Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy has several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Smaller power bills: Sourcing some or all of your own energy will save you money on your electric bills long-term.
- Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have trustworthy energy during storms and grid outages.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is one of the universe's most abundant clean energy sources, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Richmond Homeowners?
Virginia homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for reimbursements, special financing, rebates and tax credits. Here are just a few of the region's incentive programs.
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 Richmond
Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and cost-efficient solar energy system. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.
Licensing and Training
Since 2012, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has issued Alternative Energy Systems (AES) licenses to contractors who install solar PV systems. A contractor with an AES license may need to subcontract electrical, HVAC or plumbing work. Solar companies can also earn certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most recognized 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 Richmond
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. 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.
If you want to charge an electric car or use your solar power in inclement weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By choosing the right components, you can make your panel array more productive and convenient to use. Not all solar providers provide these extras, so look for a provider that installs them if it's essential for you.
Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,950 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Richmond. This table displays more specific pricing information for different solar panel types and system components in your area.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Richmond
Choosing the optimal financing option will impact your overall solar system cost and expected savings. Common payment options include loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements, and leases. Though it involves 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 second most effective option. As with a car or home loan, 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 allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in particular circumstances. Ask each installer you're considering about the payment options it offers. A team member can help you determine the optimal option for your financial situation.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Richmond.
You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar energy equipment until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and dedicated financing plans that could save you more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Richmond
How much money could I save by going solar in Richmond?
How popular is solar energy in Richmond?
Will a solar PV system improve my Richmond home worth?
Could I still use solar power if I live in a dark, wooded, or rainy area?
How long does the solar panel installation process last?
What size should my new Richmond solar system be?
How can I boost my solar array's performance?
- optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
- regularly clean your solar panels
- upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
- use energy-efficient appliances
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