Solar energy has quickly become one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. In the first quarter of 2018, the U.S. solar market added 2.3 gigawatts of solar, showcasing an annual growth of 13 percent. The continued explosion of home solar begs the question: what’s so special about solar energy?
The answer is simple: the value of solar is too hard for homeowners to ignore. Solar offers homeowner’s energy independence, lower utility bills, potential increase in property value1 – the list goes on.
Home solar technology has come a long way since it was first introduced to the consumer market - solar panels have become more compact, cost-effective, and incredibly durable. Plus, with the addition of solar battery storage, homeowners can enjoy an even greater level of energy independence.
With all of the great benefits that come along with home solar, there’s a solar solution to fit every family’s unique needs. We’re breaking down the top five ways you can benefit from going solar.
Gain Energy Independence1
We live in a world of virtually unlimited choice, you can even purchase groceries online and have them delivered just in time for dinner. Why, then, should you be locked into one single option for powering your home? Solar energy offers you the ability to gain energy independence and take control of your energy choices.
Solar panels utilize the power of the sun to convert UV rays into energy that keeps your home running throughout the day. With solar panels, you’ll reduce your dependence on the grid - you’ll pull electricity from the grid at night, on cloudy days, and times of high energy use.
You can increase the utilization of your solar production with the addition of solar battery storage. Adding a solar battery to store the excess power that your solar system produces on the sunniest days means you’re using the grid even less and gaining even more energy independence.
2. Reap the Rewards of Tax Incentives2
When you purchase your home solar system with a cash payment or a loan, you can gain access to federal, and in some cases, state tax incentives.
On the federal level, most homeowners who purchase a solar system are eligible for the Investment Tax Credit, sometimes referred to as the ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that can be claimed on federal income taxes for up to 30% of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
A recent ruling by the IRS now allows projects that begin construction in 2019 to claim the full 30 percent ITC tax credit as long as the system is operational before 2024. Previously, in order to claim the credit, a system must have been operational within the same year that construction began.
State tax incentives vary from location to location, but in general, in states that offer tax incentives, homeowners can enjoy Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) payments, income tax credits, or property tax exclusions.
A few of the most lucrative state incentives can be found in Hawaii, Illinois, and California.
In Hawaii, owners can claim up to 35 percent on their income tax returns, In Honolulu, solar can be automatically exempted from property tax. In other counties in Hawaii, homeowners may apply for an exemption.
Illinois residents can take advantage SREC payments that, in exchange for the state being able to “purchase” your excess solar energy, will offer homeowners cash up front for their projected solar production.
In California, home solar owners see a 100 percent property tax exclusion for the value for systems installed through 2024. Stipulations apply.
3. Save Money on High Utility Rates3
The most common reason that homeowners switch to solar is to help alleviate high utility bills. Using less energy from the grid is great for everyone, and in states with particularly high energy rates like Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts, solar can make a dramatic difference in your monthly expenditures.
On average, U.S. homes consume about 900 kWh of electricity each month. Depending on the state that you live in, your monthly energy bill could be over $200/month, not accounting for the times and days when you use more energy than usual. With the addition of solar, your grid usage can dramatically drop, and your monthly bills go down. It’s that simple.
4. Increase Your Home’s Value1
Installing solar in your home isn’t just great for your wallet in the short-term, it’s also a fantastic way to increase your home’s resale value. Research has shown that every dollar in energy savings gained from your solar system purchase adds $20 to your home’s bottom line. Plus, homes with installed solar systems can sell about 20 percent faster than those without solar panels.
The combination of tax incentives, savings on grid energy, and the added value that solar brings to your home can mean a huge return on your investment throughout the lifetime of your solar system.
5. Worry Less About Maintenance
One of the best perks of being a home solar owner is how easy solar panels are to maintain. Not only are solar panels built to withstand weather of all sorts - from wind, to rain, to hail – you can clean and inspect them yourself. Most solar panels are cleaned by the rain and only need a quick visual inspection a few times a year.
With Sunnova Protect4 , homeowners are covered under any circumstance with an industry-leading 25-year warranty. That means no out-of-pocket expenses for maintenance, repairs, or replacements, 24/7 system monitoring, and in many cases, an energy production guarantee5.
The Sunny Side of Switching to Solar
Bringing solar home is easier and more beneficial for homeowners than it’s ever been before. With advanced technology and continued market growth, installation is quick and affordable, and the long-term benefits that solar offers are enough to entice anyone to make the switch.
If you’re ready to take the first step, learning more about the financial impact that solar will have on your household in your area is the perfect place to start.
Sunnova offers options for every homeowner to help you gain energy independence and slash your annual utility costs. Whether you prefer to lease or buy, Sunnova customers in most states enjoy guaranteed energy production, system monitoring, and a best-in-class 25-year warranty that makes solar simple6.
1: Only applicable to purchased systems in certain markets.
2: You may be eligible for a federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with the purchase of a solar system. To receive the full federal tax credit, you must have federal income tax liability at least equal to the value of the tax credit. Additional tax credits may also be available for homeowners in certain states. Sunnova makes no guarantees regarding customer eligibility for tax benefits or SRECs. Sunnova does not provide tax advice. Contact your personal tax advisor for eligibility.
3: Actual savings will vary based on your electricity usage and utility rates. Savings estimates are based on solar energy production, your solar kWh rate, your current utility kWh rate and projected increases in the utility rate (based on historical data and a national average). Estimates do not take into consideration other changes in utility rates. Such changes could affect your overall estimated savings.
4: Refer to the Limited Warranty in your agreement for complete warranty terms and limitations. Your solar system production will vary based on weather and other factors. Solar system’s cumulative production will be evaluated to validate annual production guarantee. Refer to your agreement for details. Restrictions and limitations apply. The service agreement can be transferred to the new homeowner. Sunnova’s approval required. Some restrictions apply. Sunnova does not offer production guarantee for energy service plans in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. In the state of Florida, Sunnova does not offer 24/7 system monitoring. Restrictions apply. Refer to your service agreement for complete terms and limitations.
5: Refer to the limited warranty in your service agreement for complete warranty terms and limitations.
6: Production guarantee and monitoring is not available in Florida, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.