Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides multiple advantages. Here are some highlights.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is one of the universe's most abundant clean energy sources, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
- Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home functioning through emergencies and blackouts, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery storage system.
- Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, lowering your periodic electricity costs. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Akron Homeowners?
Ohio agencies and electric companies offer several solar incentives to help reduce your solar system costs. Check out a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Low-interest, 30-year loan
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: tos.ohio.gov
Rate reduction available for up to $50,000 and 7 years of the bank loan
Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit ProgramWebsite: puco.ohio.gov
SREC prices vary based on market conditions
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 Akron
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar array. Make your choice based on the following vital factors.
Your solar modules' style will influence how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.
Additional accessories, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall cost. These upgrades extend your system's efficiency while adding more conveniences to your home. Not every solar contractor includes these add-ons, so look for an installer that has them if it's a priority for you.
Licensing and Training
Ohio may require a solar installer to hold a state contractors' license, but only for commercial work. For residential work, cities can establish their own licensing or regulatory requirements. Solar companies can also pursue certifications from standards organizations and trade groups. 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.
Solar contractors use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Common payment options include cash payments, loans, power purchase agreements, and leases. We advise making a cash payment or using a solar loan for the highest 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 incentives to cut your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don't want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you'll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) permits you to pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, like an electric bill. We usually don't recommend these two options because you won't own the panels and cannot use solar incentives. Look for installers that offer multiple payment plans to find the right fit for your financial needs.
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Akron Solar FAQ
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Most Akron homeowners spend about $1,084 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $694.02 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.
Is solar energy common in Akron?
Yes, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Akron. 1,026 homes generate solar power, fortified by a state solar economy with 7,282 jobs and counting.
Should I expect a boost in my property value after adopting solar power?
Yes, a solar PV system will increase your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you save 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.
Could I still use solar power if I live in a wooded, dark, or rainy area?
A solar system could still work in bad weather. Your installer will position your panels to absorb the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a battery backup system to keep your system working at its best.
Is installing solar panels a fast job?
Your solar job's duration will depend on its complexity and size, as well as Akron's permit and inspection procedures. It could take several weeks to a few months on average.
What upkeep do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
To protect your solar system's performance, inspections and cleanings every six months are usually enough. In dry or dusty seasons, your panels might need cleanings every one to two months. Your installer can recommend a maintenance schedule. Its team could also handle the cleaning for you.
How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?
A power purchase agreement (PPA) is an agreement between you and your contractor. They set up, own, and care for the panels, and you buy the generated electricity from them for 10-25 years. There will usually be options to extend the agreement and buy out early to own your system.
In contrast, solar loans can come from the government, specialty lenders, your installer's partners and local banks. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are higher and you'll be responsible for maintenance, you'll also have total ownership and can apply for many more financial rewards.
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