Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy has multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have trustworthy energy during storms and grid outages.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Portsmouth Homeowners?
Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for going solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.
Incentive Type: Personal Tax Deduction
20% of the sales tax paid by an individual
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: law.lis.virginia.gov
Depends on the local governing body
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: dmme.virginia.gov
Varies (local option)
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 Portsmouth
Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and valuable solar energy system. Here are some key items to bear in mind while searching for a solar specialist.
Licensing and Training
Since 2012, Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has issued Alternative Energy Systems (AES) licenses to contractors who work on solar photovoltaic systems. Even if a contractor has an AES license, they may still need to subcontract electrical, plumbing or HVAC work. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among 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 Portsmouth
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.
Additional system add-ons, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar company provides these additional features, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.
If you're a resident of Portsmouth and are looking into a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could expect to pay about $17,950 for materials and labor. See more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Portsmouth
Solar companies use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, solar leases, cash payments and power purchase agreements (PPAs). We recommend paying with cash or securing 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 own your system and can apply for solar incentives to minimize 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 installments while still benefiting from energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll spend more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, akin 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 evaluating about the payment plans it offers. A salesperson can help you determine the most suitable option for your budget.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Portsmouth.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Municipal authorities and utilities might also offer their own incentives, rebates, and financing programs that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Portsmouth
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How popular is solar energy in Portsmouth?
Will a solar PV system improve my Portsmouth home price?
Could I still use solar power if I live in a wooded, dark, or rainy area?
What's a Portsmouth solar panel's average lifespan?
What size should my new Portsmouth solar system be?
How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?
In contrast, solar loans can come from installer, local banks, the government and specialty lenders. 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 full ownership rights and can apply for many more incentives.
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