Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to decrease your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery storage.
- Reduced energy costs: Producing some or all of your own power will cut power costs long-term.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Reno Homeowners?
Nevada homeowners who go solar could qualify for tax credits, rebates, reimbursements and special financing. Here are just a few of the local incentive programs.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: swgas.com
Water Heating: $225
Solar Water Heating: $13/therm
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: swgas.com
Varies based on program "step" - see program website.
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: Nvenergy.com
Solar (As of 9/24/18):
Residential/Commercial/Industrial (25 kW or smaller): $0.20 / watt-AC
Low Income/Nonprofit/Public Entity (25 kW or smaller): $0.45 / watt-AC
Residential/Commercial/Industrial (greater than 25 kW): $0.0250 / kWh
Low Income/Nonprofit/Public Entity (greater than 25 kW): $0.0550 / kWh
Wind (As of 9/24/18):
Residential/Commercial/Industrial: $0.40 / watt-AC
Low Income/Nonprofit/Public Entity: $0.80 / watt-AC
Incentive Type: Performance-Based IncentiveWebsite: nvtrec.com
Varies; higher value for solar PECs than other technologies
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: nvenergy.com
Northern Nevada electric customers: $3,000/project up to 50% of system cost
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 Reno
The cost and efficiency of solar panels often depend on the solar company that mounted them. Consider all of these elements in your business search.
Licensing and Training
Nevada requires a contractor installing a solar PV system to hold a C-37 license from the Nevada State Contractors Board. Solar water or pool heating installers should obtain either a C-1 (plumbing and heating) license or the appropriate C-37 specialization for their work. Solar companies can also pursue certifications from trade groups and standards organizations. The most prestigious ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.
Cost of Solar Panels in Reno
The kind of solar panels you purchase dictates how much energy 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.
If you want to charge an electric car or use your solar power in dark weather, you can pay extra for add-ons. By selecting the right components, you can make your system more productive and user-friendly. Not every solar contractor offers these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.
Most Reno homeowners choose solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $15,400 to install, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Reno
Solar companies 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 leases, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and solar loans. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a car loan or mortgage, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) allows you to pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We generally don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the solar system and cannot use solar incentives. We suggest working with an installer that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each consultant about what's available, and secure more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your financial plan.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Reno.
You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own financing plans and rebates that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Reno
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Is solar energy easily accessible in Reno?
Will solar panels improve my Reno home value?
What maintenance do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
What's the average solar system size in Reno?
What is the average payback period for Reno solar panels?
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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