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Best 4 Solar Companies in Lincoln, NE

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Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

The Lincoln community is intentional about preserving its natural resources and embracing sustainability. That includes embracing alternative energy sources like solar. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel burnt out searching for a good contractor. In this article, we'll show you Lincoln's best solar companies and offer tips for your company choice, so you can find the ideal one for your residence.

Top Lincoln Solar Companies

ABC Electric Company, Inc. Logo

ABC Electric Company

4.2/5
Based on 24 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Cleaning Residential Panels Solar Panel Upgrades Commercial Panels

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Prompt service delivery
  • Clear pricing policy
1012 N 25th St, Lincoln, NE 402-435-3514 abcelectric.net
Great Plains Renewables Logo

Great Plains Renewables

4.6/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing Assistance Residential Panels Commercial Panels Maintenance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
21854 Platteview Rd #116, Gretna, NE 402-600-0885 greatplainsrenewables.com
West Gateway Solar Experts Logo

West Gateway Solar Experts

4.5/5
Based on 20 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Consultation Maintenance Commercial Panels Skilled Repairs Off-Grid Solar Systems

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
2019 Q St, Omaha, NE 531-999-7170 solar-omaha.com

Ranking Methodology

We reviewed a multitude of Lincoln solar providers, using the following criteria to determine the top-notch:

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Facts about Lincoln
Average Max Temp: 62°F
Solar Payback Period: 13.0 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 55%
Homes Powered by Solar: 352
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,152
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 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 Program

Website: neo.ne.gov

Incentive Amount:

Traditional Dollar and Energy Savings Loans:
Residential: $125,000;
Multifamily dwellings with 3 or more units: $250,000
Non-Residential: $500,000;
Home Electronics: $25,000;
Office Electronics: $50,000
Alternative Fuel Projects: $500,000
Telecommunications Projects: $250,000

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: nppd.com

Incentive Amount:

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

Incentive Amount:

PACE bonds are capped at $5 million unless approved by referendum.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: les.com

Incentive Amount:

Varies by equipment type and efficiency rating; see program website for complete details

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 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 Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,088
Solar Polycrystalline $849
Thin-Film $496
Solar Battery $696
Solar Home EV Charger $2,612

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
1 kW 2.6 years
2 kW 5.2 years
5 kW 13.0 years
10 kW 26.0 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Lincoln

How much money could I save by going solar in Lincoln?

Most Lincoln homeowners spend about $1,152 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $775.97 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How common is solar energy in Lincoln?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Lincoln. A growing number of area homes generate or access solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Nebraska has about 1332 jobs making up its solar economy.

Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after installing solar panels?

Yes, new solar systems lead to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.

What can I do to predict my home's solar viability?

To determine your home's solar readiness, there's no substitute for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar provider. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including tree cover, system size, panel efficiency, and local weather and topography.

How long will an average solar system last?

Today's solar installations are impressively durable, lasting up to 25 years. Monocrystalline options and other top-tier models tend to last longer than "budget-friendly" models.

How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Lincoln?

Most Lincoln homeowners pay back a solar loan in 16.1 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

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

Net metering is a system that credits solar homeowners for any excess electricity they generate and return to the grid.

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?

Choosing a lease means your solar company will handle panel maintenance while you make fixed monthly payments. Power Purchase Agreements differ slightly because you pay based on the electricity you produce.

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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