Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy offers multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.
- Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have reliable energy during storms and grid outages.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.
- Lowered energy bills: With solar energy systems, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Omaha Homeowners?
Governments and utilities often incentivize homeowners for embracing solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.
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: 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 Omaha
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar system. Here are some crucial criteria to consider while searching for a solar specialist.
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't meant for large home installations, but they're excellent for small projects like sheds and RVs.
If you need to charge an electric vehicle (EV) or use your solar power in cloudy weather, you'll usually pay extra for accessories. These will increase your total project price, but they can enhance your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar company offers these additional features, so look for a contractor that has them if it's a priority for you.
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. Further check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most respected trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Choosing the ideal financing solution will affect your overall solar system cost and possible savings. Common payment options include leases, cash payments, power purchase agreements, and loans. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they save you from 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. Like a home or car loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) lets you pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We usually don't recommend these two choices because you won't own the solar system and cannot use solar incentives. Look for providers that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your budget.
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Omaha
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Is solar energy readily available in Omaha?
Should I expect a property value increase after going solar?
Could I still use solar power if I live in a dark, wooded, or rainy area?
How can I assess my property's solar viability?
What maintenance do my solar panels need, and how often do they need it?
What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?
- High-pressure sales tactics
- Not being straightforward about the crew's credentials and training, cost, warranties and references
- Inflexible options
- Superficial, rushed site evaluation
- Limited customer feedback