Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy offers multiple advantages. Here are some highlights.
- Lowered energy bills: With solar energy systems, you generate power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with energy storage operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the grid for your safety and well-being.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to decrease your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Birmingham Homeowners?
Alabama agencies and electric companies offer a variety of solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Below is a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: Personal Tax Deduction
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: alabamapower.com
Varies, up to 100% of project cost for qualifying customers
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Birmingham
The more thorough your company research is, the better your solar system will ultimately operate. Consider each of these aspects in your business search.
Licensing and Training
Alabama licenses solar contractors with similar requirements to other electrical professionals. They must have at least 4 years of in-the-field experience and file an application with the state's Electrical Contractors Board. Solar providers can also pursue certifications from standards organizations and trade groups. The top ones in the industry come from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.
Cost of Solar Panels in Birmingham
Your solar panels' type will influence how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.
Additional components, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar providers provide these add-ons, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's crucial for you.
You can plan to spend about $17,450 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Birmingham. Check the table in this section to get an idea of what amount Birmingham solar companies might quote for your specific system.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Birmingham
Solar providers offer multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and cash payments. We suggest making a cash payment or using a solar loan for the highest return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also have full ownership of your system and can apply for solar incentives to minimize your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases let you use your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each provider you're vetting about the financing options it offers. A salesperson can help you determine the best option for your financial situation.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Birmingham.
You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, utilities and local governments may have their own rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Birmingham
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Is solar energy easily accessible in Birmingham?
Should I expect a boost in my property value after adopting solar power?
What if I live in a rainy or dark
Is installing solar panels a fast job?
What is the average payback period for Birmingham solar panels?
What are some "red flags" to watch for as I research companies?
- High-pressure sales tactics
- Dodging questions about warranties, references, training and credentials and cost
- Inflexible options
- Not thoroughly inspecting your site
- No references or testimonials
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.