With the amount of uncertainty in the world right now, we wanted to provide some answers to the questions we hear the most. Solar is still a burgeoning technology with room to grow, and 2020 offers excellent incentives and innovations for the future. Let’s get to those FAQs!
What’s the State of Solar Incentives in 2020?
Solar is a financial boon regardless of tax incentives. You will have a lower monthly bill after you install a solar system. However, due to the positive impacts solar energy has on the environment and economy, the government has specifically incentivized homeowners to install panels.
Over the past few years, this has mainly been done through the Federal Investment Tax Credit or (ITC). The amount of this credit has changed over the years. It started as high as 30% but is now 26%. This is still a great deal, but you need to act fast to take advantage of it! By 2022, the ITC will go away. While we hope a tax incentive like this can be replicated to help those considering solar, there is absolutely no guarantee that it will happen.
Some states have additional incentives, and things are always changing. As of the time of writing, California has no additional incentives for homeowners beyond the federal tax credit.
Can I Install Solar during the COVID-19 Crisis?
The answer is an unequivocal, yes! The team at Energy Concepts is going above and beyond by taking extreme precautions for the health and safety of our employees and our customers. We take our responsibility as an essential business very seriously because we know our community is counting on us to serve them during this tough time.
Additionally, a crisis like this affirms for many of our customers the importance of having solar panels installed. One of the benefits of a solar system is the sense of control it gives us. With the right set-up, you don’t have to rely on the grid to give you the power you and your family need. Self-sufficiency when it comes to your energy needs allows you to take care of your family regardless of the unforeseeable future.
How Does Solar Impact the Value of My Home?
Solar panels are an investment in your home’s future. For many of us, we hope our current home is our forever home. For others, we plan on moving in the next few years. Either way, solar is a great option.
Having a system installed increases property value by thousands of dollars. In fact, if you decide to sell your home, you will almost certainly recoup the cost of installation. Add in the tax credit and the month after month savings, and you can make money on your investment.
Study after study has shown that an investment in solar is more than recouped when selling your home. Real estate appraisers are trained to properly assess the value of your solar system and take that into consideration when valuing your home for the market.
Does Installing Solar Impact My Home Insurance?
Insurance is confusing, but the fact that you’re curious about this question shows that you want to learn more about it and make sure you are protected and covered. Unfortunately, the best answer to this question is that it depends. Every insurance company has different policies, so you should contact yours to make sure that you are covered.
Most policies shouldn’t see a change; however, if you are being charged more, it might be time to make a change. Be aware that many insurance companies offer their own incentives for “going green.” If you are able to, it might be time to start thinking about switching insurance providers.
Lastly, we do want to mention that solar panels are exceedingly durable. Your system is designed to withstand all sorts of extreme weather conditions. In fact, solar panels have been known to protect the roofs they are built on because they are just that durable.
What is Net Metering and How Can It Lower My Reliance on the Grid?
Net metering is a billing mechanism that can save you money by selling any excess electricity back to the grid. Most people who have solar installations do spend money on electricity from the grid. The reason why is because you need electricity during times when your solar system isn’t all that great at generating it, such as during the middle of the night. This is a small amount of your overall bill, but it can be lowered or even completely canceled out by net metering.
All it takes is an additional piece of equipment, and your system will automatically send your excess energy back into the grid where it can go into other homes in your community. You’re paid for this through a credit on your electric bill. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to save over a hundred bucks over the course of a year.
Additionally, it’s a nice way to help the community. California is a big state with a lot of people. That makes it difficult to transport energy throughout the state. This contributes to all too common blackouts and brownouts that no one wants to deal with. Net metering will save you money, while also helping with the community shortage of energy.
What are the Benefits of a Solar Battery?
There are, of course, other uses for your excess energy. As we mentioned above, California struggles with transporting energy. Without a battery installed, we can help this by net metering, but we can still struggle if there is a blackout. Solar systems may not continue to function during a blackout since it can pose a hazard to utility workers repairing powerlines.
However, if you have a battery installed, you can capture energy during the day, and if there is a blackout or other problem, you can use that energy later. We use the latest technology in our installations and are licensed installers of the new Tesla PowerWall. This is the future of solar energy. For true self-sufficiency from the grid, a powerful home battery is the answer.
Additionally, while the only major incentive for your solar panels is the Federal Incentive Tax Credit (ITC), you can also benefit from California’s Self-generation Program. This is an incentive program that is specifically designed for solar battery systems. The ITC 26% tax credit also applies to the cost of your solar battery.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this FAQ, solar is still an emerging technology. However, California is the center of the innovation that is happening every single year. While this year has been very challenging, we know that the solar industry will continue to grow and flourish.
With that said, our biggest focus now has to be on the health of our communities, especially the vulnerable folks in our lives. All of us at Energy Concepts are devoting ourselves to that cause. We are going above and beyond with our precautions to ensure that everyone we serve in the community stays safe and healthy.
If you want to lower your utility costs significantly by installing solar panels or a battery system, give us at Energy Concepts a call at (559) 377-7080 or fill out an online contact form.