Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Lowered energy bills: Solar panels let you generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
- Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have dependable energy during storms and grid outages.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Knoxville Homeowners?
Tennessee agencies and electric companies offer several solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Here's a breakdown of eligible 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 Knoxville
The more comprehensive your company investigation is, the better your solar installation will ultimately perform. Consider each of these elements in your business search.
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 will still need a master electrician or electrical journeyman to handle permit work. Solar companies can also earn accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. The most respected 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 Knoxville
Your photovoltaic panels' type will affect how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.
You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total project price, but they can increase your solar system's performance. Not all solar contractors include these additional features, so look for a company that sells them if it's a priority for you.
If you're a resident of Knoxville and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,900 for materials and labor. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Knoxville
There are various ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include cash payments, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a car or home loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each provider you're considering about the financing options it offers. A salesperson 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 Knoxville.
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 rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Knoxville
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How prevalent is solar energy in Knoxville?
Should I expect a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?
What can I do to predict my home's solar potential?
How long does the photovoltaic installation process last?
What size should my new Knoxville solar system be?
How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?
In contrast, solar loans can come from local banks, the government, installer and specialty lenders. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are greater, 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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