Are you ready to take a step towards a sustainable future? Click on the buttons below to explore our comprehensive Steps to Solar guide, where you’ll find everything you need to know about the process of going solar. Or, if you’re curious about the benefits and considerations as a consumer, dive into our Consumer Guide. The consumer guide has information about choosing an installer, consumer protection, and financing.
The inflation reduction act has made the federal tax credit for the purchase of solar panels even more attractive. Homeowners who install solar will now be able to deduct 30% of the cost from their federal income taxes. The tax credit also applies to batteries.
This 30% applies to both the purchase of and the installation of your panels.
As long as you own your solar energy system, you are eligible for this solar investment tax credit. Even if you don’t have enough tax liability to claim the entire credit in one year, you can “roll over” the remaining credits into future years for as long as the tax credit is in effect. We advise that you consult with your tax advisor.
For further resources, and to download the necessary tax forms, click the button below.
While the federal tax credit for purchasing solar applies to all property owners in the U.S., state incentives vary greatly. Click your state below to find more information about incentives where you live.
What is Net Metering?
People often connect the concept of solar to the concept of going off-grid and using battery backups. However, the most common residential solar systems are grid-tied.
In the grid-tied design, your solar system provides power to your home and any excess electricity generated beyond your energy use is delivered back to the utility grid. If your solar PV system is not producing enough energy to meet your needs, (e.g, at night when there is no sun), then you use electricity from you utility.
Grid-tied is the least expensive type of system design. It also allows for net metering – which is how you make money from your utility when they buy back your extra energy from your solar array, which appears as a credit on your electric bill.
In essence, net metering is your electric meter spinning in reverse.
Some months, your solar array will generate more energy than you use and other months you will be using the grid plus your solar array for energy consumption.
Net metering still works to save you money over the course of the year as your credit for excess production rolls over to future months.
Net metering policy can vary by region.
Watch this short video from EnergySage to learn more about net metering!
Solar systems require little maintenance due primarily to having no moving parts. A tracking system of a pole mount array does contain moving parts and has the potential to require maintenance. Many battery backup systems also require maintenance to ensure battery longevity. Work with your installer to set up an operation and maintenance plan to ensure that the system is operating at optimal capacity.
Do I need to clean snow off my solar panels?
Any shading to a solar panel will reduce electrical output. Solar panels can still produce while covered by a very light snowfall, but any more than that and the panel will not generate electricity. Solar panels have a slippery surface and are positioned on an angle. This can help snow slide off as the sun melts it. Ground mounted solar arrays can easily be brushed clean after a snowfall. If you have an off-grid system and depend on every photon, getting on the roof and dusting off your panels with a broom may be necessary (with proper safety restraints of course).
How long do solar panels last?
Most solar modules are guaranteed to last 25-30 years, and even after that, we are seeing efficiency output of 80+%. The kilowatt output degrades slightly each year yet can continue to provide consistent output. Most solar manufacturers provide a performance warranty of 25-30 years. Other PV system components, such as an inverter,could possibly need replacing during the lifetime of your array. Inverters often carry a warranty of around 10-12 years.