hail, a typical warranty covers the life of the solar panels.
Great Return on Investment: Through a combination of incentives, tax credits, and rebates, new solar panels typically pay for themselves in 5 – 10 years. Value may depreciate slightly each year, but even at 30 years old solar panels have been shown to operate at 80% capacity.
Equity: Research has shown, each additional $1 in energy bill savings from your solar system adds $20 to your home’s total value. Buyers are willing to pay a premium of $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar photovoltaic (PV) system, compared with a similar home without one.
How Much Does a Typical Solar System Cost for Providence Residents?
Solar energy is becoming more affordable in the Rhode Island as incentives cover 50 percent or more of the cost for a new solar installations. After all of the incentives are applied, the average PV system costs between $12,000 and $17,000. This may seem like a hefty home improvement project, but the investment towards your property and its payback can deliver continual savings making it a smart investment.
How Much Solar Capacity Do I Need to Power My Providence Home?
The average Providence resident consumes about 597 kilowatt-hours (kwh) of electricity each month. If you were to meet 100% of your energy needs using a solar technology system, you would need to have a system capable of generating about 7,164 kwh of electricity annually. Since solar technology has become more prevalent, knowledgeable contractors who are qualified to install and take care of any maintenance issues on your solar technology system are easily accessible. Work with a licensed solar specialist to examine your monthly energy usage, as well as your budget for a new solar system, to determine what size system is right for you.
What Financial Incentives to Adopt Solar are Available in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is a leader in shaping renewable energy policy, offering personal tax credits to homeowners which helps to drive down the costs of solar installation. A program was created called the Solarize Rhode Island, a town-by-town marketing push to install solar panels educating residents about discounts on hardware and installation costs. Here are some loans, tax credits, rebates, and financial incentives available:
Loan – Rhode Island Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE): This loan program allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements including solar water heaters, solar space heaters, and photovoltaics. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years.
Loan – Distributed Generation Contracts Program: This program requires National Grid to enter into 15-year renewable energy contracts with private landowners, businesses, and municipalities at a set and fixed price. Currently, wind, solar photovoltaic, and anaerobic digestion technologies are eligible to participate in the DG program.
Tax Credit – Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit: This tax credit can cover 50 percent of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system up to $15,000. Eligible renewable energy systems include solar water heaters, solar photovoltaics, and solar space heaters. This includes labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly, or system installation. The PV system must be at least 24 square feet is size. If you install a solar-heating system, it must have a minimum collector area of 125 square feet to be eligible. Solar hot water heaters must include an 80 gallon or more storage tank and have a minimum collector area of 34 square feet. It’s important to note, before applying the credit all systems must be approved by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources.
Tax Exemption – Renewable Energy Sales Exemption: Under the sales tax exemption solar electric systems, inverters for the systems, solar thermal systems as well as the mounting and ballast equipment for such installations are exempted from sales tax. To be eligible for the exemption, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaics, and solar space heaters must be new.
Tax Credit – Federal Investment Tax Credit – This federal tax credit covers 30 percent of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed before December 31, 2019. The tax credit will still be available after 2019, but it diminishes each year.
Rebate – Rhode Island Net Metering: Net metering involves you working with your utility provider. Net metering is a metering and billing practice in which a customer is billed on the basis of “net energy” over a billing period. Net energy is the difference between the kilowatt-hours (kWhs) a customer consumes and the kWhs produced by the customer’s utility provider. Your generation of power from your solar system is used to offset the your prior or future energy usage, as if the meter runs backwards whenever the your utility provider is generating more than you consume.