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Best 3 Solar Companies in Decatur, AL

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: April 18, 2024

Decatur residents are purposeful about protecting the environment and practicing eco-friendly lifestyles. That's why many homeowners are purchasing panels from the top solar companies for their homes. If you're thinking about going solar, you might be concerned about high prices or long payback periods. By collaborating with a skilled installer, you'll have both the monetary and technical support you need for a successful transition. On this page, we'll showcase Decatur's premier solar providers and give expert advice for your solar journey.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons

Top Decatur Solar Companies

Eagle Solar & Light Logo

Eagle Solar & Light

4.2/5
Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationPanel InstallationBattery Storage

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
4005 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 800-982-0808 eaglesolarandlight.com
Small Tech Solar Logo

Small Tech Solar

3.4/5
Based on 28 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationBattery StorageConsultation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
2534 Mountain Cove, Hoover, AL 205-862-9610 smalltechsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

We reviewed dozens of Decatur solar providers, using the following criteria to select the best:

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Facts about Decatur
Average Max Temp:70°F
Solar Payback Period:8.7 years
Average Daily Sunlight:58%
Homes Powered by Solar:247
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,387
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Smaller power bills: Producing some or all of your own power will save you money on your electric bills long-term. Plus, some states provide net metering programs that allow you to sell your unused energy back to the grid, generating extra credits toward your energy bill.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have reliable energy during storms and grid outages.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Decatur Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often incentivize homeowners for adopting solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Deduction

Incentive Amount:

100%

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: revenue.alabama.gov

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

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 Decatur

Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar array. Consider all of these elements in your contractor search.

Licensing and Training

Alabama licenses solar contractors with similar requirements to other electrical professionals. They must have at least 4 years of relevant experience and apply with the state's Electrical Contractors Board. Solar companies can also pursue accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. 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 Decatur

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power and generally have the highest quality. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall installation costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar provider provides these extras, so look for a provider that sells them if it's crucial for you.

A majority of Decatur homeowners opt for solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,450 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific solar cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,005
Solar Polycrystalline$784
Thin-Film$458
Solar Battery$643
Solar Home EV Charger$2,413

Financing Solar Energy in Decatur

There are a plethora of ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will reduce your expenses. A few of the most common options include loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and leases. We recommend paying with cash or securing a solar loan for the best 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 panel incentives to cut your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in certain circumstances. We recommend working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each representative about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your spending limits.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Decatur.

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal solar tax credit on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own financing programs, incentives, and rebates that could save you more money.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW1.7 years
2 kW3.5 years
5 kW8.7 years
10 kW17.5 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Decatur

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

On average, Decatur homeowners shell out approximately $1,387 per year on power bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $506.42 per kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy easily accessible in Decatur?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Decatur. A growing number of local homes are already using solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Alabama has about 707 jobs forming its solar economy.

Will solar panels improve my Decatur home worth?

Yes, solar panels will raise your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

How can I assess my home's solar suitability?

One common way to determine your home's solar viability is by using PVWatts. This free, powerful tool considers tree cover, system size, local weather and topography, and panel efficiency to determine how much energy your array could generate. However, it's not a substitute for consulting with a local solar installation company, who can build a full estimate with the most updated data.

What size should my new Decatur solar system be?

A typical Decatur solar home utilizes a 9.3-kW panel array, but you might need a bigger system if your energy needs are higher. Solar installers will evaluate your property's power usage and roof shading to recommend the proper system for you.

What is the average payback period for Decatur solar panels?

The average payback period for a solar loan in Decatur is 24.1 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

How can I enhance my solar panels' performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can use the following strategies:
  • optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
  • regularly clean your solar panels
  • upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
  • use energy-efficient appliances

What is "net metering," and how does it work?

Most states and utilities offer net metering programs, and some mandate homeowners to join. Once you enroll, you can get a bill credit or check for any surplus electricity you produce and send to the grid. Generally, power companies compensate solar homeowners at a wholesale or "avoided-cost" rate.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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