Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.
- 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 "traditional" sources.
- Lowered energy bills: You can skip the expensive cost of grid-tied power by generating some electricity at home.
- Better energy independence: Solar panels can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery backup.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Chattanooga Homeowners?
Tennessee's public agencies and power companies offer multiple solar incentives to help lower your solar system costs. Here is a breakdown of applicable solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Depends upon sector
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 Chattanooga
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and cost-efficient solar array. Here are some crucial criteria to consider while shopping for a solar installer.
Licensing and Training
Tennessee requires any solar energy project valued at $25,000 or higher to be overseen by a licensed "prime contractor." The prime contractor is responsible for hiring licensed subcontractors as required. Even if a project doesn't cross the $25,000 value threshold, you'll need a master electrician or electrical journeyman to pull permits. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar sector's most reputed trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Cost of Solar Panels in Chattanooga
Your solar modules' model will impact how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. 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 electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, will increase your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies offer these additional features, so look for a provider that sells them if it's crucial for you.
You can plan to spend about $17,900 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Chattanooga. Use the table in this section to get an idea of the amount Chattanooga solar companies might quote for your specific system.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Chattanooga
There are various ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will reduce your expenses. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), leases, cash payments, and loans. We advise making a cash payment or using a solar loan for the best 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 own your system and can apply for solar incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still benefiting from 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) lets you pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We usually don’t recommend these two options because you won't own the system and cannot use solar incentives. We suggest working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Speak with each salesperson about what's available, and obtain 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 Chattanooga.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on your new solar panels, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own incentives, financing programs, and rebates that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Chattanooga
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How widespread is solar energy in Chattanooga?
Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?
What if I live in a rainy or heavily-wooded
Is installing solar panels a quick job?
What size should my new Chattanooga solar system be?
Should I get quotes from multiple Chattanooga solar companies?
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