Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple benefits. Here are some highlights.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to minimize your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
- Better energy independence: Solar panels can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery storage system.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Lincoln Homeowners?
Nebraska homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for reimbursements, rebates, special financing and tax credits. Here are just a few of the local incentive programs.
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: neo.ne.gov
Traditional Dollar and Energy Savings Loans:
Multifamily dwellings with 3 or more units: $250,000
Home Electronics: $25,000;
Office Electronics: $50,000
Alternative Fuel Projects: $500,000
Telecommunications Projects: $250,000
Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: nppd.com
Smart Thermostat: Up to $100
High Efficiency Heat Pump: $300 - $2,500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $300 - $500
Cooling System Tune-Up: $30
Attic Insulation: $0.15/sq. ft.
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
PACE bonds are capped at $5 million unless approved by referendum.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: les.com
Varies by equipment type and efficiency rating; see program website for complete details
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 Lincoln
The cost and efficiency of solar panels often depend on which company installed them. Consider each of these criteria in your company search.
Licensing and Training
In Nebraska, the state's Electrical Division issues and manages licenses to solar companies, with some cities requiring supplemental licenses or endorsements for a contractor to perform solar work. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private accreditations. Two of the most respected are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Cost of Solar Panels in Lincoln
The style of solar panels you select dictates how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.
Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will increase your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar company offers these additional features, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's essential for you.
A majority of Lincoln homeowners choose solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,900 to install, considering both parts and installation. You can find more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Lincoln
There are numerous ways to pay for a new solar system, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. A few of the most common options include cash payments, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Much like a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, much like 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 business you're vetting about the payment plans it offers. A staff member 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 Lincoln.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own incentives, rebates, and financing programs that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Lincoln
How much money could I save by going solar in Lincoln?
How common is solar energy in Lincoln?
Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after installing solar panels?
What can I do to predict my home's solar viability?
How long will an average solar system last?
How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Lincoln?
What is "net metering," and how does it work?
Some states or utilities oblige you to enroll in net metering when purchasing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you sign up, you'll get a check or bill credit for your excess generation at a wholesale or retail rate.
How are a solar lease and PPA different?
You don't own the panels with either option, though you can choose to opt out of the contract for a fee.
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